Victoria-based artist Birgit Piskor pairs art and concrete

Victoria-based artist Birgit Piskor uses concrete as a medium for her sculptures. Next to the vibrancy of the flowers, the concrete seems stiff and rigid, yet it also adds a structural interest to the gardens. It’s fascinating to experience.

Birgit Piskor photo credit: Sherri Martin

When I think of concrete, I think of construction. Art doesn’t really spring to mind. Yet concrete is exactly what Victoria-based artist Birgit Piskor uses as a medium for her sculptures. I had the opportunity to meet Birgit recently on a trip to Victoria and she showed me around her famous gardens and studio.

Originally interested in ethno-botany, Birgit was on track to pursue a career in medicine. Her path led her elsewhere and she eventually turned to gardening – a pursuit that proved so successful, her garden was featured on Recreating Eden, a series documenting some of the world’s most gorgeous private and public gardens.

Birgit says that it was her garden that led her to sculpture, looking at her garden one day and realizing that it needed sculpture. Not finding any pieces in stores that appealed to her, Birgit opted to make her own sculpture and placed these in her garden.

When I visited her just a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to see her sculptures in her garden. While the garden wasn’t in full bloom yet, the effect of the sculptures amongst the flowers could still be felt. It was truly striking – next to the vibrancy of the flowers, the concrete seems stiff and rigid, yet it also adds a structural interest to the gardens. It’s fascinating to experience.

Not all of Birgit’s pieces are intended for the garden; some are meant to be hung on the wall and many of her pieces could work indoors as well as outdoors. What was perhaps most remarkable to me about her work is the fluidity and life that she brings to concrete. It seems like such a rough material and yet Birgit’s works feel alive and delicate.

Curious to know what concrete art looks like? If you’re in Victoria this weekend, Birgit is having an open house (there’s only two a year!) March 29 – 30 from 11 – 4 pm. Her gardens probably won't be in bloom yet, but it's definitely worth a visit if you can make it. 

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