Imke Rust

Imke Rust explores different believes and conditions which shape our communities and which influence her personal reality. Through her diverse creative expressions she searches for underlying patterns and tries to find alternative ways of seeing and understanding the world.

Her multi-layered works effortlessly combine and navigate between the personal, social, political and universal. Embracing a variety of media, such as drawing, installations, video and sculpture – the work of Imke Rust often uses and combines simple, everyday or found devices such as thorns, masking tape, salt or chalk. Rust regards materials and working processes as important carriers of the underlying message of the work and therefore carefully selects them to emphasize and add to specific aspects. She succeeds to convey complex ideas in a simple, subtle, yet powerful and witty manner.

Imke Rust was born in Windhoek in 1975. She received her BVA degree through the University of South Africa and has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. She has won the Standard Bank Namibia Biennale in 2001 and 2005 respectively and has initiated several project promoting Namibian arts and artists.

The artist lives in Neu-Friedrichsthal, a small rural village just north of Berlin and has a second base in Namibia.


Curriculum Vitae

Imke Rust

Bachelor of Visual Arts (BVA), University of South Africa
Born 1975, Windhoek, Namibian visual & conceptual artist, living in Germany and Namibia.

Full-time artist based in the countryside, just north of Berlin and in Swakopmund, Namibia
Co-founder and Managing Director of p.art.ners berlin-windhoek gGmbH. (2007-2010)
Self-employed as artist, curator and writer ( since 2004)
Curator at the National Art Gallery of Namibia, Windhoek. (2003-2004)
Part-time studies: BA Degree Visual Arts, University of South Africa. (1999-2006 & 2011)
Diploma in Travel and Tourism, Cape Town, South Africa. Working in tourism till 2002. (1993)

Awards and Stipends:

2020 ‚Silent Echo’ Global Nomadic Art Project, Mongolia 2020, (only exhibition due to COVID-19)
2019 1st Abidjan Green Art Biennale “Dechiffrer la Foret“ (Decipher the Forest)
2018 9th International Forest Art Path ‘Art Ecology’
9th International Wind Art Festival “moving wind” 
2017 Urban Nature Art – Global Nomadic Art Project Germany
2016 International Land-Art Maastricht
2016 Stories of Rain – Global Nomadic Art Project South Africa
2012 Grant from the National Arts Council of Namibia for land art project
2012 Special Mention, Our Coast Your Photo competition, Swakopmund
2008 Thupelo International Artist Workshop, Cape Town
2006 DAAD ‘Artists-in-Berlin Programme’ 2 month stipend in Berlin, Germany
2006 Bremer Kunststipendium (Bremer Parliament /Heimstiftung): 3 month stipend in Bremen, Germany
2005 First Prize (Overall Winner) Standard Bank Namibia Biennale
2004 Third Prize in the category: Sculpture in the National Ceramics Biennale, PAN
2001 First Prize Standard Bank Namibia Biennale
2001 “Highly Recommended” Award in the Sculpture Category in the Standard Bank Namibia Biennale.

Solo Exhibitions:

2018 Fremde Welten. Orangerie Oranienburg
2017 The Horse is a Problem. The Horse Must Go.
Pasinger Fabrik, Munich
2017 Imke Rust – Land Art,
Museum auf der Hardt, Wuppertal
2012 ...and I sensed an infinite scream passing through the Namib, The Last Resort (non- gallery industrial space), Swakopmund
2012 Goldgräberstimmung, Grafik-Studio-Galerie Neumann, Berlin.
2010 Made in China, Bank Windhoek Omba Gallery, Windhoek
2008 wo-man, Wild Art Gallery, Franco Namibian Cultural Centre, Windhoek.
2006 Memories / Power&Politics, Rathaus Reinickendorf, Berlin, Germany
2006 Memories / Power&Politics, Bundespresseamt, Berlin, Germany.
2006 Memories / Power&Politics, Jugendkunstschule Atrium, Berlin, Germany.
2006 Imke Rust: Bremer Kunststipendiatin, Haus der Bremer Buergerschaft, Bremen, Germany.
2005 Memories, Goethe Centre/ Namibisch-Deutsche Stiftung, Windhoek
2004 flying solo, National Art Gallery of Namibia, Windhoek.

