Meeting friends after many years


I had the opportunity to travel to the Stifungs  Kunstplace museum in Dusseldorf, I transported  manuscripts being loaned to the museum, I’ve had some experience overseeing making books cradles and I assisted in making books cradle process and installation process.


Art and Alchemy Exhibition spanning all epochs and genres will be introducing the exciting link between art and alchemy in past and present times. 250 works from antiquity to the present, encompassing Baroque art, Surrealism, through to contemporary art from collections and museums in the USA, Great Britain, France, Mexico and Israel reveal the fascination which alchemy applied for many visual artists.


Alchemy:  this is the art of making gold and redeems metals or other substances from their supposedly imperfect state. The desire to create something new and to explore the all world and this idea was shared between alchemists with many artists. German exhibition will be presented are works from all types, from ancient times until today, and artists such as Joseph Beuys , Jan Brueghel the Elder , Lucas Cranach , Max Ernst , Hendrick Goltzius , Rebecca Horn , Anish Kapoor , Yves Klein , Sigmar Polke , Rembrandt van Rijn , Peter Paul Rubens or David Teniers.


The last week was a great week, not only that I travel as courier and on the first day of my stay in Dusseldorf the weather was beautiful (this is very important for person from Glasgow) but I also added some of my memories.  I met my old friends after a long gap.


I met my  university friend Krzysztof; he is paper conservator in Museum Schloss Moyland, museum of modern and contemporary art as well as an international research centre on Joseph Beuys. The museum’s collection is based on the former private collection of the brothers van der Grinten and is preserved and displayed in the historic castle which looks like a fairy tale building.


Krzysztof assisted in installation art  works for exhibition in Dusseldorf.  Amazing coincidence so meet up in one place and  meet up after near 16 years and be part of the installation team  in museum. Krzysztof worked in the modern part exhibition which  the show the art of the 20th and 21st centuries.


I worked in the exhibition part included  pre-Enlightenment art, in particular works from the 16th and 17th centuries  with  richly illuminated manuscript  and  all these allegorical Jan Brueghel  and Hendrick Goltzius  paintings.



What are the odds? We have already been at museum in Dusseldorf, at the same time – small world!!!

You can believe or not but I also was able to reconnect in Dusseldorf with my best friend Ewa from primary and secondary school after all of these years.   We shared many, many good times (ski, school, first paintings lesson).  I moved away first and as life goes we lost touch.  So I was very happy.


 I’m so  happy for Ewa, she is artist; she studied in Torun, later in Münster and now lives in Cologne.  The one of  her coloured linocut  prints hang on my wall in my house ( the red on).


Through line and space, colour she creates images which are universally understood. She explores the objects and the relationship between them. Many artists print only a single colour, such as black, but Ewa many times added colour to hers works.

The linocut it’s a process that requires a lot of carving and a lot of blocks to later store, but the advantage is that the artist doesn’t need to print the entire edition all at once. Since each block is separate it is also possible to experiment with colour variations of the same image. Uff !!!!


Could you  imagine a petite person with approximately 2 meters linocut print……no…….but this is Ewa.

From conservation point of view linoleum often abreviated to lino is a surface covering material first made in England in 1863 and produced some ten years later in France. The word was coined using the Latin words linum (linen) and oleum (oil). Linoleum is made of a layer of cork dust mixed with linseed oil, gum, and resin, the whole being compressed onto a piece of jute cloth. Linoleum is water proof and is rather supple when it is new or when it is kept at a temperature between 20° and 25° degrees Celsius.

This technique was used by artists like Matisse and Picasso who demonstrated the possibilities of this medium although it is true that the techniques used in wood cutting and lino cutting are much the same it must also be said that each has its own relative specificity. Both woodcuts and linocuts are based essentially on black/white opposition even though the use of colour can give spectacular effects, especially when applied in solid colour areas. Linocuts can be made more rapidly than woodcuts and due to this linoleum permits a greater amount of spontaneity. It is a malleable substance that accepts flexible, light, and free lines. Furthermore, any kind of line can be cut into this substance including simple and crossed lines as well as dotted work [lines].

I remember how she manually with the “spoon” technique printed several blocks of linoleum to ensure the proper pressure and believe or not it’s not easy for job special for a petite girl.

Someone says it doesn’t matter how many days or years go by, a best friend is someone who after numerous years you can still talk to like was yesterday. It is true just a few minutes  it was like all old days came back.

This might not be the most interesting blog as far as content, but I wanted to post it in dedication to my friends. I am proud of both my friends today and just once my advice to everyone is to look up those old friends. Please remember this slogan:

The way you see people is the way you treat them, and the way you treat them is what they become.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe




About conservationwithella

Hello, I'm Ella, Art on Paper Conservator & Preservation Manager at Glasgow University Archives and Special Collections. This blog is a walk through my daily life, work, arts & crafts history, my discovery that everything in my life is enough to be a continuous source of reflection. I started blogging to entertain myself but I hope you enjoy it too. I'm sure you agree, that Life without art is nothing. :)

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