Sculpture elevates a Swansea hillside garden

Sculptors Wojtek Biczysko (barefoot) and Ania Biczysko in the Swansea garden that has showcased both their works.

How would you put a price on artwork? Some artists may command high prices for anything they produce, though many can’t. The Canada Council for the Arts notes the median income for a visual artist in Canada is a little under $14,000 a year. It’s safe to say, most are not doing it to become rich. And yet they keep on art making, and making the world more beautiful for us to enjoy.

In my month of gratitude, I’m thankful they do – not excluding the world of gardens. Like this one in Swansea we saw on the Toronto Fling, and met sculptors Wojtek Biczysko and Ania Biczysko. Both have – and have had – various pieces displayed in this garden over the years. (For other examples, including Ania’s work, see slides 9-13 in our slideshow from Through the Garden Gate 2011.)

Barely visible in my first, big-picture shot, Wojtek Biczysko’s shimmering curtain of hammered stainless steel called Presence is a huge wow in real life, transforming itself from every angle. As it sits at the top of a winding flight of steps on this sharply sloped lot, one of the angles is even from below as you climb (panting) back to the top of the hill.
Biczysko-the-he also created this undulating steel railing, designing it in place to wrap around old stumps in the paving. The stump-hugging curlicues are perhaps my favourite part.


Further down the slope, terraced pathways take you past this pendant sculpture installation, set to hang from the branches of a tree. The bell-like drops might be seed pods, flowers or buds. What would you guess? This is the closeup…
…here is the overall effect. Very organic.
Looking up from near this spot, you can see the railing atop the dry stone terracing – and if not dry stone in actual practice then dry stone in effect. It makes it all seem like a natural part of the escarpment overlooking the pond.
I didn’t venture all the way down to the banks of Grenadier Pond – running out of time. Sadly, I missed seeing a very cool piece there by Ania Biczysko. View it here at the end of this post by Janet Davis on her blog The Paintbox Garden. You’ll also see that Janet and I (and many other Flingers) were drawn to the same images!

The sheer mastery of designing a garden on such a challenging slope – in addition, of course, to the view that the slope provides – is part of the pleasure of this garden. But what drew our collective attention, I think you’ll agree, is the artwork that takes this hillside garden to the next level.


  1. Satisfying placement of art in a garden is a big challenge. Finding the art that speaks to you is also challenging. But I agree: it takes a garden to the next level.

  2. The art didn't overwhelm, rather it enhanced an already incredible garden. I enjoyed everything about this garden–the lot, the view, the house, the art, the plants, the paths, and perhaps most of all that railing–which seemed to tie it all together.

    1. Yes, I loved that railing. Biczysko's story of staying at the home and figuring out each twist and turn over time was really interesting to me. Hard to put a price on that level of customized artistry.

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