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INFORMACJE W JĘZYKU ANGIELSKIM



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     Józef Stanisław Ostoja-Kotkowski was born on December 28 1922 in Golub in Pomerania     (the present Golub-Dobrzyń – a town in Kujawsko-Pomorskie province) from parents belonging to the intellectuals – Stefan and Jadwiga Kotkowski. He died on 2 April 1994 in Stirling close to Adelaide (Australia).

     Stanisław Kotkowski was related to Witold Gombrowicz by his mother Antonina, whose maiden name was Kotkowski.Witold Gombrowicz’s grandfather – Ignacy (born in 1837) and Stanisław Kotkowski’s great grandfather – Stefan (born in 1835) were brothers.

     In 1937 the Kotkowskis moved to Przasnysz, where Stefan Kotkowski (Stanisław’s father) started to work as a managing director of the local bank. In 1939 Stanisław Kotkowski finished the fourth form of the grammar school in Przasnysz, passing an examination for the secondary-school certificate. During the Nazi occupation he was learning painting from Olgird Vetesco – an artist who was working in Przasnysz  at this time. In the years 1945 – 49 Kotkowski was studying painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dusseldorf. In the late 1949 he emigrated to Australia., where he studied at Victorian School of Arts in Melbourne. In 1955 he settled down in Stirling close to Adelaide. He never set up his own family.

     Being a painter, sculptor, scenographer, photographer, Kotkowski often used the most up-to-date technological achievements in his production. From 1960 he was working on transforming sound into colours and shapes. He was the first in the world to use laser effects during a theatre play (1968) and an opera performance (1974). He was the author of bas-reliefs, sculptures, frescos, luminations placed in different public buildings in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra, as well as the monuments in Cooma (1988) and Adelaide devoted to Tadeusz Kościuszko and the Victims of Katyń. Kotkowski also created abstract painting compositions made of glassy enamel, optical collages, computer graphics based on a fractale formula (1989), artistic photographs, kinetic photography shows, laser spectacles and concerts. Apart from this, he invented devices generating music in contact with human body, the so called “theremins” (1975), chromosonic towers (including the “singing tower” in Adelaide made in 1978, reacting to street traffic with a whole range of colouful, pulsatory lights) and the kinetic solar fresco “Solaris” (1986).

     Kotkowski was a holder of the Churchill scholarship, a member of the Royal Society of Art in London, a Polish activist abroad. After he had left Poland, he was in the country twice. His first visit took place in 1967. In September 1991 he participated in the great exhibition of emigration artists entitled “We are present”. Within this event he presented his laser concerts in Warsaw Philharmony; in Przasnysz he met his family and friends.

     His works can be found in Australian and foreign collections, both state and private (among other institutions keeping record of  Kotkowski’s life and work there is the Historical Museum of  Przasnysz). For his artistic achievements Stanisław Ostoja-Kotkowski was awarded  the medal “Meritorious for Polish Culture” and  in 1992 the British Queen Elizabeth II granted him the Medal of Australia. In Przasnysz the Town Cultural Centre and one of the streets bear his name. Furthermore, Stanisław Ostoja-Kotkowski memorial medal is granted.

                                                                 Translated by  Robert Kozakowski

 

Solaris

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