with Jerzy Kędziora,
Sculptor | Galeria Rzezby - O Artyscie
by © Rocío Heredia
Jêrzy Kedziora,, Galeria Rzezby - strona glówna (Polski):::
us something about yourself, where did you grew up and what did you dream
of becoming as a child?
I lived in the suburbs of Częstochowa. My father work for the electrification
of the post-war country, my mother dealt with minor production and sales.
Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in processions visited the city, the
spiritual capital of Poland known for the wonderful painting of The Black
Madonna. While my parents were still building their house, I lived in
the Salesian parish, where cultural and sport education of young people
were especially emphasized. The priests organized sport competitions and
theatrical performances, in which I participated with big engagement.
Perhaps that's why as a child I wanted to be a theatre man, an architect
or, in the worst instance, a priest (my mother dreamed of me becoming
When did you discover your talent and decided to become a full-time
I didn't dream about being an artist. For me an artist had to walk above
ground. I was more down to earth, practical, but since I was a child I
knew I had artistic talent. My environment - colleagues, family, teachers
assured me of that. I liked to draw and especially design. When I was
five-six my first design works were introduced to production. My mother
knitted woolen clothes and I designed patterns of arabesques, shapes of
stars, mushrooms, Christmas trees and dwarves on paper. Later, in my primary
school I had a few more examples of vocational plastics, decorations and
theatrical requisites, patterns of napkins and tapestries to embroid.
Love for art was born in me early, and has stayed there to these days.
I consequently headed towards my aim of becoming a certificated artist,
first studying in the Secondary School of Fine Arts, later in the Academy
of Fine Arts.
Would you give us your personal definition of Art?
Not necessarily. I don't feel like a theoretic of art. I don't create
artistic doctrines. But I know what is creating, what should be a piece
of art. For me the most impressive thing is virtuosity of workshop, which
allows to create deeper ideas, interesting visions, original forms. Also
creative gesture, artistic joke, uniqueness, mystery, not defined aura,
so called second bottom are important arguments of a piece of art. I need
something worth admiring, watching, something intriguing, unachievable,
What is your formal training? How did you acquire your knowledge
and skills as an artist?
My training was classical in the beginning, due to the academic formula
of acquiring workshop abilities and cooperation with tremendous professionals.
Then for more than 30 years my formal self-training has been based on
testing original solutions, plastic, often strange in technique. Achieving
solutions in a practical and intuitive way, to create balancing forms.
I concentrate on balancing sculptures analytically and systematically,
trying how to make a fusion of scale, attention and light, because I have
already planned the aim, that is the artistic effect.
You work several techniques such as sculpture, drawing, painting,
ceramics, theatrical scenography, etc., I'm tempted to ask which one satisfies
most your inner self and why?
I think I am a so called plastic of many abilities and predispositions.
I have taken challenges in, among the others, architecture, graphic, design,
scenography. Usually more important than the domain, was the way of expressing
myself, my creative possibilities, or the conditions and aims of creating
the designs. But sculpture was the means which mostly absorbed my will
of creating and my time. Because of sculpture I take new challenges. After
all, I am a professional sculptor.
was your first sculpture? I'm curious...Do you have a picture of that
The first conscious sculptures I remember making were a maternity and
a hockey goalkeeper sculptures in great hoardings, made during secondary
school. I don't think they exist anymore, but perhaps I still have photos
made in the making of these works, which I used some day to pass the admission
exams to the Academy.
Were there any artists or mentors whom in particular influenced
you in your career?
Yes, I think, but not directly or permanently. And they didn't influence
my career or creation, but rather my idea of plastics and workshop. For
sure they did make my imagination work, and me think, admire, and often
refuse and envy, in a inspiring way, or take artistic challenges. The
first ones were my teachers in the secondary school, and maybe even earlier,
the patron of the altar-boys at the Salesians. Outstanding sculptors,
The professors of the Academy were outstanding sculptors and they certainly
had influence on me. I admire the work of a few of them.
