10 May 2023
As it is known, the University of Pécs Medical School announced an anonymous competition in January 2023 for creating a sculpture that is a worthy remembrance of dr. Endre Grastány’s life, scientific and academic achievements with the titled “Creating a work of art for the namesake of the new theoretical block, dr. Endre Grastyán”. Professional sculptors with references in the field were eligible to apply. Dr. Endre Grastyán graduated from the University of Pécs, and led the Physiology Department until his death; he also led the Nerve Physiology Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The organisers of the competition looked for works that are inspiring, creative and attention-grabbing, and worthy of the mentality of Grastyán. 14 works were submitted, the results were announced on May 8.
The members of the jury - dr. József Bódis, curator director of the Universitas Quinqueecclesiensis Foundation, dr. Attila Miseta, rector of the university, dr. Miklós Nyitrai, dean of the Medical School, dr. Tibor Ertl dean’s adviser, dr. László Lénárd, former director of the UPMS Physiology Department, dr. Csaba Horváth and dr. Ágnes Előd sculptors and dr. Katalin Aknai art historian - made their decision on April 26. The first place was awarded to dr. Klára Orosz, docent at the University of Szeged Juhász Gyula Faculty of Education, Institute of Art with application number 15. The second place was awarded to dr. Dóra Palatinus, adjunct of the UP Faculty of Music and Visual Arts with application number 7, and the third place was awarded to Zsuzsa Tóth, assistant lecturer at the UP Faculty of Music and Visual Arts with number 9, and Géza Széri-Varga, sculptor from Csobánka, with application number 6. The artists will receive a monetary compensation of 350 thousand, 300 thousand and 250 thousand Hungarian forints respectively.
“The Medical School’s initiative to honour the memory of dr. Endre Grastyán, an emblematic professor, is very beautiful. I did hear him give lectures, and he always amazed us with his modest style and appearance. I was surprised to see that the artists decided to capture the mentality of the professor instead of a classical representation. Anyways, they definitely made the jury think”
– said dr. Attila Miseta, rector of the UP.
Dr. Miklós Nyitrai, dean of the Medical School said about the prelude to the sculpture competition that the student body of the Medical School has grown a lot in the past 15 year, which has necessitated the expansion of the infrastructure in order to maintain and develop the quality of education. A new building was constructed on about 12 thousand square metres, with the first two floors serving educational purposes, the other two housing departments and research labs. The new base was named after dr. Endre Grastyán, and they wanted to honour him with a sculpture as well, which is why the national competition was announced.
He explained about the works that they did not use figurative representation, but rather a modern, fresh way of thinking, matching the personality and mentality of Grastyán.
“Both the professional and non-professional jury and the public wanted work number 15 in the first place. Its description states that the artist saw a way to represent the mentality and scientific expertise of dr. Endre Grastyán in the brain and brainwaves. This is what gain the attention of the jury and the public: the creative idea, the quality design and model, and the supplementary materials. Imagining the work in the park, I think it will work well in the space and will inspire shared thoughts”
– summarised the dean.
Dr. Klára Orosz, the winner, has explained that she worked on the sculpture with her colleagues. They were happy that the organisers of the competition did not want a traditional figurative representation, but rather a work showing the essence of the mentality the professor stood for.
“Drawing in the viewer is an important part of my work, so the internal space of this work will be accessible, viewers will be able to crawl inside and lie down. The zigzag surfaces are the anthropomorphic representation of brain waves. Users will be able to listen to meditative music inside the structure that will trigger the activity of theta-waves. These brainwaves are very creative and incentive, inspiring and they enhance our intuition. Using an QR-code, inpatients of the clinic can also view the sculpture and enjoy the relaxing flow sensation and positive, healing power of the theta-waves”
– she said.
In the next weeks, discussions about the realisation of the sculpture will begin between the leadership of the faculty and the winner. The sculpture is planned to be unveiled – depending on its completion date – on October 28, during the University Medicine and Dentistry Days, or on February 25, 2024, on the 100th anniversary of Endre Grastyán’s birth, in the Northern Park of the new Medical School building.