In Focus: The restorer of ancient cathedrals who has turned to a very 21st century artform

Jane Wheatley meets Piotr Gargas to find out more about his art.

After training in classical sculpture in his native Poland, Piotr Gargas spent the early years of his career in Europe restoring and replicating the eroded and damaged stonework of historic buildings. An invitation to work in the colleges and churches of Oxfordshire led him to his studio on an industrial estate outside Witney, where he moved on to creating original work.

He designs digitally, making 3D prints that are translated into both figurative and abstract pieces sculpted from hewn blocks of stone and marble. ‘I try to make stone fluid and plastic — I am always chasing a form that suits my soul.’

Last year, Mr Gargas sold two large sculptures at the elegantly curated, biennial Kingham Lodge show, each displayed to advantage in the glorious five-acre garden. An abstract piece in cold cast bronze referenced the Gothic windows of the colleges he once worked in.


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With his work partner, Martin Cash, Mr Gargas exhibits in the art gallery and sculpture garden at Burford Garden Company. In a glass case, two birds — one black, one white — face each other. ‘I was thinking about Black Lives Matter, although I don’t like to dictate these things.’ Each bird has a band of brass running through its chest. ‘Everyone has a heart,’ he muses.