Walenty Pytel Book Signing Event
This unique Walenty Pytel Book Signing Event is to be held at Radway Bridge Garden Centre, Hereford on 30 November 2021 at 6pm.
It is Walenty Pytel the Internationally acclaimed sculptor’s only authorised biography by Catherine Gilling, photography by Jason Hodges and foreword by the acclaimed journalist and critic Quentin Letts. The illustrated hardback book is indeed a work of art in itself and would grace any collection.
The book is also accompanied by a documentary film,” Sculptures in the Sky”, which can be seen via Vimeo, https://vimeo.com/544198320 . Fugue Visions’s photographer, Jason Hodges in his own unique style showcases Pytel’s sculptures with a fitting soundtrack composed by Randolph Alexander.
A LIFE MOST EXTRAORDINARY
You will, no doubt, be aware of Walenty’s sculptures particularly the more notable public commissions. This biography delves into the lesser known life story of the artist, including details of his traumatic earlier years and escape from the Nazis before arriving in England as a refugee at the end of WWII. Some interesting facts, which have never previously been disclosed to the public, are revealed.
Born into hell on earth in Polish occupied Ukraine in 1941 to a teenage mother and a father who became lost to the family in the social turmoil and was subsequently imprisoned for forging currency notes. There was obviously an artistic ability in the blood. Walenty had no idea of this and that his ‘father’ was actually his stepfather until he was married with children of his own and the man finally left his troubled mother. Sadly she never really recovered from the brutality that she had experienced under the Ukrainians, Russians and then the Germans. As a blue-eyed, blonde-headed baby, Walenty was taken by the Nazis and given to a Gestapo officer and his wife. Having escaped from a German camp herself, his birth mother had to steal him back from a pram in their garden before fleeing for her life along with another single mother, Natalie Hermann, and her daughter Klara. On reaching the safety of the camp in Italy, his mother met his stepfather and gave Walenty to Natalie who brought him to London, along with her own daughter. By the time Walenty was five years old, he had had three mothers.
At the unusually early age of fifteen Walenty was accepted by the Hereford School of Art as he was clearly a gifted artist inspired by nature, an inspiration that has remained with him. This is where he first met Mary who was expelled two years into her studies because of her ‘liaison’ with him. Walenty spent five years at the Hereford School of Art before taking up his first position as a graphic designer in London at McLaren’s Publishers in 1961…. and the rest is history! – Jubilee Sculpture, New Palace Yard, Westminster, outside the Houses of Parliament to commemorate the 1977 Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen…Europe’s leading sculptor of Birds and Beasts…work in Europe, America, Japan, the Middle East…..
Upon his return to Hereford from London in 1962, Walenty opened two studios in town, married Mary, indulged in fishing and shooting and despite almost losing a leg in a freak shooting accident he recovered, went on to create hugely successful works and became recognised throughout the world. Walenty experienced a dramatic stroke and roof fall in 2007 whilst carrying out repairs on his estate. He was hospitalised for several months and had to relearn many of the basic skills, including talking and walking.
A man of exceptional strength and vitality, he made a truly miaculous recovery and continues to produce amazing works from his studio at Hartleton, Ross on Wye, Hereford. In the book several close friends who have known the quirky character over many decades have shared frank, honest and entertaining anecdotes when interviewed which make the biography an engaging and enjoyable read.
Fees & Tickets
for the book
Event LocationRadway Bridge Garden Centre Hereford, A4103, Whitestone, Hereford HR1 3RX
Organiser: Walenty Pytel Gallery and Sculpture Tours