Sculptor Małgorzata Chodakowska was born in Lodz, but has spent much of her personal and professional life in Dresden and the surrounding area. In particular, she has created a series of unique water sculptures in the Zimmerling vineyard, located several kilometers outside of the city.
Travels Full of Inspiration
After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in 1988, the artist married Klaus Zimmerling and settled in Dresden two years later. She then briefly moved to the Wachau, but returned to the Elbe and began working with pewter and glass sculpture. From the mid-1990s, her interest shifted to bronze sculptures, and she began experimenting with other materials such as gold, freely combining them with inspiration from her travels throughout Europe and Africa. Her work has been shown in numerous exhibitions in Germany, Austria, Denmark, Russia, Poland and Japan, with her impressive water sculptures being among the most recognizable pieces.
Animated Water Sculptures
Małgorzata Chodakowska’s sculptures depict primarily female figures and typically take several months to create. The process involves making a clay model, which is then cast in bronze and decorated. However, it is the addition of water that really brings the sculpture to life. The water is an inseparable part of the sculpture, creating subtle shapes in the air as it splashes from the hair and floats at shoulder height like angel wings. It drips from the hand, adding a sense of realism to the sculpted figures, while at other times it almost seems to lift the sculpture into the air. Each of Chodakowska’s water sculptures tells a unique story.
Art and Wine
To experience Chodakowska’s ballerinas water sculptures, one must visit the Zimmerling vineyard, located on the Saxon Wine Route and founded by the artist and her husband. Located just over a hundred kilometers from the Polish border, the winery is an ideal destination for art and wine lovers alike.
The water sculptures have been seamlessly integrated into the vineyard’s picturesque landscape. They can also be found on the labels of wines produced by Klaus Zimmerling. Each of these labels is unique, depicting different years with their own distinctive stories.
The term „Stammfrauen”, a combination of „female” and „trunk”, has become synonymous with the work of Małgorzata Chodakowska. Her workshop produces not only stunning bronze water sculptures, but also life-size supernatural sculptures made of wood. These „living fountains” mainly depict images of women, but are rarely exhibited. Once completed, they remain in the workshop or are moved to the wine cellar. For those who wish to see these works in person, a visit to this magical place is yet another reason to go.
How Are Balerina Fountains Made?
Małgorzata Chodakowska begins her creative process by modeling clay sculptures, which are then used as prototypes for bronze casts. Depending on the complexity of the project, it can take from 2 to 6 months to complete a single sculpture.
After nearly three decades of work, the Polish artist has created a stunning collection of bronze fountain sculptures. Her designs, which feature streamlined shapes and near-perfect proportions, depict both male and female figures in motion, brought to life by water flowing from different points of the sculpture. You can view her work online, including dancing ballerinas, angels, and many others.
Although she is a graduate of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and creates art in various materials such as wood, gold, tin and glass, her fountains are undoubtedly one of her most spectacular forms of artistic expression.