Gdańsk artist’s ‘floating sculptures’ carry ‘deep message about the nature of human life’

Observing the emergence of the Solidarity movement, which would play a key role in the collapse of communism in 1989, had a lasting impression on his work, giving it a social and political dimension. jerzykedziora.com

To see Polish sculptor Jerzy Kędziora’s work, your best bet is to look up: the figures float above the ground, frozen in jumps, summersaults and other acrobatic feats.

His gravity-defying sculptures have been shown around the world, with recent exhibitions from Dubai to Miami.

In his series ‘The Balancing Sculptures’, the rope in some of the sculptures symbolises the “precariously thin boundaries between the extremes of our states, choices, situations”.jerzykedziora.com

Born in Częstochowa, in southern Poland, in 1947, Kędziora studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, as well as in other cities in Poland and abroad. 

He started producing the sculptures of balancing figures that he is best known for in the 1990s.

Kędziora’s work is imbued with a deeper message about the nature of human life.jerzykedziora.com

Captured in athletic poses, in some cases upside down, the figures in his sculptures are often portrayed holding props such as a chair, ladder or hoops. 

“My art is aiming at receiving a new perspective which will change the current point of an observer’s view,” he writes in the statement on his website.

Captured in athletic poses, in some cases upside down, the figures in his sculptures are often portrayed holding props such as a chair, ladder or hoops. jerzykedziora.com

Yet rather than being purely about movement or exercise, Kędziora’s work is imbued with a deeper message about the nature of human life.

“The created sculptures of mine identify the unreal dream of walking on a slackline, which accompanying many of people. However, we should interpret it in the broader context like some extraordinary ecstasy and finding oneself in a totally different reality,” he explains.

To see Jerzy Kędziora’s work, your best bet is to look up.Barbara Ostrowska/PAP

As a student in Gdańsk, one of Kędziora’s formative experiences was observing the emergence of the Solidarity movement, which would play a key role in the collapse of communism in 1989. 

This, he says, has had a lasting impression on his work, giving it a social and political dimension.

Born in Częstochowa, in southern Poland, in 1947, Kędziora studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, as well as in other cities in Poland and abroad.Jacek Bednarczyk/PAP

In his series “The Balancing Sculptures, the rope in some of the sculptures symbolises the “precariously thin boundaries between the extremes of our states, choices, situations”.

According in to Kędziora, the statues in the series are the only statues in the world defy gravity and keep their balance despite only being held in place in one or two places; for instance, on a rope or on a rod.

His gravity-defying sculptures have been shown around the world, with recent exhibitions from Dubai to Miami.jerzykedziora.com

“The tight rope symbolises the threshold we stood on as we were transforming from one political system to another,” he has said, referring to Poland’s democratic transformation after decades of communist rule.

The sculptor’s work features at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, as well as diplomatic posts in the United States.

This month, 23 balancing sculptures can be viewed at an exhibition of his work entitled “Suspension: Balancing Art, Nature, and Culture” in Schiller Park in Colombus, Ohio, which runs until 1 March.