Selected Group Exhibitions:

‚Silent Echo’ Global Nomadic Art Project, Mongolia
9th Geumgang Nature Art Video Biennale, Gongju, Republic of Korea
FamilienARTen (Kunst & Wissenschaft), RWN Galerie, Neubrandenburg, Germany
5. Kunstsalon ‘Heisse Ware’, Ziegeleipark Mildenberg, Germany
Kunstwandeling EB, Museum Schokland, Netherlands
17. Brandenburgischer Kunstpreis, Schloss Neuhardenberg, Germany

“Dechiffrer la Foret“ (Decipher the Forest), Abidjan Green Art Biennale, Côte d’Ivoire
Ich höre den Schakal
, Künstlervereinigung Dachau e.V., Dachau, Germany
Zusammen.Wachsen, Kulturhaus Karlshorst, Berlin, Germany

Geumgang Nature Art Biennale 2018 ‚Wind’, 2 works, Gongju, Republic of Korea
9th International Wind Art Festival ‘moving wind’ 2018, Zierenberg & Habichtswald
9th International Forest Art Path, Darmstadt, Germany
5.+ 6. Kunstraum, Oranienwerk, Oranienburg, Germany
“Voor een visitekaartje op de eerste rij!”, Huis voor de Kunsten Limburg & Schunck, Heerlen, Netherlands

YATOO trifft Dreieich, Städtische Galerie, Dreieich

Narratives of Space, National Art Gallery of Namibia, Windhoek
Geumgang Nature Art Biennale 2016 (Video), Korea
Weite Wirkt, in Münster, Rheine und Bocholt, Deutschland
Art Inside, National Art Gallery of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia
Bread, Salt & Wine, The Project Room, Windhoek, Namibia
KUISEB Namibia, 2-Person Exhibition, Brotfabrik Galerie, Berlin, Deutschland

Body & Soul, Fine Art Gallery, Swakopmund, Namibia

DIALOGe, Aachner Kunstroute Proziton, Aachen
Imago Mundi Project – Namibia: Land of Memories and More

2013 Desert Tavern Berlin, PrenzlProm Atelierhaus, Berlin

Privatbesitz – Sammlungen Bremer Künstlerinnen und Künstler, Städtische Galerie, Bremen
Our Coast Your Photo, Studio 77, Windhoek & The Art Gallery, Swakopmund
Annual Visual Art Museum Programme, National Art Gallery of Namibia, Windhoek
Magic in Art, Woermannhaus Gallery, Swakopmund.
Namibia 6 (Berlin-Windhoek 2008-2012) Rathaus Galerie, Kunstamt Reinickendorf, Berlin

Jahresendausstellung, Grafik Galerie Neumann, Berlin
Visual Artists of Namibia Annual Members’ Exhibition, National Art Gallery of Namibia, Windhoek
Neu in der Graphothek, Rathausgalerie Reinickendorf, Berlin 
Junge Kunst aus Namibia, Volksbank Trossingen
Annual Visual Art Museum Program, National Art Gallery of Namibia, Windhoek
Junge Kunst aus Namibia, Berliner Abgeordnetenhaus Galerie. Berlin

New Works, 2 person exhibition with Silke Berens, Studio 77, Windhoek
Women Art Exhibition of Namibia National Art Gallery of Namibia

Aakulu Yonale/Vorfahren: Namibian Printmakers 2-person exhibition with Alpheus Mvula. Montcalm College, Michigan, USA
Sculptures in Space Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre, Windhoek
Aakulu Yonale/Vorfahren: Namibian Printmakers 2-person exhibition with Alpheus Mvula. Kendall College of Art & Design Gallery, Grand Rapids, Michigan, US
emanguluko -An exhibition of thoughts on independence Studio 77, Windhoek

Seven Colored Stones Yuan Art Gallery, Da Shanzi Art District, Beijing
Sharing Spaces Thupelo artists, Accident Gallery. Eureka, California, USA

Thupelo International Artists Workshop Open Day, Cape Town, South Africa
expressing.etosha art project permanent site-specific installations at Namutoni, Etosha National Park, Namibia (Catalogue) September 2007
Junge Kunst für die Graphothek  Humboldt-Biblothek in Tegel, Berlin, Germany

Standard Bank Namibia Biennale, National Art Gallery of Namibia, Windhoek. (Catalogue). 1999/2001/03/05
okuthindila: contemporary printmaking from namibia London Print Studio, UK

An unobstructed view: new art from Africa  GTZ headquarters, Eschborn/Frankfurt, Germany
Ai//gams Cultural Festival Art Exhibition, Katutura Art Centre, Windhoek
National Ceramics Biennale 2004, National Art Gallery of Namibia, Windhoek

