Historic doors have been given a new lease of life. A joint project of the Norblin Factory Foundation and the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts

The Norblin factory regained even more historic elements. This time, eight pairs of doors from former cladding workshops have been recreated using a variety of artistic techniques in printmaking and painting.

  • Historic elements from the former Norblin factory regained their splendor and returned to space.
  • As part of the joint initiative of the Norblin Factory Foundation and the Academy of Fine Arts of Warsaw under the slogan “O (d) create the door”, six students and two graduates of the Faculty of Painting and Graphics created artistic installation designs that have evolved into a permanent fixture in the revitalized complex.
  • For the work of young artists, eight pairs of doors were used, which were originally located in former factories.

“O (d) create the door” is another initiative of the Norblin Factory Foundation in collaboration with the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. The work of an interfaculty team consisting of students and graduates of the Faculty of Graphics and Painting, led by Dr. hab. Jan Mioduszewski and Dr Marcin Władyka, resulted in eight reinterpretations of the historic doors of the Norblin Factory.

Installations on permanent display in the space of the revitalized facility in Warsaw’s Wola district were created by: Magdalena Apanasewicz (fourth year student of the Faculty of Painting, specialization in the Artistic Fabric studio in the Visual Structures studio), Liza Orlowska (second year student of the Faculty of Graphics), Magdalena Rogowska (4th year student of the Painting Department, specializing in the Visual Structures studio), Maciej Kozicki (graduating from the Painting Department), Alicja Kukier (4th year student of the Painting Department, specializing in the Studio of Artistic Textiles and the Visual Structures Studio), Anna Rutkowska (graduated from the Department of Painting) and Jan Dopierała (second year student of the Faculty of Graphic Design).

– The idea of ​​the “Open Academy”, a university that understands the challenges of the modern world, is outward looking, accessible, vibrant and diverse, is really taking shape, and the project “O(d) create the door” is a of the manifestations of this evolutionary change – says the rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw Prof. Błażej Ostoja Lniski.

Creative encounters and dialogue with history

The coincidence with the title of the project is apparently not coincidental. The joint action of the Academy of Fine Arts and the Foundation provided the opportunity for a creative encounter and dialogue with the history of the Norblin factory, and therefore also with the history of Warsaw. The contemporary world, with all its baggage of problems, makes us more and more aware of the need for cooperation and dialogue.

The meetings of the group of female students and teachers in the workshop activities of the project “O(d)create the door” took place in the formula of a partnership exchange of experiences between generations (teachers, experts of the foundation, graduates, graduate students and freshmen ). This allowed the implementation of eight objects that complement each other, contrast with each other, presenting a wide spectrum of artistic activities, reinterpreting the history of the place while showing the authors’ artistic personality.

The reality of this action, the fact that it was made public, that it went beyond the walls of the university, has been an extremely important incentive for artists for whom it is also an excellent opportunity to promote and get into circulation. Artistic interventions at the old gate of the Norblin factory will certainly be a valuable part of their portfolio.

Regardless of the differences between the various faculties of the Academy, as a result of the different art problems undertaken, one thing remains in common – sensitivity to what the student, and the artist in the future, entails when crossing the university walls – which is his artistic personality, how to help him define it, understand it, transform it into artistic independence.

Collaboration of the Norblin Factory Foundation

The Norblin Factory Foundation has already partnered with Dr. Marcin Władyka, a leading Polish graphic designer and teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, who led the jury of the competition as part of the artistic initiative – “A nuż, fork” from 2020 onwards.

– Norblin Factory Foundation sees a lot of potential in young artists who think differently these days – they search, are open and want to experiment. Many elements of the former Norblin factory contain creative energy, so we decided to entrust some of them to artists to breathe new quality into them. This is what happened in the case of the painting and graphics faculty of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. The binder of the joint project was also the figure of Wojciech Jastrzębowski – an outstanding Polish artist and designer of applied arts. His works were produced in the Norblin factory, brothers Buch and T. Werner, among others. His thoughts and ideas are currently being pursued by this faculty of the Academy of Fine Arts – he says Arthur Setniewskiz of the Norblin Factory Foundation, director of the Norblin Factory Museum.

Wojciech Jastrzębowski, professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, specialized mainly in sculpture and graphics. During his many years of artistic activity, his projects received wide recognition. In 1922 he won the competition to design Polish coins that were in circulation until 1939.

The most recognized Polish companies of the interwar period carried out the projects created by the artist on behalf of numerous state institutions, including embassies and the military. One of these places was also the Norblin, Bracia Buch and T. Werner in Warsaw. Jastrzębowski was also co-founder of the famous “Cepelia”, the aim of which was to interweave Polish folk tradition and craftsmanship with the more modern usage needs of today’s consumers.

The works created as a result of the “O(d) create the door” project skillfully interweave history with the present – eight pairs of doors from former sheet metal factories have been recreated using various artistic techniques in printmaking and painting. .

This is the next phase of the restoration of the historic elements of the Norblin factory. Thanks to the efforts of the Capital Park Group – the investor and initiator of the revitalization – not only post factory buildings and machines were renovated, but also smaller elements, such as the aforementioned doors, shutters, information boards, lamps, trolleys and industrial tracks. There are several hundred in total, and most of them have returned to the revitalized complex as ornaments
and a testimony of the past.

The works created under the project were installed on level -2, creating a permanent exhibition of art in the usable space of the Norblin factory. As a result, visitors will come into contact with the cultural offerings that characterize this place from the very first moment of their stay in the facility.

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