Category Archives: Interventions & Guerilla Art

Floating Energy – 9. Int. Forest Art Path, Darmstadt

Floating Energy by Imke Rust

The Site-specific Installation

106 Red branches seemingly floating about half a meter above the ground. Flowing down the hill, winding its path through the forest. The total length is approximately 70m and the width varies between 1m and 4m.

Created in August 2018 as part of the 9th International Forest Art Path, in Darmstadt, Germany. Located in the forest behind the Darmstädter Böllenfalltor.

The Idea Behind it

The environment is comprised of energy and energy is always in motion. We can see many of these energy streams or sense them in one way or another. Many other such streams we are not as aware about, as we have unlearned to sense them. When we understand these energies better, we know how to flow with them or understand why crossing or opposing them might be more difficult.

When thinking or talking about nature, we often forget, that we are part of nature and we are nature too. We bring our own energy to the world, just by being who we are and doing what we do.

Usually I work in a very ephemeral way or I take my works away after I have documented them. This is the first time that I will leave a work in nature for an unknown period of time.

How will my energy and installation impact on its surroundings? And how will other energies of the forest react to it or interact with it? Will the wild pigs manoeuvre around it or destroy it or not even bother? What kind of energy will the visitors to the park bring to it?

Floating Energy (Detail) ©ImkeRust

The Process and Details

Before I installed the work, I walked around the forest to find a suitable place. While I kept some necessary artistic criteria in my mind, I mostly looked for a place that felt right.

Once I had the right place I spent quiet time walking around, sitting, listening, noticing and feeling into the place, to know where the energy comes from and where it wants to flow.

There is a special fountain of energy at the beginning of the energy flow of my installation. It starts from a large beech tree, but the real fountain is only noticeable from close by and for visitors who are willing to look and listen a bit closer. There is a root hole in which there is a lot of life and activity. Mosquitoes are buzzing around in it, seemingly in a constant energetic flow. Because of this very strong natural concentration of energy I decided to start my installation from here. From the starting point or well, I used my senses to feel how the installations energy would best flow, and followed this intuitive path.

After completion of the installation, I have been able to spent lots of time in and around it, to feel and understand the energy that was created. Once I was satisfied, I placed an offering of water at the origin of the flow and carried a second bowl down the ‘river’ to place it at its end. This way I hope to create even more of a flow and a connection throughout the installation.

I also believe that giving an offering to the forest and its spirits/energy/beings is a way of showing them (and myself) that I am aware and respectful of their existence as equal to mine. I chose water, as it emphasis the flow and also, as it is desperately needed during this very hot and dry time. While I was installing my work, I also realised that the red branches emphasise a warm, fiery energy. I felt a bit apprehensive about this, in a time where the danger of fire is a very real and everybody is on high alert. Water would symbolically cool down the fire energy – I hope.

The energy stream crosses two paths. Here the energy seemingly disappears into the ground and reappears on the other side, so that anybody can cross the stream easily and safely. I have connected the separate parts with a small water ceremony.

The Colour and Materials

I have used Signal Red spray paint for the beech branches, which make up my installation. I consciously choose a colour that symbolizes energy and which is very noticeable in the forest. Especially noticeable as something that was introduced by humans.

It was important to show that we are not separate from nature and everything we do is part of nature. There is only one nature, one energy. This installation is an attempt to better grasp this idea in its complexity and meaning.

Thin metal rods hold the branches up.

…but, is it Environmentally Friendly?

I have used graffiti spray paint from Montana, and doubt that it would be considered as really environmentally friendly. Once the work is starting to decompose, the organisers from the Waldkunstpfad will de-install it and dispose of it through the right channels.

I do hope that this artwork raises the question with everyone who sees it. While contemplating about the environmental friendliness of the paint, I hope we ask ourselves how environmentally friendly our own lives are? The plastic that our food is wrapped in, the cars we drive, the flights we take, the washing powder we use… Even the energy of negative thoughts we bring into this world.

Hopefully each of us is doing whatever we can to live more consciously and I do believe that making people happy through a beautiful artwork adds a lot of positive energy to the bigger equation.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this artwork! Do you have questions? Let me know in the comments below.

A short story about an abandoned cat

My artwork on a lamp pole in Neu-Friedrichsthal

Once upon a time, in August 2015 to be exact, I created a cat, placed a golden crown on her head and abandoned it at the entrance of our village…

Okay, actually I glued it to a concrete pole and hoped it will happily greet any visitors to our little village. Unfortunately it was a very wet August and the so the glue did not stick too well to the pole and the cat, as cats are known to not particularly like wet weather, disappeared very soon.