What influences your art? Are you inspired by particular places
I obviously have to take into consideration place and space when they
are the context of the realized design. On the other hand there are some
idea-places on Earth I would like to fulfill with my works or arrange
them originally, for example cities crossed by a plastic grid of sewers,
places carrying a mark of legends, and prophet sculptures in them - sculptures
who would become marks. At the same time there are places which affect
my consciousness and my sensitivity so deeply that they are for many reasons
- landscape, cultural, social and even political - a source of creative
Where do you find the muse inspiring your work?
Referring to the above question, I think that the sources of inspiration
are places, but in various contexts. It comes also from events, people,
social time, philosophy, existence definitely. My imagination is usually
inspired by what steps out of the borders of the impossible, what penetrates
the regions under and over consciousness, what steps out of the conditions
of reality with its meaning, like fairy tales, legends, or forms defeating
the laws of physics (vide balancing). My muses are my family and people
who fascinate me, not always in the common meaning of the aesthetic inspiration.
I let myself be seduced, but more for life than art.
Which movements have influenced you?
What mostly inspires my creativity are the prehistory, fairy tales, legends,
shamanism and intuitionism.
Are there any contemporary or classical artists that you particularly
Certainly. Miro, Klimt, Bacon, Calder, Canogar but also Rosso, Marini,
something of Manzu, Haidu but also Hudon or the great classics because
of their perfection of form and workshop.
As I see your artworks, I feel your perspective is extraordinary.
This scene seems to get the viewer into the sculpture. How did you develop
your unique style to the status where it is at now?
In my instance this question can be understood in many ways. The answer
could be a lecture. I often provoke the watcher to actively participate
in dealing with my creations, create situations and expressions of common
living. I think you are more interested in that certain dose of "enchantment,
hypnosis" (to quote others) alike to the feeling that accompanies
us when we look into vivid fire or water in movement. The space arrangements
of my sculpture are a kind of environment. Referring to this I want to
get the unbelieving, surprised viewer into the balance of my sculptures,
harmonized with the natural rhythm of this environment. I try to reveal
the camouflage without revealing. Unable to go away before solving the
riddle, the visitor is taken inside the works, becomes an active participant
of the performance. He watches the sculptures suspended in different planes,
usually above ground, from frog's perspective.
Please tell us about your sculpting technique. What are the materials
that you prefer to handle?
This is also a complicated problem but, in brief, I work in a couple of
phases using different materials and techniques - modeling in clay, preparing
plaster, sylicon or combined forms, moulding, retouching and engraving,
patinating. I also use stone, wood, bronze, ceramics, metal, syntethic
materials, but also elements of water, fire, sunrays. The choice of material
and technique depends on the idea of the work and the conditions of making
Which qualities determine your choice of materials for intermediate
forms and tools and the final result?
I don't put it like that, the form does not determine my making but rather
the idea. For the idea I search the material and the way of working with
it. If I don't know the parameters of the material, or the technology
well enough, I use sophisticated methods worked out by somebody then I
find my own way. Having incomplete knowledge and experimenting I find
a chance of being fresh, accidental, bending the technique to fit my expectations,
sometimes for acting widely. I provoke myself, the material and the technique
to discover something new, experience an adventure of creating, each time,
again and again.
Do you make the construction yourself? How often? Why?
I think it isn't anything deteriorating the object, for example in moulds.
A sculptor often has to use the help of a craftsman. I have used this
form of realization rarely, unless I had orders for medals or occasional
statues. In some group balancing sculptures I used a certain type of multiplication,
for example when I was creating the illustration about the four brothers.
The four figures of boys were realized in reference to one body-model,
on which the attributes, details, kind of manufacturing and setting were
I fear that there may be health risks related to your work, how
do you handle that?
Yes, a certain amount of risk is involved. The fever to work doesn't always
come along with common sense. The materials and chemicals I use in my
workshop aren't good for health. I try to minimize these risks, at least
stick to the basic rules of safety and hygiene of work, but I'm not a
good example to follow. I continuously promise myself to improve the health
What challenges have you found in your work?
Various. Often strongly opposite. I humanized places of work. Entertained
people. I fought with Communism and advertised the ideas of this "best
of systems". I animated artistic events. I solved competition problems.
