Holger Beisitzer: Metamorphosis as art in construction project

The caterpillar’s wonderful transformation – Metamorphosis as art in construction projects 

The caterpillar’s wonderful transformation – Metamorphosis as art in construction projects

The Maria Sibylla Merian School in Köpenick was given a new multi-purpose building for some time, and four artists were invited to take part in a competition to design the walls. Committed to the environmental idea and artistic education, the school strives to combine aesthetic education with a future-oriented and scientific education and to test it in practical contexts. The specialist and expert jury decided in favour of the competition entry by Holger Beisitzer. With his Kunst am Bau project, he refers to the life’s work of the eponym Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717). She was a natural scientist and artist. Her paintings reflect the diversity of nature. Her drawings express both science and art in equal measure. She is considered an important pioneer of modern entomology, especially because of her precise flower drawings and her observations and depictions of the metamorphosis of butterflies.

Extraction point

Based on a copper engraving by Maria Sibylla Merian with the original title “Der Raupen wunderbare Verwandlung” (The caterpillar’s wonderful transformation) Holger Beisitzer has created a mural. Enlarged tenfold and – at Ferrum Lasercut – laser cut from 5 mm thick corten steel sheet. Of course, the choice of material completes the metamorphic idea – the appearance of the rusty Corten steel points to development and transformation. The motif itself deliberately shows some flaws. Circular elements have been removed, some reappear on other parts of the building, while others remain disappeared. Thus the work of Holger Beisitzer forms a parallel to the art of Maria Sibylla Merian, whose works are nowadays used for many decorative purposes. For example, the DM 500 note, which was valid from 1992 until the introduction of the euro, showed a portrait of Maria Sibylla Merian on the front and a dandelion on the back, on which a butterfly’s caterpillar and butterfly’s butterfly are sitting. The flower motif provides a festive and decorative addition to the functional building of the canteen and multipurpose hall. At the same time, the faulty wreath of flowers with all the insects and its rusty appearance eludes pure decoration. All in all, the patina processes on the material metal fit the building in terms of design and concept and stand for robustness, durability, but also for transformation and development. Life and death are thematised on different levels.

When it came to the realisation of the project, Holger Beisitzer also approached Ferrum. Since he is based in Berlin, it was important to him to have short distances to the supplier. That spoke/ speaks for Ferrum. In addition, he was impressed by the fact that Ferrum already has a lot of experience with art in construction projects and is familiar with the project management in all phases. Mr. Beisitzer praised the uncomplicated and great cooperation with the Ferrum team.

  • Artist: Holger Beisitzer
  • Project: Wall design of the multipurpose buildings of the Merian School Berlin Köpenick
  • Metal work: Ferrum Lasercut
  • realised in: 2019
  • Materials: lasered corten steel
  • Demensions: : HxBxT: 300 x 230 x 0,5 cm
  • Pictures: Emmanuel Decouard u.a.
  • Link: www.holger-beisitzer.de

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