Category Archives: Performance/ Video

Playing with my Heart

It is International Women’s Day and to celebrate this I have created my very first ever animated GIF and will share it with you today.

A GIF is a graphic format, which I would explain as a kind of moving picture. These formats seem to become ever more popular on the internet and I can understand why. Instead of having just one image, you have kind of a moving gesture, usually composed of a few still images.

And so, without further ado, here it is:

Playing with my Heart

Playing with my Heart, an animated GIF by Imke Rust

I hope you enjoy it!

Heute im Deutschen Hörfunk in Namibia…

Once again apologies to my English followers, as I am now posting an interview in German, which we had today in the German Radio in Namibia.

Heute waren Steffen und ich beim Deutschen Hörfunk der Namibian Broadcasting Cooperation (NBC) und wurden im Auftakt zu der Namibia Premiere unseres Filmes von Ralf Boll interviewt.

Wer es ‚live’ verpasst hat, kann sich hier das Interview noch einmal anhören. Es gibt eine kurze Filmkritik und dann ein recht launiges Gespräch mit dem super Moderator Ralf Boll.

Um das Interview zu hören, bitte einfach oben Start drücken.

Der Film wird morgen am 14ten Januar im Goethe Institut in Windhoek gezeigt. Wir freuen uns, wenn die Einblicke in unser Leben und Schaffen euch neugierig machen. Lasst euch diese (einzige) Filmvorführung in Namibia nicht entgehen.

Ralf Boll, Steffen Holzkamp und Imke Rust im Studio 5 der NBC, Deutscher Hörfunk Namibia. (13 Januar 2016)

Ralf Boll, Steffen Holzkamp und Imke Rust im Studio 5 der NBC, Deutscher Hörfunk Namibia. (13 Januar 2016)

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

Finally! A new year, a new blog post and an important event to announce!

Firstly I wish you all a very happy, adventurous, creative, healthy and awesome 2016!

I hope this will be the year where you make your dreams come true, create the reality that you want to see and find joy and gratitude in your everyday life. That is my motto, not only for the New Year, but for every new day. And added to that, I want to push myself every day to creatively and fearlessly express who I am. How about you? What are your visions and desires for 2016?

I have been quiet on the blog for some time… I am spending time at home in Namibia, with my family, meeting friends, relaxing and creating. Basically replenishing my soul and soaking up the sunshine, warmth and familiarity of home.

Clarissa, my cat, inspecting the last painting I have done in 2015 - an impression of a wild mongoose who visits us daily.

Clarissa, my cat, inspecting the last painting I have done in 2015 – an impression of a wild mongoose who visits us daily.

Home. Returning to Namibia after almost two years of absence has stirred my mind and body in interesting ways. I realise that finally our house in Germany feels more like a home to me, while Namibia and my family home here, where I have spend so many years of my life, has moved into an uneasy place of feeling powerfully familiar and at the same time somewhat distanced. Things have changed, things have stayed the same. I have changed and grown. I am curious to see how my life and I will evolve in the future.

You can view some of my everyday impressions from Namibia on my instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/imkerust/

And as promised an event announcement:

Finally we will be presenting ‘An Infinite Scream’ – my husband, Steffen Holzkamp’s documentary film about my land art project – in Namibia! On home turf so to say.

It took some time before Namibians can finally see the film and obviously I am curious and nervous as to how it will be received. So I (and Steffen) hope that if you are in Windhoek on the 14th of January you will join us at 19h15 at the Goethe Institut. (it is FREE!!!)

By the way, Namibia only had a Goethe Centre up till now, but since 2016 everybody is very excited to have it turned into a Goethe Institut. We feel very honoured that one of the first official events in the new Institut will the Namibian Premiere of our film.

Why would you see the film? Well, if you are interested in nature, environment, the desert, Namibia and/or the arts, or if you simply like me or what I am doing, then this film offers you a unique and thought-provoking view. Some serious and some fun.

It is more than a documentary.

It is an artist portrait and a project portrait. It is a reflection on what individuals can do to make the world a slightly better place. It is a beautiful mix of art, nature, society and action…

Most people only ever see the final exhibition and have no idea how it came about. If you have ever wondered how artists think, why and how they create and all the things that happen behind the scene, before you get to sip your wine at the exhibition opening, this film will give you a lot of insight into my personal way of creating.

I know I might be biased in more than one way, but I do think there is a certain magic happening when you have a very talented filmmaker and musician, who happens to know you well enough to perfectly reflect your ideas and works through his film.

This film was not planned to be a film. When I started out with my work, I simply thought it would be awesome to have the making of the individual pieces documented and fortunately Steffen was happy to do that for me. Only later, when the exhibition finally happened, after the original venue had suddenly rejected it, Steffen had the idea to turn all his filmed material into a documentary… and spend about a year on this labour of love. Thank you so much, Steffen, for all your hard work and dedication, for your beautiful pictures, music and your vision to pull this all together.

So if you are curious, we warmly invite you to come and see it.

It is not only free of charge, but you also get the chance to meet up with us and ask us questions afterwards 🙂

We are looking forward to meeting you there.

Please also feel free to share this information and invite your friends along. After all, the more the merrier.

Namibia Premiere: An Infinite Scream (Poster)

Namibia Premiere: An Infinite Scream (Poster)

Concerned about the ever-increasing uranium mining in Namibia a local artist sets out to give the Namib Desert a voice: An Infinite Scream

The Goethe Institut proudly presents the Namibian Premiere of a documentary film about Imke Rust’s land art by Steffen Holzkamp.