Human Touch Exhibition of Namibian art in Turin and Milan, Italy. (Catalogue)
Female Artists of Namibia National Art Gallery of Namibia, Windhoek

Projects and Experience:

2021 Public sculpture commission: Wer war sie? Namenstropfen, Gedenkort Waldbau, KZ Neubrandenburg , Germany
2020 Public sculpture commission: Frauen-Kamm-Silhouetten, Gedenkort Waldbau, KZ Neubrandenburg , Germany
2016 Public sculpture commission by the German Consulate General of Donetsk for the City of Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.
2015 Co-curator of ‘Understanding’, an exhibition with 8 young, but well-known Kharkiv artists, Kharkiv, Ukraine
2008 Huang Hua Art Project: spent three weeks working in Beijing with Swedish artist Torsten Jurell.
2007 – 2010 Co-founder and MD of p.art.ners berlin-windhoek gGmbH, responsible for organizing, coordinating, funding and marketing of more than 50 different projects in visual arts, dance, music, theatre and film under the “Shared Experiences” artistic exchange program between Windhoek and Berlin. (Read more about it here)
2008 Initiator and coordinator of the ‘expressing.etosha’ art project for the centenary anniversary of the Etosha National Park. Curation of documentary exhibition at NAGN.
2004 Organiser and curator of the “Postcards from Namibia to Germany” exhibition, Goethe Center, Windhoek, on behalf of the German Embassy and the Goethe Center, German Cultural Weeks.

Permanent Collections:

Iwalewahaus Collection, University of Bayreuth, Germany
Graphotek Berlin, Germany
National Art Gallery of Namibia
Arts Association of Namibia
European Union (Windhoek, Namibia)
Etosha National Park, Namutoni – Permanent Land Art Installation (Namibia)
Public Sculpture, City of Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.

Workshop Facilitation:

2018 to date: Teacher at the Kreisvolkshochschule Oberhavel, creative courses
2016 E-course teacher for the ‘21 Secrets’ Workshop series
2015 “From Artist to Curator” 2 day workshop as part of the “International Workshop for Curators” in Kharkiv, Ukraine, organized by the Municipal Gallery of Kharkiv
2011 “Land Art Workshop” part of the EU funded “BERLIN STAGES – LIVE!” Grundtvig Workshop, Berlin
2011 “Exhibition Building and Marketing Workshop” John Muafangejo Art Centre, Windhoek. Responsible for 2 day workshop facilitation on planning and marketing of exhibitions.

Public talks & Presentations (Selection):

2015 “Things I Learned as a Curator” Public talk, Municipal Gallery of Kharkiv, Kharkiv, Ukraine.
2008 “Installation art and the expressing.etosha art project” public talk at the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre, Windhoek
2006 Freie Universität Berlin (as part of a series of political lectures about Africa: Ringvorlesung: AFRIKA – EUROPAS VERKANNTER NACHBAR). All talks in this series have been compiled and published in a book by the same name. Germany
2006 Berliner Abgeordnetenhaus (Berlin-Windhoek heute – Memories. Power and Politics. Ein Themenabend mit Imke Rust), Germany

 Publications: (about my art and projects)

„Art Grant of the City of Bremen 2003-2008“ catalogue, Editor Dr K. Vatsella, Hachmann edition, Germany
„Seven Coloured Stones“ exhibition catalogue, Beijing, China.
„Afrika Europas verkannter Nachbar Band2“ Book, 2008) (Peter Lang Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften)
“FiB Kulturfront” Culture magazine Sweden, 2008. (Author: Torsten Jurell)
Konstperspektiv, Sweden, 2008 (Author: Torsten Jurell)
Art South Africa, Dec 2007 (South Africa) (Author: Kim Gurney)
expressing.etosha art project catalogue (Author: Meredith Palumbo, PhD)
UP ART, BBK Sep 06, Bremen, Germany (Dr Katerina Vatsella)

Publications: (cover art)

Canis Africanis by Sandra Swart (Author), Lance Van Sittert (Editor), Brill Publishers


Imke Rust

Email: imke(a)imkerust.de       (please replace the (a) with an @ for sending your email)

Postal Address:

In Germany:
Postal Address: Birken Str 11;  16515 Oranienburg, Germany

In Namibia:
Postal Address: P.O.Box 61, Okahandja,  Namibia
Physical Address: Brückenpark, Swakopmund, Namibia

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/imkerust_artist/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ImkeRustArt/