November 19, 2012

Vojtech Kopic, Kopicova skalní galerie/Kopic's sculpted rocks


Vojtech Kopic posing next to one of his rock sculptures, 

This blog up till now has one post about rock sculptures, namely the note about the sculptures created by Abbé Fouré in the rocks along the breton coast in France. 

Now, here is a note about a somewhat comparable site: a series of some forty rock sculptures, located in the Bohemian Paradise, the rocky area in the Czech Republic, north west of Prague.

Life and works

Born in in the small community of Vadin, in the Havlickuv Brod area, Vojtech Kopic (1909-1978) at the age of eight became an orphan, to be educated by an aunt. Not having enjoyed much schooling, from a young age on he would have jobs in agriculture. 

In the early thirties, at work in Rovensko in the Bohemian area, he met Vera Holubova, daughter of a farmer in Kacanovy. They married and in 1932 the couple went to live in the farm in Kacanovy.

this picture and the next six courtesy of Zuzana Pernicová 

Vojtech Kopic had a drive to express himself musically and artistically. He learned to read music and not only played the harmonium at the farm, but also the organ in the local church.


In 1940, in his early thirties, Kopic began a creative project that would keep him active untill his death: making sculptures in the rocks in a wooded area close to the farm. 


He had no training in making sculptures at all, except that a neighbour, who was a stonemason, told him how to split stones or so. Using simple utensils, a chisel and a hammer, Kopic has made a series of sculptures and reliefs that express his deep interest in Czech national history.


One of his sculptures depicts an organ. It is curious to note that Kopic has portrayed himself adjacent to the organ, on the picture above between the organ and the tree, the artist amidst the famous personalities he portrayed. 

All together during more than thirty years Kopic has constructed forty sculptural items, depicting heroes from Czech history, saints, scenes from rural life and animals, like a lion, a dog, a deer....

His first creation was a chapel with St Wenceslas, as partly can be seen  in the first picture.


Kopic had to combine these creative activities with his work at the farm, in his time a labor with considerable efforts, like wells for the watersupply had to be dug by his own hands and electricity being only first installed in 1962.


The farm itself, Kopicuv statek, is renowned. Dating from 1787, it has been reconstructed some times and it nowadays is regarded as one of the finest examples of popular timbered architecture in Bohemia.


Vojtech Kopic and his wife died  resp in 1978 and 1985, and since the farm is inhabited by a younger generation of the family.

Actual situation

The "rock gallery" nowadays is a popular site to visit in an area that attracts tourists who like nature and wandering around. Weather conditions and visits of interested people do not seem to have had much influence on the condition of the sculptures.

I do not know about any organization of volunteers that takes care of the site.

Documentation
* More pictures on the ITRAS travel website
* Weblog of Radek Folprecht (april 2010) with a map, pictures of the farm and of the sculptures (in czech)

* A longer video (Youtube, uploaded jul 2012, 22'32"), with shots of the path that leads from the farm to the rocky area, presenting the sculptures as seen when following the path along them


Vojtech Kopic
Skalni galerie
Kacanovy, Czech Republic
sculptures can be freely visited

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much Henk, I didn't know this Artist and I like his work very much.It is really very much in line with the work of the Abbé Fouré.
    An excellent file about this work.
    Thanks really very much

    ReplyDelete