Victor Cicansky - On Why He Works with Clay

When you grow up on the prairies and you run through prairie gumbo after a rain, and it squishes up through your toes and you pick it up and you model it, that was always kind of an interesting activity when we were kids and we’d build things out of clay. It was years later when I decided to go back to school, because I quit school in grade nine, worked in construction, then decided to go back and went back to Regina College, and took classes. And one of the classes I took was a class in clay from Jack Sures. And as soon as I started working with this material, I realized it’s the same kind of activity that we did when we were kids growing up on the east end. And for me it was a lot like gardening. It was like tending soil, or making it, encouraging it to do something. That I could take this stuff and I could actually model it and do things, and a lot of the early things I made were earth kind-of related. I would do casseroles and I would fill them up with things that looked like pea pods or I built these sculptures that looked like pods that were ready to explode with seeds. And I was just fishing around for ideas of how to express myself, but that was my early experience with clay, and it stayed with me. And it’s still something that’s important. I mean, I make a lot of sculpture in bronze and in wood, but there’s something about clay that’s primal. It’s the material that we dig from the earth. It’s the same material that creates life. When scientists study DNA, they think life came from all those primal sources, from clay, from the soil, that this earth is made of, the materials that are there, we’re part of it. We come from it and we go back to it. And there’s something about that, and also something about the idea that you can take this stuff, you can model it, you can fire it and turn it to stone, you can colour it, the fact that it lasts, the fact that it just works and manipulates so easily, there’s just something about it that I really enjoy. And the risk that you take when you put it in the kiln. Because you’re never quite sure what the result is going to be. There’s something about all of that process that, you know, continues to fascinate me.

Duration: 2:50 min
Size: 4816kb

Other Videos About This Artist

On the Root CellarOn the Connection Between Art and GardensOn Why He Uses Vegetables in His ArtOn Why He Works with ClayOn the Technical Side of ArtInterview with Timothy Long - Funk Art and the Regina Clay Movement
Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning