In 2018, Poland celebrates the 100th anniversary of independence it regained in 1918 after being divided between Prussia, Austria-Hungary and Russia.
History constituted the starting material for art installation “Flowers of independence” in the summer term of 2018. On this occasion, by the initiative of Prof. Anna Bulanda-Pantalacci, Annina Baeger (MA Student) and Silvia Gessinger (Dipl. Des. MA) from the University of Applied Sciences (Trier, Germany) together with the Faculty of Art of the University of Opole (Opole, Poland), there was held a three-day workshop with participation of 37 students of the University of Opole.
The goal of the workshop was to make an installation of over 400 waterproof origami blossoms in the very centre of the University area.
The art of folding paper has a long tradition and originally comes from China and Japan. It was presented and visualized in the lecture given by Annina Baeger followed by intensive three days of folding and glueing in the particularly pleasant working atmosphere.
Why the origami technique
Stylization can be defined as simplified representation, abstraction and in some parts reduction of a detailed three dimensional reference.
Origami makes it possible to create stylized figures and objects. Complex shapes are reproduced through the mere folding of a sheet of paper.
Installation and its meaning
On June , 4th, 2018, with great effort of students and teachers, residents of Opole and tourists, the installation was put in place – they all were symbolically “planting” the origami blossoms together. Later, the blossom effect was enhanced by indirect lighting.
Symbolism of flowers
Tulips and daisies have different meaning and symbolize freedom, independence, luck, strength or faithfulness, human warmth, creativity, energy, light, hope or love – for this very reason they were chosen for the project. All the above represent the values of society and highlight the position and the setting during the 100th anniversary of the Polish independence. Tender and easily folded blossoms give space for interpretation – a simple sheet of paper has become a blossom by means of creativity.
This process is meant to show the potential of Poland: a country full of creativity and strengths in the past, the present and the future.
Placed on thin metal rods, the blossoms sway with the wind, symbolizing the dynamic and referring to the environment and nature. The widely spaced art installation displays the growth and capacities of the country, reinforcing the message by flower symbolism. The lightning enhances the effect – blossoms have turned into the sea of flowers in darkness.
Installation has achieved its purpose – the observer was fully engaged in the symbolic, creative-visual experience and perspective, encouraging reflection and their own creative thought.