I created works to commemorate, for patriotic reasons, pieces to "release
me" from the "suffering of creation" and works to raise
aesthetic sensations of the masses ... I saved, restored and conserved
old buildings. I taught adults and youngsters. These are just some of
the paths I have wandered along in the crooked way of my artistic and
Which is your favorite sculpture and why?
From the perspective of thirty years of creating it is probably the series
of balancing sculptures. It entertains me, surprises, annoys me, but it
also leads me to deeper waters and puts me into the light of reflectors,
so far that I become vain. So am I an artist? Perhaps I am. A couple of
times I was satisfied of my works, the nature of the satisfaction was
mainly emotional. It was caused rather by the contexts of creating the
works, than by artistic self-rating. I have an impression that my "beloved
child of art" hasn't been born yet. Although the balancing ones fascinate
Will you tell us about the recognition and Awards you have achieved
in your career?
It is a kind of satisfaction. It even used to be a significant part of
my income, but generally it's just like the dust you make when you chop
wood solidly, endurably, with God's spark. Medals have their dark sides.
They give you more envious people and even enemies. They make the next
employers feel unsure when negotiating the prices.
What are the most meaningful events in your career that you look
back at with satisfaction and pride?
I don't know if they were happenings. Perhaps rather ideas, being born
or already stroking deeper roots. Fortunately the solved problems sometimes
carry me on the waves of satisfaction and pleasure. I don't think I have
much pride in me. Life surprised me positively, the career came without
asking. I have come think about myself as an artist because I am seen
in this way and probably there is no turning back. I'll have to think
about it, verify and re-rate some opinions.
Probably I was proud once or twice when I received some serious reward
and heard many compliments but the pride was always accompanied by a feeling
of embarrassment. Finally the personality of an artist with achievements
conflicts with the attributes of a humble man unbelieving his luck.
What role does the public play in your creative endeavor? What
do you expect people can learn and feel when they see your artworks?
I am pleased with the positive reaction as well as the critical opinions.
I appreciate them very much and take them into consideration. I ignore
critics without artistic, aesthetic arguments. A disinterested receiver
is usually satisfied, even delighted, as he enters the world of form,
idea, feelings that this world gives him and answers not only artistic
but also existential problems.
What aspiration as an artist is most important to you?
I have a couple of artistic dreams, their realization being connected
with The spectacular placing of a couple of my sculptures in some important
places in the World. But, for now, I stick to the freedom of statement
and I want to live properly without "suffering for millions".
What are your immediate plans for your future? On what are you
currently working at?
Next year I am going to represent Poland in an official presentation of
our country's culture in France and show myself individually in a smaller
set of works in Washington DC. I am preparing for these exhibits. Recently
I have finished a sculpture of The Resurrected Christ for the new town
graveyard in Częstochowa. Maybe just after that I will begin making a
balancing sculpture for the city of Bydgoszcz. Generally I have nothing
to hide. What I do and how I do it can be always previewed in workshop
and outdoors gallery "Przedstudio".
How do you think the Internet will affect Art? Does the Internet
have a positive or negative influence on Art?
I haven't got any idea. I'm very bad at futurology. To some recipients
- it will being them closer to art, while for many others it will make
it a shallow experience. It will allow new kinds of art to be created.
It's hard to tell, especially for someone who even now, with such unsharp
criteria of defining it, doesn't fully understand what is and what isn't
What advice would you give to a young artist who is just starting
and wondering where to begin with?
I haven't got such recipes. I am still trying to answer myself where I
am now and where am I going. These are various discoveries and choices.
You have to be yourself, save as much of yourself as you can and, depending
on your Personality and temperament try to realize, explore, and widen
your workshop because the bigger the arsenal of individual experiments,
the bigger globally the suit of achievements, the richer the set of personalities
and careers. The richer our life.
Finally, how do you feel you have been blessed personally as a
result of embracing the life of an Artist?
Yes, I think so, without a sense of such a gift - God's spark- I couldn't
live as I live, do what I do. And I do enjoy life. This professional fragment
of life. But you can't live just with a blessing. You can start with it,
trust its sense and, after that, seek, discover, chase, get lost, work,
work ... I know no other way of doing it.
Interview © January 2004-2007 Rocío Heredia.
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