The Kenyan-born, Cape Town-based artist Stanislaw Trzebinski is best-known for his work in bronze. His work – collectable furniture and sculpture – is equal parts functional and fantastical, often-times drawing on the relationships and forms found in the natural world.
Trzebinski’s latest solo exhibition with Southern Guild gallery, Solastalgia (running from 8 September to 10 November), will include sculptural furniture in bronze and timber; intricately etched copper artworks and multiple pieces of sculpture. We reached out to the artist ahead of Solastalgia’s opening this for a Spotlight Q&A.
First off, can you tell us more about yourself and your current exhibition?
I’m a Kenyan-born artist and maker living and working in Cape Town. I’ve always held a deep fascination and passion for nature. My art and functional sculpture explores man’s intimate and often tenuous connection with the environment. My upcoming exhibition at Southern Guild, Solastalgia, is a dystopian exploration of what the natural world might look like following man’s extinction.
What’s your earliest memory of art or art-making?
My father Tonio was an artist, painter and sculptor. Some of my earliest memories consist of watching my father work in his studio. He always encouraged my sister and I to explore our creativity. He showed us how to work with canvases, stretching them ourselves with rabbit skin glue. Art for me has always been an inherent part of my family life and a formative piece of my own identity.
What are you reading, watching or listening to at the moment? Any good podcast recommendations?
I just finished reading Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. I’m now rereading The Future Earth by Eric Holthaus. The book is an insightful and hopeful vision of what we can do to reverse the climate damage we have caused; it inspired and informed a lot of the ideas at the heart of my upcoming show.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
In life, the top of one mountain is the bottom of the next. Get up early and make the most of each day. As an artist, self-accountability is so important. I’m always looking ahead and thinking about what I can do as a person, and a maker, to creatively and personally progress.
Which artists are on your radar at the moment?
While I appreciate so many artists and their work, I do try to focus my energy on my own practise and the message I’m hoping to deliver. I am currently interested in the work of Anish Kapoor, Olaf Elliason and Cristina Iglesias. All of them work on a really ambitious scale which is something I’d love to experiment with in my own practice. I’m drawn to the concept of large-scale installations and immersive artworks that allow for audience interaction.
One of your favourite places in the world?
The Kenyan coast. It is my true home and the source of all my inspiration.
What’s next for you, and where can our readers find more of your work?
I am always working on new pieces and new concepts. I’m exhibiting work at this year’s upcoming Design Miami art fair with Southern Guild. I’m also looking into a solo show in Europe next year. My studio in Woodstock is open to the public, I am more than happy to welcome anyone who’d like to check out some of the exciting things I’ve got in the works. (Appointments are essential!)