Statues from elsewhere
Written by: Štěpánka Strouhalová
Photo by: Věroslav Sixt
Petr Kavan started his artistic career
chiseling linden wood in Český ráj. Later he traveled to India,
where he learned of a new material - rare black granite.
SIX YEARS AGO, when Kavan embarked on a two-month-long voyage around
India, he visited the little town of Mamallapuram, a former port
on the southern shores of the country with a strong masonry tradition.
Working with black granite, which can be found in only two areas
of the world, filled him with such enthusiasm that he decided to
establish his own workshop. "First, I had to learn the craft
and to use the experience that has been passed down through generations.
But now I teach my own apprentices according to my needs,"
Kavan explains. "It is demanding, but enriching. Something
entirely new - the material as well as the culture." In order
to survive in India, he had to adopt a rather strict ascetic lifestyle.
"Working with stone is something like long-term meditation.
You sit over the stone, cut pieces of granite, and you have to be
composed," he says. He lives and works with his four masons
constantly. "I adapted to their lifestyle, which I respect,
and they respect me. They also taught me not to take myself so seriously,"
he says. "They're able to do amazing things, yet they are humble,
patient, and modest. I tutored boys who now know my style, so I
can leave work for them when I return home."
You can frequently find basic questions about the human condition
in Kavan's work. "I don't have a goal in mind, just what a
person can encounter along the way," he explains. His motifs
often show the human being alone in the middle of space, or a staircase
that may or may not lead somewhere. He decorates the natural gray
"grain" of black granite with polished contrasts on an
asphalt black surface, often combining it with bronze or, more recently,
with Czech crystal. Sometimes he leaves his creative work and fills
customized orders - giant stone balls, or unique sinks made from
a single block of stone.
Kavan's sojourns to India mostly depend on the dates of exhibitions.
An exhibition of stone statues representing his work for the past
two years can be seen in the spiritually kindred Nostress Café Gallery
until the end of September.
|| Serpent's egg, 1999.
back to the
Before you get to a back-breaking
tempo, remember to properly consider what you can rely on.
What "Speedy" snail sticks
together, no one can pull apart, CZK 690. (Tape Dispenser)
||Dangerously hungry frog
stitcher "Gonzáles", CZK 885.
"Dimitri" lifts a load of music, CZK 236.
"Archibald" reliably protects your notes, CZK
(Memo Pad Holder)
A.I.T Interier - DESIGN DUROŇ, Ječná 36,
Ranný Architects, Rytířská 6, Praha 1
shop of the month
Fraktály - after an excellent architectural
exhibition in Frágner's gallery, and a meal in the U architektů
restaurant, you can purchase high-quality literature in the
first book store to specialize in architecture and design.
Choose from many magazines, representative publications and
monographs, and discover pearls of Czech and foreign architecture
Fraktály - In the J. Frágner gallery, Betlémské
náměstí 5a, Praha 1