Stanislaw Trzebinski moved to Cape Town in 2012 to apprentice in sculpture and bronze casting and now works out of his studio in Woodstock. The guiding thread of his work to date has been an exploration of the symbiotic relationship between humans and the natural world and draws on his intensive exposure to wildlife, cultural diversity and artistic engagement.
What has been the inspiration for your new body of work?
This new body of work (of which I have recently started) has more of a conceptual take – My last body of work addressed the physical and spiritual bankruptcy reflected in our society that I feel urban environments perpetuate, resulting in a complete loss of connectivity with nature and therefore ourselves.
This new body of work is centred around our historically symbiotic relationship to nature and her elements- more specifically how indigenous cultures all over the world have incorporated these elements in their rituals and ceremonies.
It focuses more on our connection with the earth, and the elements and the sculptures I intend on sculpting will each tell a story, and express an idea or emotion revolving around that concept. I’d like to explore how historically indigenous cultures explained seemingly unexplainable (to them at the time) natural phenomenon through storytelling, myths and folk law. The personification of nature in this manner left them with a higher level of respect for the natural world in comparison to today’s “well informed” modern day man.
Will your inclusion in the upcoming Sculptex at The Melrose Gallery feature any of your new work? What can we look forward to seeing at Sculptex?
Yes indeed. Sculpt X will incorporate some works from this new body I am working on- Namely, Yin Yang. As the name suggests – this piece was an exploration of how contrary forces can complement one another. Man (alive – flesh) and earth (lifeless – stone), life and death, negative and positive (from a sculptural point of view – the use of negative space to create tension and positive sculpture).
You have started to include some limited edition prints and etched copper and brass as part of your portfolio. Are these all related to and part of the process of creating your sculptures?
I would say that they are more of an extension of my sculptural work. I started working on more two dimensional work due to a nasty spell of what I suppose is the sculptors equivalent of writer’s block. I couldn’t sculpt for months. It was as if my spark had gone out- as a result of some difficult challenges in my personal life so I turned to another avenue of expression and let the sculpting take the back seat for a bit. Thankfully my sculpting flow returned short after!
But the motif is similar, and draws inspiration from nature as I have done in my work before. They are more process based- and the process its self, deciphers what the artwork looks like in the end.
Do you ever find yourself turning down commissions and why? What has been the most unusual request that you have received?
I will only turn a commission down if the client is too specific about why he/she wants. The kind of commissions that I do take on are ones that give me the freedom to create an artwork for the client that is within the parameters of the body of work on which I am working on so that I can include the piece in the body of work once finished. I rarely do commissions of one off unique pieces- the time and expenses (of moulds and production costs) that go into sculpting any sculpture isn’t worth just casting a unique once off piece.
Can we look forward to full Stanislaw Trzebinski solo exhibition in the near future?
Absolutely! In 2019. Watch this space. This year I deliberately chose not to do any solos after a string of consecutive solos last year which put a lot of pressure on me and subsequently decided that 2018 will be a time to play and just create without that pressure of working towards a deadline. I have been buried in my new studio instead and taken my time working on bigger pieces- it has been deeply satisfying. Sometimes one needs to take a step back in order to take two forward.