Wood artists from all over Romania, at Chainsaw Sculptors Festival

The village of Cerna in the Vaideeni commune, the southern Valcea County, resounds these days with the sound of chainsaws by artists from all over the country at the National Festival of Sculptors with Chainsaws, an event that reached its seventh edition this year.

A relatively new art, chainsaw sculpture has become a landmark for the Valcea commune since 2017, when the first edition of this festival took place, unique in Romania at that time, because there are not many in the country who dare to shape wood with this tool used as a rule to destroy, and not to create.

From year to year, the event in Vaideeni grew and more and more artists came to the Valcea locality, attracted by the beauty of the places, but also by the themes chosen by the organizers. It is the same this year, when the challenge given to the participants by the organizers is to “return”, a kind of plea for the rediscovery of the beauty of this special area in Valcea County.

“I’m doing absolutely everything in the sense of sensitizing young people to see that the area can be beautified by us, not by someone else. The theme is 75pct intended for public places. We are beautifying and creating a tree of life with roots firmly planted in the earth here, in Cerna,” the host of this event, Adrian Bondoc, says.

“Now is the first time I participate. I’m the newest of all the boys. It’s been three years since I started. I’m a novice. I started by accident. In the forest over there, I found a big log and it seemed to me that the log was saying something. I took the chainsaw and began to cut it here and there and I made a bust which I now have at the gate. It is something huge. And from there I got the germ, I got infected, if I may say so. (…) I will come back every year. It’s a pleasant place and if this is where the festival started, it’s good to finish it. And there’s still something left in our legacy, that is the essence until the end – for something pleasant to remain,” Ilie Costea, who comes from the village of Mosneni, southeastern Constanta County, says.

Ilie Costea says that he will make the bust of Prince Constantin Brancoveanul these days in Vaideeni, one of the works that will beautify the school park in Vaideeni, the stake of this year’s festival being that most of the works made by the participating chainsaw sculptors will reach different public places in commune to delight tourists, since last year the Valcea locality has been a tourist resort of local interest.

“Too many words cannot be said. Our works must say the most words, not us. Those who look at us must understand the essence of the work and the beauty that is returned to them from a rotten wood, a dry wood, a dead wood, which no longer had life,” says Doru Stan, from southern Dambovita County, who, together with another participant, will create the ensemble that will be placed at the fountain at the entrance to the village of Cerna, suggestively dubbed The Tree of Life.

“This year we will complete three objectives that will remain in our heritage, of the community. There are two statuettes, of the rulers Constantin Brancoveanul and Alexandru Ioan Cuza, which will be placed in the park of the Luca Solomon School in Vaideeni, next to which, on panels, we will mention both their history and the connection of these rulers with the Vaideeni community. Another objective will be the arrangement of the well at the entrance to the village of Cerna. It is actually a complex that will be arranged where two years ago we also placed a triptych. There are beautiful objectives, that will be enjoyed by us and by our visitors, who are increasing in number in Vaideeni,” adds the mayor of the locality, Daniel Baluta.

The chainsaw sculptors festival in Vaideeni will end on Saturday, with a speed carving competition, in which each of the participating artists will have to create a work in a maximum of one hour, which will then be offered to those who will be present at the closing ceremony in a raffle.