Veronika Durová (*1984)
I love returning to that beautiful location in Tuscany and carving stone in the local quarry.
Marble has been a symbol of refined taste for centuries. During a residency in Carrara, Italy, in a setting surrounded by mountains and quarries, Veronika Durová’s passion for this traditional material and her fascination with the colourfulness of this natural phenomenon also erupted. White Carrara marble has been a material sought after and valued by sculptors since antiquity, for its innate quality and a surface eminently suitable for working. Moreover, the light reflected in the crystals of the stone gives the surface of the resulting sculptures the impression of a living body. The most frequent subjects of Durová’s marble sculptures are various parts and details of the human or animal body, while the viewer intuitively fills in their “missing” parts. Durová presents us with the natural language of the body without the need for a story or explanation, while reflecting upon a question common to figurative sculpture in general, namely, whether a particular sculpture marks the presence of a given figure, or, on the contrary, underscores its absence.
Marble was also the material of choice for ancient civilisations because it could be worked with bronze tools. Durová, however, uses contemporary implements to cut the stone, including the now established pneumatic hammer with widia chisels and cutting discs with flex. It is the removal of the material that is the most challenging aspect of the work, mainly because it is an irreversible process. In the end, the artist works with conventional hand tools to remove the mechanical reversal of the stone. She favours local Carrara files of various shapes for precision of detail. A final polish reveals the beautiful colours of the stone’s streaking. Another material that Durová works with is Acrystal Carrara, which imitates the nobility of marble but retains a great degree of delicacy.