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Józef Kondeja

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Images from the memory

His official debut was only in 1988, during an exhibition organised by the Kielce branch of PAX. His first work, mentioned on all occasions was a styrofoam sculpture of the Virgin Mary, made using a kitchen knife as a chisel. Since childhood he exhibited artistic skills, talent and the will to create. Józef Kondeja was born in a small village of Kuźmy, near Kozienice, and this image of his childhood world, filled with contact with folk religiousness and nature still remains in him. His artistic output is full of allusions to sacral scenes and themes, animals, nature and everyday life.

Among the most recognisable works by Mr Kondeja are his carvings depicting genre scenes and a series of birds. The works he creates have a distinct form and texture, even the polychromes, and are mostly made of linden and poplar wood. His workshop is located in an adapted garage near the block in which he lives. The place is immediately recognisable even from a long distance because of the piles of chips and shavings, and wood prepared for further processing. He made most of the tools he uses himself.

The majority of his works have been presented during exhibitions, both collective and individual, in places such as Kozienice, Pionki, Zwoleń, Radom, Puławy, Warka and Szydłowiec. On the 15th anniversary of his creative work as a sculptor, his life and art were described as follows: “How important is a period of 15 years compared to a single lifetime! In the case of Józef Kondeja, the last 15 years were an important and significant time. Those were the years of unceasing passion for sculpting and overcoming the resistance of the material, “taming” the wood, which he uses to embody the images, which to that point remained in his memory”.

Although he has spent his entire professional career working for Kozienice Power Plant, this did not stop him from developing his creative passion and grassroots activities. He was an Honorary Blood Donor, organised annual open-air events for the artists’ association, he was a director of the Kozienice Culture Creators Club of the Kozienice Cultural Centre, and currently, he actively participates and co-creates the “Vena” group. His cooperation with schools complements his activities for the cultural environment in Kozienice. The artist gladly participates in shows, fairs, competitions and picnics in Poland.

He has received many distinctions and awards for his artistic output, including two Distinguished Cultural Service decorations, awarded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. He also received a commemorative medal on the 450th anniversary of Kozienice. Since 1997 he has been member of the Folk Creators Association.

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Adres miejsca

26-900 Kozienice
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792 684 966