Maria Saekel-Jelkmann was born in Berlin on the 18th of February 1923.
During the years 1938-1942, she studied Fashion Design and Illustrations at the Textile and Fashion School in Berlin where she got her Diploma and Master’s Degree. In 1943, Maria continued her art studies in the Academy for Visual Arts (closed at the end of 1943).
The Second World War left its mark on the life of Maria. During 1942-1943, Maria, like many other art students, was ordered by the government to work in compulsory war service. She was appointed to work for the German Air Force. Fortunately for her, due to the fact that she had a degree in Art, the Air Force assigned her to work in a film studio with a view to creating films about the successes of the armed forces. According to Maria, this assignment was very badly organised, and none of the participants in this exercise seemed to know what exactly was expected of them, or how the films had to be produced.
In June 1944, she was sent to Primkenau / Silesia with other art students and Professors.
The end of 1945 gave Maria a chance to return to Berlin. She started to study in the re-opened West-Berlin Academy for visual arts. Her Professor, Friedrich Stabenau (stern and demanding), proved to be the best mentor Maria had had in the art world at this time. There she acquired the basic knowledge in the techniques, which as she says, could be used in its own way for exploring its style and artistic expression.
Over the years, Maria produced numerous works using various techniques and experimenting with different materials. She expressed herself in paintings, charcoal drawings, sculptures, pottery and other objects. The techniques she used in her creations were, Glass painting, Oil monotypes, Grattage, Batik, Coal drawings, Watercolour and Acrylic painting.
Between 1948 and 1950, she continued in the art route. She studied Theatre Design and Illustration at the Munich Academy under the guidance of Professor Emil Praetorius. She married Wilhelm Saekel who was a journalist and editor for foreign politics at “Sud-Deutsche Zeitung”. She worked for newspapers and publishers such as “Frankfurter Neue Presse” or “Enrenwirth”, as an illustrator and creator of children’s stories. Writing and illustrating were as equally important to Maria as art. She considered the work as a further extension to her artistic expression. She edited the children’s page in “Sud-Deutsche Sonntagspost” and made illustrations to Carl Brinitzer “Wo Die Queen Regiert” and many others.
Maria moved to London permanently in 1967. She resided in Kew with her friends Irene Herzfeld (aka Geyer-Harding) and Curt Geyer. In 1968, she went to the Richmond Adult College to study Pottery and Sculpture. She then spent the next 4 years learning in detail the various techniques in this field. Maria believed that talent is only one percent, and the rest hard work.
All of Maria’s life experiences are reflected in her work.
In 1969, Maria became interested in Complementary Medicine, initially to treat her own ailments which did not respond to allopathic medicine.
In 1983, she obtained Diplomas in Homeopathy, Iridology and Auricolo Therapy (Ear Acupuncture). It became a long and exciting journey of discoveries, changes and revelations which were both rewarding and amazing. It evolved into Energy 2000 Plus, which in the year 2012, was recognised and accredited by ICNM (Institute for Complementary and Natural Medicine) and the OCN (Open College Network).
The struggle with her own health motivated Maria to teach others to help themselves.