Wladyslaw Saldyka

Portrait photo

Władysław Sałdyka (*) was born in 1915 in Ostrowy Tuszowskie, a village in the southeastern part of Poland. After the Second World War his parents settled with their family in Kąty Wrocławskie, a small town in Lower Silesia. Władysław found work in a dairy factory and started a family. In 1957 he suffered such burns while boiling a milk jug that he went blind on one eye. After his recovery he became a security guard at a construction company in Wrocław. 

Harvest time (198?). Oil paint on board 35×74 cm.

After his retirement he increasingly retreated to his garden shed, where he listened to the radio ‘alone with himself’. To the experience of his family members he was ‘messing around’ with wood and paint. The contacts with the wife and children were mainly limited to drinking coffee and having dinner. Occasionally he received an old friend and avoided family gatherings. He thought conversation was a waste of time. He prefered the available time on the hobby that was still unclear to his family members.

Breakfast under the haystack (198?). Oil paint on board 42×71 cm.

After some time, his family members found out that he had started painting and woodcarving. They were very surprised because they had never heard Władysław talk about that before. Even more amazing was the energy he unleashed.

Harvest party (198?). Oil paint on board 45×79 cm.

In his paintings Sałdyka depicted scenes from his childhood, rural life and events in the political-military history of Poland.

Wedding party on the field (198?). Oil paint on panel 50×75 cm .

For his wood carvings he went into the forest with an ax and saw and returned with tree trunks that could barely be lifted. He chopped and carved in his garden shed with great pleasure. He made polychrome sculptures of birds (ducks, pheasants, turkeys, toucans, parrots, guinea fowls, peacocks, storks, woodpeckers and owls), traditional images from religious folk art, a large-format music group (1.5 meters) and a mysterious boat which seemed to have come straight from a dream. Sometimes he worked with polyethylene. In addition to three-dimensional sculptures, he made relief sculptures with images of peasant life.

The return of Piłsudski from German imprisonment (198?). Oilpaint on board 52×72 cm.

Władysław Sałdyka was very productive until his death in 1999. His paintings and wood carvings were purchased for the museums of Wrocław and Jelenia Góra and many important private collections at home and abroad. He took part in a large number of exhibitions and received many awards.

(*) For this biography information is used from an interview by Hanna Jurowska-Kępa (Association of Kącka Country Lovers) with the artist’s son and daughter.