For a long time, that was the end of the short story about the abandoned cat.

Until recently.

Recently, at the open studio days, we met some kind people who live just down the road from us. Strangely we have not met them before. Possibly because they only live here on the weekends. Anyway, these kind people invited us over to their place soon after for an evening around the fire. It turns out they moved here shortly after we did. That evening they showed us around their house and the renovations they have undertaken.

While inspecting the beautiful house I suddenly had a weird feeling, so I turned around and looked straight into the eyes of a cat. A crowned cat. Lovingly placed among family photographs on the wall.

What a delight to see that my cat is well and ‘alive’ and has found herself a warm and cosy home where she is loved and admired.

When I asked them about the cat, they said, they found it lying on the ground and they were so happy to see some cool art in this area. They thought, if such art can be found here, there surely must be living some nice people too.

And that was the short story about an abandoned and found cat. With a golden crown.

View with street and cyclist

And, if you want to know how cool our down-street neighbours are, have a look at this music video, which was filmed in their garden (and they are among the crowd). Perfectly chilled summer vibes from Meggy & Tigerskin – Bygone Eras:

Creating Elephants (from Mosquitos)

Remember my Hotel-Deco-Busting series?

And the work: ‘Wie man aus Mücken Elefanten macht? / How to Make Elephants out of Mosquitos’?   (Click on the link to read more about it.)

How to make elephants out or mosquitos. (Before and After)

A friend has recently been residing in exactly that holiday flat, where it was made in 2015. He has kindly sent me an update.

Well, my Mosquito Elephants Intervention has been replaced by a more realistic painterly impression of an elephant and baby….

Elephant with baby (Unknown Artist)

So, now you know. This is how to turn mosquitos into elephants… (even if not real live elephants). My intervention has been noted by the owners. And there has been an improvement from the cut-out calendar page photograph to a ‘commercial painting’. Great!

I am very curious if the choice for the elephant picture was accidential or intentional? And I wonder what they did with my altered artwork? Thrown it away? Kept it?

And…..

there was a kind hand-written note asking to please do not paint on the ‘pictures’. The German word ‘Bilder’ can be understood either as artwork or as pictures in general. I guess by putting it into hyphens, they have become aware that there is a difference between art and deco.

Kind note: Please do not paint on the ‘pictures’. Thank you!

This all reminds me, that it has been too long since I have been on holiday or spending time in a hotel or holiday apartment for other reasons… 😦

 

When it Rains Down in Africa…

Travelling by ferry with some of the participating artists on a cold and rainy day.

Travelling by ferry with some of the participating artists on a cold and rainy day.

Finally… I am making the time to share with you the fruits of my time in South Africa as an invited participant of the Global Nomadic Art Project 2016 South Africa. I had such a rich and productive time there, that I slightly shied away from writing about it – I just did not know where to start.

The GNAP ‘Stories of Rain’ Art Project was an incredible journey through South Africa’s landscapes, myths and lively land art scene. Very well organized and carefully planed, we were treated to so many different places, warm hospitality, creative time in nature and an exciting selection of fellow artists. I appreciated the constantly changing small groups in which we travelled. They enabled us to meet so many local and international artists, exchange ideas and create together in a very unique way. Thank you to the GNAP team for this very special platform and project and thank you to all the many South African organizers, especially Strijdom van der Merwe and Anni Snyman,  who made the South African leg of the journey such a memorable one!

I have decided to split all my artworks into smaller groups and introduce them to you in separate blog posts. Trying to keep each one short and sweet, but still let you in on my ideas and thoughts as much as possible.

During the ‚Stories of Rain’ Art Project I continued with my rainmaker project and research. Can we create rain through a conscious and intentional creative process? I have used the surrounding landscapes and materials to explore different ideas from creating clouds out of stones or mud, performing a cloud dance and working with the idea of female tears being conducive to calling the rain.

First I will share with you one of my more familiar looking rainmaker works:

The final Rainmaker Cloud, Porcupine Hills made with earth pigment

The final Rainmaker Cloud, Porcupine Hills made with earth pigment

In the following gallery I will share with you the story of how I created this artwork and rainmaker and show prove of the rain that followed. (Click to see larger versions of the images)

I loved the stay here! Thank you to our hosts Cha and Tony Davenport are such wonderful people and made us feel perfectly at home. The place is great – recommending it fully if you would like to break away from the city for a weekend or longer!

