A dozen or so years ago, my late friend Professor Piotr Decowski had just finished renovating his house near Czarna (Black) Hancza River, and invited us to the Suwalki region. It was then that we first met his dear friend Alek. It all started with Alek, who after settling in the area brought his friends there. From that moment onwards, for many years we have spent our holidays near Czarna Hancza. With Alek it was friendship at first sight. It was not only about meeting an interesting man, but also seeing art being created. Since then, we were frequent guests in his charming wooden house, and in his studio, but most of all in his gallery. Here, in the spacious pavilion, Alek found a place for his paintings and sculptures. We helped him, together with Piotr, to complete the gallery, and the grateful Alek was spreading the news that two professors of physics are installing lighting in his gallery. If it was a surreptitious advertising, it wasn’t necessary. The first visit was an unforgettable experience for the guests. At the entrance, we were greeted by a monumental sculpture symbolizing the World Trade Centre towers. Inside, the collection of paintings by the artist hung on the walls, and created an atmosphere of concentration, which then exploded with admiration at the sight of the centrally placed sculptures. Alek was a great sculptor, and his figures carved in stone are certainly works of the highest order. The bust of Ewa Fabinska and the head of the pianist Janusz Olejniczak are unforgettable. The gallery was also a meeting place for friendly neighbours as well as locals and visiting artists. The main guest was Marek Mos, a conductor spending summers on the Wigry Lake with his orchestra. Alek’s animated meetings usually took place late into the night. We talked about everything, music, painting, as well as the creation of the universe and the quantum physics. The place of our meetings was not only the gallery. Alek loved an evening bonfire that he used to light on his meadows on the banks of the Black Hancza River, and to which he invited not only friends, but also visiting guests guided by the principle he always observed that friends of our friends are our friends. There was a lot of wine, grilled sausages, and other local delicacies. We listened to Alek’s stories, we talked about everything, and time flowed languidly like the black river rolling slowly somewhere beyond the circle of light.We will always remember Alek and our holidays in Czarna Hancza. Sadly, those beautiful times, along with him, are gone.
Professor Andrzej Turos