Piotr Gargas Elpis

Piotr Gargas: Elpis (Greek Goddess of Hope)


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Asymmetrical with softly jagged edges, the highly polished, poetic portrait of Elpis is fragmented and positioned at a slight angle. The scrupulously carved eye captures the viewer's gaze in an instant, providing an intimate window to nature’s soul, and element by element, the organic atmosphere morphs into the eye itself. The tender contours and curves of the face leaves a delightfully smooth texture, whilst the whole of the back inhabits a multitude of grooved finishes, promoting a sense of infinity and optimism.

In Classical mythology, Pandora liberally scattered a selection of evils from her box, leaving one crucial and redemptive element inside: Hope, personified as Elpis. Piotr’s extraordinary affinity with the stone he is carving is palpable, taking a block of one of the most tactile materials available in England and skilfully exploiting its velvety grain, warm colour and darker veining as shown here in Elpis.

“With him liveth sweet Elpis (Hope), the nurse of eld, the fosterer of his heart – Elpis, who chiefly ruleth the changeful mind of man.” – Pindar, Fragment 214 (trans. Sandys) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.).

Piotr spent five years in Poland formally training as sculptor, where the traditional discipline involved the study and copying of classical pieces. This led to him becoming involved in restoration work, travelling across Europe for the next decade to work on the decorative stonework of numerous historic buildings, while continuing to learn from the work of generations of past stonemasons and artists. This work has inevitably been described as stone ‘cosmetic surgery’, but the process of repairing eroded and damaged sculptures has led to the development of Piotr’s own artistic style. His current work has been inspired by working on the colleges and churches in Oxford. More recently he has focused on using modern 3D imaging technology to then create his own sculptures in stone, which reflect the flow and harmony so evident in organic form.


More of this talented, self-taught sculptor's works are on display in our lovely Burford Art Gallery.

Materials: Ancaster weatherbed limestone, suitable for indoors or outside.

Dimensions (approx.): H: 179cm, W: 56cm, Dia: 30cm, stone plinth H: 17.5cm cm, W: 35cm, Dia: 35cm, plinth base: H: 5cm

Burford Garden Company is acting as an agent on behalf of the artists displaying work in this online gallery. Refunds on works are discretionary and goods must be returned within seven days of purchase, at the latest.

Please note this item is available for in store collection and for local delivery. Please contact us on 01993 823117 or email info@burford.co.uk for a quote for mainland UK deliveries.