The COSMO Art & Science Foundation, established in 2013, has announced its first cultural grant project. The foundation’s founders, Barbara Bruns and Wolfgang Stamp, selected a worthy recipient for the arts grant – a sculpture specially designed for the Palais des Papes in Avignon by the renowned artist Stefan Szczesny.
The 6.5-metre sculpture, made of polished stainless steel, symbolises the Tree of Life and is being exhibited from 7 June to 26 October 2014 in the Benedict XII cloister, one of the two cloisters at the Palais des Papes in Avignon, as part of a retrospective of the artist’s work. Through various botanic elements and female figures attached to an abstract tree sculpture, Stefan Szczesny engages with his signature themes of vitality and joie de vivre. His use of reflective surfaces also brings different eras into contact with one another, resulting in an exciting dialogue between contemporary art and the setting of the installation.
“It was precisely this dialogue between the artwork and its surroundings, as well as the reimagining of the tree motif, that appealed to us, because the tree symbolises growth, life and nature – elements which are also central to the COSMO Art & Science Foundation,” is how the foundation’s founders, Barbara Bruns and Wolfgang Stamp, explain their choice for the foundation’s first arts grant.
The foundation is guided by the principle that promoting art and culture and ensuring animal health in animal breeding are important elements in respectful relations between humans, animals and nature. “We believe that both areas involve specific requirements that cannot be fulfilled through profit-oriented means alone. This is something we both feel very strongly about, and the Tree of Life is a beautiful symbol for our work. Furthermore, after the end of the exhibition in Avignon, the sculpture will be transferred to us here in Winsen, where it will reveal yet more facets,” Barbara and Wolfgang continue.
While the foundation’s scientific work has already yielded its first fruits, resulting in numerous successes in the fight against the symptoms of distichiasis and cataracts in dogs, the foundation is now delighted to also be engaged in new projects and partnerships in the area of art and culture, the results of which will soon be on display (alongside other artworks) in the COSMO Foundation’s own sculpture park, which is scheduled to open in the near future.