Just like the cork sculptors...
...of the 18th century Dieter Cöllen is interested in portraying the present state of historical buildings through cork. Contrary to the masters Cöllen develops his ideas for a cork model not solely through analyzing old engravings or traveling to the object itself. My work is also based on scientific foundations, on the latest discoveries and research by the archaeologists and architectural historians I collaborate with. What I show is therefore a reconstruction or documentation of the respective building. Work on a model might last from a few weeks to several months. As the time needed varies from object to object, a price can only be quoted after a personal consultation. Clients for my models of modern architecture and historical buildings range from architects, homebuilders, museums, collectors, organizations for the protection of historical monuments and anyone who wants to own his favorite piece of architecture.
Since the beginning of the eighties...
...Dieter Cöllen has been producing architectural objects in creative cooperation with his clients. In the nineties his interest in discovering new materials and techniques led me to the old and, until then, forgotten art of modeling with cork. Through scientific research, studies of ancient objects and last, but not least, thanks to my experience of architectural modeling I managed to uncover the secrets of phelloplasty (cork modeling) which had been guarded closely by the old masters and to develop its tradition further whilst setting high demands on craftsmanship and artistic skill. To this day several cork models of historic architecture have been created, including works of Roman, Greek, and Egyptian architecture. I have also incorporated the cork ruins of Roman buildings in my creation of models of modern architecture. Cork lends itself to the production of models of architectural objects of many different materials.
The systematic destruction of the world cultural heritage Palmyra compels Dieter Coellen to use his skills as a model-builder to allow people to once again experience what has been lost. His unique cork models, on display in numerous leading museums and collections, have impressively proven that it is possible bring to life – both visually and emotionally – lost worlds using the natural material cork. Based on close cooperation with eyewitnesses, documentarists and archaeologists, the model of Palmyra will recreate the physical presence of the lost original. Like no other material, cork makes it possible to create a reproduction of cultural monuments that retrace the past naturally. The model can make the loss visible and enable viewers to experience it as a personal loss. In view of the enormous symbolic power of the Temple of Bel, Coellen plans to construct this first, with the intention of making it the centrepiece of his reproduction of the entire site. The archaeological stone plans of Henri Arnold Seyrig form the basis for this reproduction. His precise and comprehensive work enables an exact reconstruction of the monument and show its condition prior to its destruction in 2015.
The cork model is to be displayed publicly after a construction time of around six months. The aim of all efforts is an exhibition that reveals the momentous changes of our time and enables viewers to comprehend these emotionally on multiple levels.
Dieter Coellen cannot complete this project alone, so he is seeking dedicated supporters: sponsors who will support this project financially, intellectually and emotionally and thus become a part of the living resistance to unbearable destruction.