Porcupine Hills offers self-catering guest accommodation and boutique olive oil.  Close to Cape Town (100km) but a world away from city and suburban life.  This is the perfect place to escape into nature and spend time in a quiet, tranquil and beautiful space.

The underlying farm “Diepklowe” is a Private Nature Reserve within the van der Stel Cluster (four neighbouring conservation farms) and is designated as a Cape Nature Stewardship Programme area. It is a core member of the Groenlandberg Conservancy.

The farm was acquired in 2012 by Tony and Cha Davenport and their two sons, Justin and Tobin.

Becoming a Creative Nomad and Rainmaker

I am busy packing. Nervous and excited. In a few days I will be leaving to South Africa, where I am taking part in the

Global Nomadic Art Project 2016
‘Stories of Rain’

Calling the Rainbird by Imke Rust,  Mixed Media on paper, 62x87cm

Calling the Rainbird by Imke Rust, Mixed Media on paper, 62x87cm

I am so thrilled to be invited to participate alongside so many other wonderful artists from all over the world and South Africa.

This project is especially close to my heart, as it will give me the opportunity to further my creative rainmaking research and projects, share with and learn from very interesting fellow artists and do all this very close to home. I have so many ideas and researched material, which I want to explore further and put to use now.

Typed Rain (on photograph) by Imke Rust

Typed Rain (on photograph) by Imke Rust

As soon as I can, I will share a blog post about my experience for all you lovely people who follow me on here! I also plan to post regular pictures and updates on Instagram (This is like an instant photoalbum and I just love it. Bonus: you do not need to have an account to see my page) and Facebook (for shorter, more regular posts and pictures). You can also see previews of both these pages in the right-hand column >> .

So, if you are curious, you are welcome to follow my adventures there too. We will not have regular internet connection, but when we do, I hope to share impressions and updates.

Here is some more information about the event compiled by the organizers:

Stories of Rain - Map

Stories of Rain – Map

#GNAP2016 #StoriesOfRain #SouthAfrica

Stories of Rain will trace the legacy of the first nomadic peoples, creating temporary nature art in response to the varied landscapes and the World Heritage Rock Art of South Africa.

In this time of palpable climate change, we find ourselves at the cusp of profound natural and cultural transformation. The dual disciplines of creative imagination and mediated thinking practiced by artists will be extremely valuable in this transition. The Global Nomadic Art Project offers local artists the opportunity to influence contemporary cultural attitudes towards nature and to explore possibilities for understanding in an increasingly fractured paradigm.

Site_Specific Land Art Collective will invite 8 International artists to join several custom made Nature Art tours of South Africa as part of the Global Nomadic Art Project initiated by YATOO Nature Art Association of Korea. The visiting artists will travel along different routes in small groups – meeting and staying with local participating artists along the way.

To find out more and also read up on my fellow artists who will be part of this event, please visit the official page:
Webpage: SiteSpecific South Africa GNAP

And/or follow the Facebook Page for this event: Stories of Rain

Stories of Rain - South Africa

Stories of Rain – South Africa

The Rainmakeress (Imke Rust) Acrylic and graphite on paper 105x130cm

The Rainmakeress (Imke Rust)
Acrylic and graphite on paper
105x130cm

Calling the Spirit of Rain and Water

DSC01521In my research about rain making I found several interesting stories of how magic drawings on rocks would attract rain. Some of which suggested that you have to find ways to draw the water spirit’s attention and curiosity. Like this story, which made me smile every time I thought of it.

The antelope, who only arrives after it has rained, is presumed to be linked to the water spirit and its favourite animal. The water spirit likes a good party, and will presumably like to attend with their friend, or… favourite animal. So, if the rainmaker draws images of the antelope and dancing people on the cave walls and pretends that there is a good party happening (for instance through dancing, singing and holding a ceremony) she/he will attract the water spirit’s attention and interest to join. But who likes to go to a party where you do not know anybody? Right, so the water spirit, who can turn itself into rain, would like to have its favourite animal friend there too. But the antelope only comes when there is water, so being a good friend, the water spirit will let it rain.

Like, hey, if I’ll buy you a beer, will you join me at this party?

And voila – the rainmaker has made it rain.

