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Victor Cicansky: The Art of Living off the Land

By ArtistsInCanada Interview December 2, 2002

} Victor Cicansky:The Art of Living off the Land By Paul Constable When I entered his studio a gnarly structure was sprawled out on a table over looking a yard lush in flora and green, yet untouched by frost. The spindly structure was awaiting the next installment of attention from its creator. Victor explained that after collecting an array of hawthorn branches from the country, he assembles them into a girder like structure, interlocking 4 main stems - each assigned to be the future legs of a table. Branches are drilled, doweled onto the appropriate stem - connecting and grafting all the branches, to give the table stability as well as esthetic appeal. Then a surface of wax is built up over the wood armature to give a desired look and thickness. When this shape is cast to bronze the wax and wood burn and melt away, leaving the hawthorn base in bronze and awaiting the final patina. As in most of his work, his love of organic shapes and natural fruits and vegetables take part in his creations. This table will later receive a number of bronze pears, previously cast and then welded onto a number of the inner branches. A one-inch glass top is added for the table surface. 'I am fascinated by the world of the garden. The natural rhythms of growth, decay and renewal are reflected in my work. The sense of wonder that I experienced as a young boy lying in a freshly plowed furrow still leaves me awestruck at the magnitude of the garden's endless biotic enterprise. The garden has enriched my spirit and given me both the means and the meaning to express myself'. Victor's garden has become the catalyst for much of what he makes in art. He has honed his craft of creating art from everyday fruits, vegetables and plants that make his backyard home. Not only is his work unique, colourful, whimsical and animated, but much of it is functional as well. Talking with Victor I asked where all the ideas come from, as they are quite eclectic and very personal. He says he loves gardening and it supplies him with endless material. One idea leads to two other ones. As a child he remembers seeing his grandmother place a large cabbage on a chair. It was a powerful image that stayed with him and later spawned a series of chairs with vegetables on their seats. Shovel handles sprout ears of corn or morph into pear branches adorned with fruit. As I moved about his studio I noticed many pieces in different stages of finishing. A series of preserve jars are being made ready to fire, each hand carved and shaped to give them their own character. After numerous glazings they are stacked and attached to a brightly coloured wall shelf. Some of the wall units reach from the floor to just short of the ceiling. Living off the land takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to Victor Cicansky. Victor Cicansky is a sculptor and ceramic artist living and working in Regina, Saskatchewan. He has had many National and International shows. His work can be found in many major galleries across the country. More of Victor's work may be seen from this link to his web _________________________________________________ Paul Constable is the Director of Artists In Canada. He is a Painter / Printmaker and Senior Graphic Designer for an Advertising and Communications company in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Paul Constable can be reached by email HERE. His paintings may be viewed at: Your suggestions for future articles are welcome. _________________________________________________ © 2003