Be inspired by the bronze and 3d print artworks of Sculptor Stanislaw Trzebinski and his mission to find harmony with nature.

Cape Town based artist, Stanislaw Trzebinski, produces powerful bronze sculptures inspired by nature and man’s relationship to it. Stanislaw Trzebinski walks The Insider SA along his personal path of discovery and the challenges he’s faced along the way to find his creative muse: nature and her fascinating forms.

Stanislaw Trzebinski grew up on the east coast of Africa which has shaped his unique worldview and his expression of creativity. Stanislaw defies the norm when it comes to creating beautiful and functional art, drawing inspiration from the ebb and flow of the ocean, textures found in nature, and early childhood memories of his father.

Born in Mombasa, Kenya, and raised in Nairobi, Stanislaw forged a deep connection with wildlife from an early age. He would spend hours breathing in the ocean and taking in the sights and sounds of the African bushveld with his father.

Together they would venture out into nature, snorkelling and exploring the underwater world, fishing for hours, and going on exhilarating safaris. As a successful artist in his own right, Stanislaw’s father exposed Stanislaw to the natural world through the eyes of an artist.

His father passed away when Stanislaw was nine years old – a moment that shaped his life. Stanislaw shares, “Every little kid wants to follow in their father’s footsteps, so that’s when I decided that I wanted to pursue a career as an artist.”

Stanislaw studied in New York but struggled to adapt to the demanding, high-stress lifestyle of the city. Stanislaw adds, “I hated it and, after a year, was completely depressed like a fish out of water. I was a child of Africa stuck in a concrete box in Brooklyn. So, I decided to leave, and I moved to South Africa in 2012.”

Here, Stanislaw began his journey to success creating figurative bronze sculptures. Over time, Stanislaw has gradually transitioned from figurative expression to crafting more functional artworks. 

He follows an age-old process of bronze sculpturing called the ‘lost-wax method’, a creative process which has been used by people in the arts and in the bronze age for over 4000 years. This process of bronze sculpturing is a complicated one, and Stanislaw owes much of his mastery of it to what he describes as ‘reverse engineering’, learning the lost-wax method before learning how to sculpt.

“It’s allowed me to foresee problems that I’d have in creating a sculpture and I’ve been able to use that knowledge to really push the boundaries of where I can take my sculpture and my design,” Stanislaw explains.

Stanislaw begins any large bronze sculpture by creating a miniature version in wax or a wax-based clay to conceptualise the work. Then the mould undergoes a process of demoulding to transform it into a hollow structure to pour the bronze into.

Recently, Stanislaw experimented with, not bronze, but 3d printing a chair – the largest 3d print artwork he’s made. The chair formed part of a group show titled Solace, a collection of work created during lockdown. After 2800 hours of printing, and a tedious process of gluing together 43 separately printed pieces, the chair is a marvellous work of artistic mastery.

The oversized chair represents the feeling of being engulfed into an environment. Stanislaw drew inspiration from his childhood memories of beachcombing with his father, picking up pieces of coral and examining their intricate textures and ocean-misted colours.

For Stanislaw, the most important aspect of being an artist is being able to translate an idea into a physical form. “It’s a responsibility because you’re able to tell stories – you’re able to alter people’s perceptions of the world that they live in,” emphasises Stanislaw.

Stanislaw’s work has always been driven by strong values to protect and conserve the environment. Stanislaw explains, “My work has always been about trying to portray the beauty of nature and our relationship to it. David Attenborough’s said it in his recent series that we’re not apart from nature, we are a part of nature, and I suppose that’s the message that I want my work to portray.”