So last Saturday we visited the farm and I decided to hold a small party, well – make some rain…

The more the merrier

I chose a nice visible spot, a straight cliff face on the top of a small koppie (hill) and asked my father, brother and husband to join me in creating a rainmaker. This is a part in my different experiments, which I always wanted to try: working together with more people instead of just creating on my own.

I believe that working together does create a more focussed and stronger energy. I guess that is also why it already says in the bible, if two or more people come together and pray, the prayer will definitely be heard.

(Please click on the images to see the full view, thank you.)

 

I stuck to my typical cloud and rain drawings, because I believe that the rain or water spirit will recognise itself and will become curious. And that

like attracts like…

Each of us drew a raining cloud with chalk on the cliff-face, my brother even drew a puddle of water where the rain collected on the ground. The cloud drawings were nicely visible towards the east, where the water spirit usually resides (where the rain usually comes from.) We all had fun drawing and imagining how we are making rain.

Shortly after we started, I remembered to take a picture of the area and blue sky, and was surprised to already see the very first faint rain clouds on the distant horizon.

If you look closely you see the very first small clouds appearing on the horizon

If you look closely you see the very first small clouds appearing on the horizon

 

Offerings – a sign of your abundance

Lastly, I wanted to implement another ‘new’ aspect into this rainmaker. The idea of making an offering… We sprinkled the rock and rain drawings with actual water. I have always thought that adding water to my rainmaker experiments would be another magnet in the sense of ‘like attracts like’, but I realised that there might be another aspect that I have overlooked.

If we are willing to offer a small bit of what we are asking for as a gift or offering in return, we are signalling that we are part of the natural flow. We will not unnecessarily hoard or obstruct the flow of the goodness which we are inviting to us. We believe that there is more of what we have just given away, we believe in our own abundance and the abundance of the water, instead of fearfully holding on to the feeling of lack and scarceness.

 

While we were busy with this, we definitely already attracted the attention of some baboons who were curious of what kind of party is happening…

Baboons are curious and try to figure out what is happening on our side...

Baboons are curious and try to figure out what is happening on our side…

Gratitude expressed

Just before we left the site, I decided to once again express my gratitude, by writing a thank you note on a piece of bone, leaving it at the foot of the koppie for the rain, once it arrives.

A little thank you note for the rain and water spirits...

A little thank you note for the rain and water spirits…

All done we left and it was amazing to watch how the clouds suddenly appeared from all directions, as if somebody had shouted:

Here is a party and there is free beer for everybody!

Anyway, I was slightly peeved that it did not rain that day, although so many clouds came up so fast…

But I also remembered that we must continue to believe in the manifestation for it to become real, no matter what. I have to give thanks again and again, and acknowledge my faith that our prayers will be heard.

I do not know if it is from pure stubbornness or something else, I have long ago started to tell myself if a wish is not immediately granted, it is just because the universe is busy preparing something bigger, better and more awesome than I could even wish for… after all, something that grand takes a bit more time.

And so it was.

Two days later, on our departure to Germany, we received the excited news from the farm that it was raining. The rivers were flowing and everybody was excited that suddenly there was so much rain after such a long drought. And in the coming days Facebook (the modern bush drum) was filled with images and videos of the massive rain received all over the country.

I am grateful and happy.

Rain on the farm and flowing rivers on 18 January 2016 – Photos kindly supplied by Amanda Koekemoer ©

Film Revue: An Infinite Scream

Source: Film Revue: An Infinite Scream

(Sorry to all English subscribers, today I reblog an Afrikaans review about our film which will be screened tomorrow, 14th January, at the Goethe Institut in Windhoek @ 19h15)

En nou vir die van julle wat Afrikaans praat, ‘n Film Revue in Afrikaans van die wonderlike Daniël Bezuidenhout a.k.a Thulana wat met haar woorde en taal kan toor.

Lees gerus ook ‘n bietjie van haar ander blog posts, so mooi geskryf met ‘n wonderlike sin vir humor en interessante stories oor haar lewe in Ghana.

Dankie Daniël!

“Elkeen van ons wat soos ‘n volstruis met sy kop in die sand staan, en vertrou die regering sal na al jou belange omsien, moet ‘n slag staan en wonder hoe goed dit uitgewerk het vir die Boesmans.

 

In ‘n aangrypende artistiese dokumentêr, “An Infinite Scream”, kry die Imke Rust jou kop uit die sand. …lees meer hier