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Frantiska Blechová, Fairytale Garden

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Visiting Information

The garden can be seen from the street.

About the Artist/Site

Frantiska Blechová, a previously relatively undistinguished woman from the small village of Biskupice in the Vysočina region of the Czech Republic, married a local mason; the couple had one son. In Biskupice, as in most villages, it is common to use the garden in front of one’s house for growing vegetables and flowers, so in 1978, at age 67, when Blechová began creating sculptures in this space instead, most of the villagers saw this as a strange pastime. However, in general they were sympathetic to her creative activities, and through her transformation of her garden into what became known as a fairytale garden, Blechová began to become well known.

Blechová constructed some forty sculptures out of concrete to populate the garden of some 400 square meters. Her figures included musicians, gnomes, princes and princesses, and common workers of all kinds, as well as a wide variety of animals, including giraffes, zebras, lions, frogs, and elephants. She painted all works in colorful hues and provided them with hats and/or other accoutrements suited to their personality or vocation. Blechová also used to dress some of the sculptures with appropriate clothes, depending upon the season.

She also created the tombstone for her grave in the local graveyard. It was constructed and decorated in her distinctive style: a structure built from many types of stones, decorated with angels and turtledoves, and painted in bright white, ocher, and purple colors. After her death, Blechová was indeed buried under this tombstone and rested here for many years, but later it was replaced by one that is more common in the eyes of the bereaved.

After Blechová died, the future of the site was unclear for a number of years. The mayor of the village– supportive as many of her neighbors had been of her creative work – told a regional newspaper that if necessary the sculptures could be stored in an empty room of the local public school. But then in 2013 the property was sold, and, happily, the new owner, Jan Bierhanzl, bought it with the intention of restoring the sculptures and maintaining the site. While the house itself needs the water pipeline replaced as well as other repairs, which will be scheduled soon, the important conservation work on the sculptures took place in 2014-15. It was undertaken by the professional artist Aleš Novák  of the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague (UMPRUM); subsequent to the restoration of the concrete work, a group of friends of this art environment repainted the sculptures in a style closely referencing Blechová’s approach.

The garden can be seen from the street.

~Henk van Es

 

 



Map and site information

Not Exact Address
Biskupice, Czech Republic
Latitude/Longitude: 49.083108 / 17.710427

Visiting Information

The garden can be seen from the street.

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