Play Poland Film Festival honorary patron, Scottish artist, art promoter, animator and great advocate of Polish culture – Professor Richard Demarco was awarded a gold medal Gloria Artis by Polish Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski.
On Wednesday, 17th of October 2012 in the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland Bogdan Zdrojewski presented the Gloria Artis gold medal to Richard Demarco. ‘You are a One Man Show, organiser of all types of artistic events, promoter of individualities, including Polish. […] For me it is particularly important that you put a very strong emphasis on educational qualities of culture. You keep remembering about the youth and the imperative to invest in their development’* - said the Minister thanking Professor Demarco for his input in promotion of Polish culture.
Richard Demarco is a Scottish watercolour painter, drawer and graphic arist as well as one of the most renowned enthusiasts of the contemporary arts. He organised over 1500 exhibitions and around 900 theatre performances. For many years he led one of the biggest drama theatre events – FRINGE Festival in Edinburgh. In 1960s’ he established Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh which was later transformed into Richard Demarco Gallery (today known as Demarco European Art Foundation) which promotes a dialogue between European artists. The idea of promoting art over political divisions resulted in the 1970s’ in presenting in Western Europe works of the social bloc artists.
Demarco has worked with many Polish artists, including Magdalena Abakanowicz and Tadeusz Kantor with his group Cricot 2. On request of the professor Cricot 2 performed on numerous occasions during the FRINGE festival. This year, upon Demarco’s initiative director Paweł Passini and his group have staged ‘Puppet. Book of Splendor’ (Kukła. Księga blasku), which includes references to ‘Forefathers’ Eve’ (Dziady) by Adam Mickiewicz and works of Tadeusz Kantor. The professor also supported City of Łódź to become the European Capital of Culture 2016.
During his long career Richard Demarco made friends with many Poles, which was emphasised by him during the ceremony of awarding the Gloria Artis medal: ‘This medal is a certificate of friendship and frankly, it belongs to them. There is very little one can do without a friendship’. *
* quote source: RZECZPOSPOLITA