Polish artist Malgorzata Chodakowska possesses a love for sculpture that stems back to her childhood. Her award-winning work uses running water to create figures that move and mesmerize. We caught up with Malgorzata for some insight into her process.
When did you learn to sculpt?
I was interested in arts already in my youth in Poland while visiting the Arts High School in Lodz. After finishing school, I studied sculpturing for three years in Warsaw and for another three years in Vienna.
I prefer to work with figures instead of colors. It is my point of view that art shall be beautiful from every perspective – and I like to create something new.
What inspired you to use water as part of your sculptures?
I love the piazzas in Italy – these are the places where you’ll always find a fountain in the middle. Furthermore, water is motion, and motion dissolves the static sculpture.
Could you walk us through the process of creating one of your sculptures, from idea to realization?
The ideas just come across, sometimes while traveling, while meeting other people, while visiting an opera or ballet performance or in the theatre. It is always something mysterious. The first step is to search for an adequate piece of wood. Then I sit at my table, bring my idea on paper and prepare some drawings.
When I’m satisfied with these drafts, I draw a 1:1 concept on paper. This is the basis for small models made of clay. Afterwards, I start sculpturing. The first steps are fortunately always done by my husband Klaus with the huge power saw. After finishing the sculpture, I cast the sculpture in bronze.
The genesis of my fountains is somewhat different as the original is only sculptured in clay and casted afterwards.
How do you choose your subjects? Does each have a story or message?
My intention is to show the perfect body of a perfect woman (or sometimes a man). These models are mainly members of the ballet company of the Dresden Semper Opera. I’m always looking for the ultimate beauty and the specific pose in order to play with forms. And I’d like to represent strong, dignified and self-confident women.
What are the challenges that arise?
The biggest challenge is to keep to the original plan while completing the sculpture – aside the physical burden to work as a woman with oak. You always have to watch the sculpture from every side in order to achieve the optimal and most beautiful proportion.
What has been the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Trust yourself, believe in your ideals and don’t get worried by new trends.
What is your greatest dream as an artist?
I’d like to see it happen that all my fountains are placed together on the most beautiful piazza of the world.
Visit Malgorzata’s website to see more of her work.