New Forest Explorations

Untitled nature art by © Imke Rust

Untitled nature art by © Imke Rust

On the weekend we explored a new piece of forest close to our home. I enjoy that there is still so many interesting places we do not know all around our new home and especially so much nature. The days are slowly getting longer and occasionally the sun shows her presence. I am deeply grateful for that.

Have you ever considered how conditioned we are by the environment we grow up in, and that we are familiar with? Have you felt overwhelmed by new landscapes in a positive or negative way?

I realised that I am still feeling unfamiliar with the environment and that whenever I am outside I enjoy getting to know and experience all these unfamiliar impressions, like a tourist would do. But just like a tourist, I am still very aware of not belonging. It takes time, but slowly I am feeling a bit more familiar with the forest, the weather, the space and the animals around.

With all this nature around us, I found it strange that so far I had not felt called to make any art outside. Once I realised this, I also understood that it does take time to adjust to a new environment, especially if it is so much the opposite of what you know.

I can now already identify a few local birds and trees by name. I am getting a bit more used and comfortable with the winter weather and the wetness of this area. I have watched deer grazing, a fox walking past, studied a red kite circling above our heads and now I have also seen my first wild boars in the forest! They saw us first, so to be totally honest, I just saw three large dark backs running away from us in a split second.

All this makes me feel blessed and honoured to get to know this world.

This weekend, on our walk through a forest, I suddenly regained the spontaneous inspiration to experiencing my surroundings creatively. While my husband continued his walk I stayed behind and just started. I found some wood shavings from a freshly cut tree and nearby a small V-shaped tree who called me….

It felt really good to be creating out in nature again and becoming aware of the challenges of a winter forest landscape. So different to a sunny desert plain…

Anyway here are a few pictures of my latest land art piece and I hope it will be followed by many more soon!

(Please click on the images for a larger view. Then use the arrows on the sides to get to the next image.)

PS. Just a few meters away from this work is the Oder-Havel canal, and at some stage I turned around to this:

Nawa = Good!

Nawa = Good!


That moment when a ship passes you on an outing to the forest and reminds you all is well, and does so in a language you only associate with home i.e. Namibia… For the non-Namibians: Nawa means ‘good’ in Oshivambo and is used pretty wildly, even by non-Oshivambo speaking people.

5 thoughts on “New Forest Explorations

  1. Janet

    Fabulous! I love your land art piece. And identify with your feelings about your environment, and your discoveries! I still experience it every time I go hiking!! I’ll be experiencing something similar, but also very different next month. We’re moving from a more natural home to a flat in an urban area, right next to the city. I won’t have a garden anymore, so I’ll be starting indoor gardening, and will have to make more of an effort to get into outside spaces and non-urban sites. It’s exciting, scary and daunting. I’m going to miss the mountains at our current home, but I also look forward to being close to Table Mountain again, even though she is currently being ravaged by the worst fires since 2000. Anyway, I believe our surroundings have a much larger impact on how we live and respond to the world than we realize.

    1. Imke Rust Post author

      Thank you, Janet! Great to hear from you again. I enjoy following all your new endeavours and happy to see you are doing so well! And yes, our environment has such a great impact. Even though I always thought how cool a forest area must be, I realise that it often makes me feel claustrophobic. And I always wished for a more humid environment, but now I sometimes yearn for a dry patch on our lawn in the morning… Wow, good luck for your move, Cape Town is such a wonderful, bustling city, and fortunately the mountain, beach and nature are not far. It will be exciting to see what that new environment will bring out in your art and life. We have made the exact opposite move, from a flat-building in the middle of Berlin to a tiny village on the outskirts, with a garden and a forest on our doorstep. All the best for your new start in CT.

      1. Janet

        Thank you, Imke! Very true, Cape Town is an incredible city in that it has so many natural spaces around and close to it. Enjoy your new village life and I look forward to see what new expressions the forest and garden awakens in you! Much blessings x


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