In 2014, Daniela Kapralova, a Rusyn photographer and a curator at Sninsky Kastiel in Snina, Slovakia, put together a little book about a woodcarver from Čabiny near Medzilaborce – Andrej Gavula. Beautiful photographs of the woodcarvings accompany her warm but erudite interpretation of the artist’s life and work.
Gavula has been carving for over 18 years. Even now, although his health prevents him from working on big pieces for too long, not a day goes by without him at least touching the wood. Kapralova writes: “Andrej Gavula has a God-given gift and an innate feeling for this natural medium… He perceives it as a living matter that he communicates with. He focuses all of his artistic efforts on capturing the authentic, everyday work of the villagers that is strongly connected to the nature and traditions. On many levels this authenticity reflects upon the artist himself, because he is part of that community. Gavula’s carving avoids unnecessary detail; it is restrained, sober and rhythmical. His artworks are as natural and pure as mountain springs in the Carpathian forests.”