MONUMENTS

A few years ago I was a guest at the Summer Philharmonic Aukso in Wigry. The concerts took place in the Camadulian monastery and in surrounding locations. After one of the concerts, a couple I did not know approached me. Talking to them I learned that they were Kasylda and Alojzy Nawrat, who were born in the same small town in Silesia I came from –namely Kochłowice. I was still further surprised when it turned out they had settled permanently nearby in Buda Ruska, and that Alojzy was a painter, sculptor, and the owner of his own gallery, on the Nawrat’s property. It is an unusual feeling – to meet a compatriot ‘at the end of the earth’ who is at the same time an artist. The conversations and reminiscences flowed. There was no question but that I should visit them in their home in Buda Ruska.To this day I have in my mind’s eye the unusual atmosphere of that surreal, remote place. Meadows, forests, the horses in the stables, a country cottage out of a historical film, with a fireplace and huge table in the chamber, and above all, somewhere to this side, the gallery. A wooden building where Alojzy exhibited his works – paintings, sculptures, masks of well -known figures and an instrument – with a long history, on which it was said famous musicians had played, which completed the spell cast by this magical place. It was all as unreal as in a dreams. Despite the passage of time, this image and the atmosphere of our meeting have stayed in my memory. I never met Alojzy again. Some time later, Kasylda rang me with the news of her husband’s death. This corner of the world has lost a Man possessed of an imagination and passion rarely seen.

Profesor Eugeniusz Knapik, November 2018