Delicate with the chain saw
Sculpture as a Message:”Guardian” by Gabriele von Lutzau in Idstein

It should not only be jewellery, but also a watchdog: Gabriele von Lutzau’s “guardian” in the new Idstein clinic. photo: wita/Kühner
From 10.01.2008

It stood at an exposed place in the Idstein Forest – at the crossroads to Schlossborn. Now it is located in a prominent position in the foyer of the newly built Idsteiner Helios Clinic. The hornbeam trunk became an art. The sculptor Gabriele von Lutzau took care of him with a chain saw and flamethrower. A brute tool that can be explained by her life story: in 1977, as flight attendant Gabriele Dillmann, she experienced the kidnapping of the Lufthansa aircraft “Landshut”.

Birgitta Lamparth

“She has pretty wild wings – should I tame her?” asked the sculptor from the small village in the Odenwald, her former colleague Ute Samson. “No way: Idstein needs a little bit of wild, feminine stuff,”was the answer of the non-medical practitioner and former Idstein town councillor. She set the “Guardian” project in motion. Gabriele von Lutzau titled her highly towering sculptures, which resemble angels. She was once called “Angel of Mogadishu” by the 86 passengers of the “Landshut”, who were in the hands of terrorists for five days.

This drama, which is currently being filmed and will be released as a TV production on ARD in the spring, was 30 years ago with Nadja Uhl as Gabi Dillmann. Gabi Dillmann has long since become the renowned artist Gabriele von Lutzau. And when Ute Samson was looking for a work of art for the new Idsteiner Klinik and met her works, she rediscovered the former colleague. Through this association, the Idsteiner Krankenhaus support group, which she co-founded, was able to commission a work with the support of Naspa.

Five trunks of hornbeam from the Idsteiner Wald were driven to the artist’s studio in a concerted action with the building yard – the Idsteiner Baum becomes even more “guardians” for other locations. Gabriele von Lutzau used the chain saw to carve out a delicate silhouette of a delicate woman out of a tree with two main branches for the Idstein work. The slender sculpture is crowned by two wings that are spread out in a protective manner and with their notched surface look very much alive. After drying, the work was darkly flamed and provided with an organic varnish.

Since September 11,2001 Gabriele von Lutzau has been working with this technique, in which works are blackened in her own ashes. Former guardians were even gentler in blue. Now the 2.45-metre sculpture will receive an even more stable pedestal so that it will not be subject to fluctuations in the day-to-day events of the later 80-bed clinic. The sculptor herself was taken with the combination of a health centre and a watchman:”There are artists who work with showing fears. I work differently: I want to oppose the fears of freedom and lightness” is a credo of her work. A guardian angel for Idstein – and a very well chosen motive for a hospital.