The Sergey Kazantsev’s Art Temple Construction
From the memories of the sculptor
As soon as I acquired the land in the village of Borzya, I had an idea, to fulfill my dream of constructing a workshop, a gallery, and a platform for the art of sculptures – on the open ground under a vast sky. A place for construction was immediately determined: a high hill, offering a wide attractive gaze to the forest and river.
In the beginning, I consulted a professional architect, discussed the project, paid for the sketch, but finally, I rejected his services and decided to do everything myself. First of all, by that time I already had some experience in construction. Second, the work of a sculptor implies the ability to understand master different complex materials, for example, stones, metals and wood. Third, the sixth sense always helped me – both in work and in life.
I wanted to realize an architectural project that would express the creative essence of man and his existence, the triumph of his creative spirit. In one of the Soviet magazines on achievements in world culture, I saw photographs of the American country estate “Villa over the Waterfall”. The villa was built on a rock, on the water, and the walls were made of glass. This idea inspired me a lot. I did not have a rock, so I planned to build a foundation and a basement of boulders, natural stones. To create a powerful monumental foundation for the house in complete harmony with the music of my beloved Beethoven.
There were no special funds for the construction. Therefore, at first, things went very slowly. I earned 20 thousand – I could buy a cement, I mixed cement myself. I bought a hundred bricks and put it myself. Sometimes hired assistants. Two assistants made a cement-tub in a quarter of a cube for half a day without me, and with me – an hour and a half, in the morning before breakfast. A builder-neighbor for the marble sculpture that I gave him sent an excavator to dig a pit.
In 1993, I started to import huge boulders from the nearby and distant localities quarries on Kamaz-car. In those days, boulders were considered waste, garbage, so I could easily buy one Kamaz-car for $ 100. In total, we brought 15 vehicles of boulders in two years.
The laying of the foundation and the base was carried out during one summer. One of the military organization, whom I helped with the design of the territory, provided a crane. I started the installation of boulders at the required angle and the required height, I also led a team of 10 people, performing the functions of a brigadier. As a result of this feat, in 4 years I built a foundation 3 m high and plus the underground basement of 2 m deap.
Then, the angels took pity. My mama prayers connected to the other world. She felt sorry for seeing my torment, she prayed, and Gazprom company offered me an order for Prometheus sculpture. For the first time in my life, I got paid equivalent to my skills. Luckily in 1997, I managed to finish the construction of the workshop, invested all my money. A year later the great financial crisis in 1998 happened. If I would have delayed for at least six months, I would not have succeeded to build it.