Date: 14th of January 2016
Time: 19h15 (Duration: 45min)
Venue: Goethe Institut, 1-5 Fidel Castro Street
Free Entry
Artist and filmmaker are present.

Trailer and more info at: https://aninfinitescream.wordpress.com/

 

As artist-curator in the Ukraine

What an exhilarating time it has been!

And I realise that I have been neglecting this blog a bit, with the last post being almost a month back… my apologies to all of you.

I just came back from my second visit to Kharkiv/Kharkow in the eastern Ukraine. The first time I came here in June, on a research and introductory visit for a project initiated by partners Osteuropa gGmbH. Together with the wonderful Tatyana Tumasyan and her dedicated staff at the Municipal Gallery of Kharkiv we planned and curated an exhibition, to be opened in September. The exhibition’s opening and the German-Ukrainian cooperation marked the start of the German Weeks in the Ukraine.

The exhibition ‘Understanding – Понимание’ featured installations and performances in public spaces. Eight young, but well-known Kharkiv artists were selected by us to present new works for this exhibition. They are Gamlet Zinkovsky, Konstantin Zorkin, Uliana Alimova, Boba Group, Vladislav Krasnoshchok, Oksana Solop, Vitaly Kokhan and Daria Rakova. The Municipal Gallery did an incredible job at preparing the show and I was very happy and grateful to be able to be present at the opening on the 24th of September.

Here are some pictures of the exhibition (please click on the images to see the full view and read my descriptions):

And a short video of the Boba-Group performance:

Besides the exhibition, I was also invited to present a workshop for a group of 12 young curators, who were selected from all over the Ukraine.

Together with Monika Szewczyk, director of the gallery Arsenal in Bialystok, Poland (www.galeria-arsenal.pl) and Viktor Misiano (http://www.re-aligned.net/viktor-misiano/?lang=en). Each of us had 2 days to work with the young curators…

Honestly, when I was first asked to do this, I wanted to say NO. Although I have been working as a curator in the National Art Gallery of Namibia, have curated a few independent exhibitions and art projects and have experience in large international bi-lateral projects like the p.art.ners berlin-windhoek ‘Shared Experiences’ Artistic and Cultural Exchange project between Namibia and Germany, I did not feel that I was really qualified to be in this world-class company of other ‘real’ full-time curators. I wondered what I could possibly teach these young curators, which the other presenters would not be able to do better, as they work with the subject every day.

Then I thought, if I am invited for this, there must be something valuable and special which I can add to this workshop. The organisers believed in me and trusted that I am exactly the right person for this. They would not have approached me if it was otherwise. And I realised that yes, I always believed that I have so much to share that would be helpful and inspirational to others, and now I have the chance to do it. We all have a specific combination of superpowers that make us who we are and let us live our life’s purpose. And I have unique experiences, views and ideas that are worth sharing with others (and so have each of you, by the way).

So I chose to share my personal experiences related to the challenges as an artist in Namibia and in the world and the solutions and alternatives that I have found for myself. I shared what worked for me and why, and what did not. Suddenly I realised that even my frustrations and failures had value in guiding me in a perfect way on my journey and by sharing these (and how I have been able to overcome them, or move on from them) I can really help others.

From the feedback and the many ‘thank you’s’, which I got, I am deeply honoured and can say with gratitude that my aim to inspire and enrich these young curators was successful. Here are messages I received from two of the participants, which so much warmed my heart:

“Thank you to incredible Imke Rust for the fact that no matter what the circumstances, not taking into account any impossibility, seeking the most noble and most necessary to improve this planet. For her contagious faith in something that everyone is able to change the world for the better. For her projects, for her unique experience and most importantly, for her desire to share this experience.” Владислава Ильинская
Dear Imke, thank you so much for the workshop you did in Kharkiv! It was really inspiring and motivating. You have a very particular charm and energy, that there are no doubts that you can make it rain. 🙂
Thank you a lot and wish you all the best in your projects! Olena Kasperovych/ Kharkiv, Ukraine

(They were both translated from Ukrainian to English via the Google translator.)

Even though I had a positive feeling about the workshop, I cannot tell you how much it means  to me to get personal feedback and assurance like this! Because unfortunately, no matter how much I have achieved or how confident I appear to be, I often feel so insecure and am worrying if what I am doing is good enough… (Note to self: give more positive feedback to others when it is merited. Not only will it be appreciated, but very often it helps that person to overcome their insecurities and doubts a little bit more. And I guess we all have some of those.)

While the participants could hopefully take many lessons home, I can say for sure that I did too.

I learned that

  • it is important to share ones experiences in a way which inspires others.
  • we need to trust in our unique strengths and talents and use them like superpowers.
  • We need to stay true to ourselves.
  • It is a beautiful gift to be able to understand each other (even if that means you need a translator)
  • Little by little all our actions can and do add up, so make even the smallest one count.
  • there are so many young, engaged people out there who are ready to change the world.
  • Even if outer circumstances differ, usually the patterns of the problems we are facing seem to be very similar. After all we are all human and struggle with similar issues.
  • my name looks like this in Ukrainian letters:  Имке Руст

Besides the workshop and exhibition, I also have been interviewed for an hour by the Ukrainian National television, as well as giving two interviews for local magazines, about my art and I presented an open public lecture at the gallery… Working hard and loving it! The TV interview was really surreal and I am very curious to see the show and I will forever wonder how much got lost or changed in translation? But I do believe the essence will always seep through if we share and receive with an open heart.

I am grateful for having had this opportunity, for meeting so many new and special people and artists, for getting to know a new country and culture, for being able to inspire others and be a blessing in their lives, for realising that it is indeed possible for me to travel with hand-baggage only and how empowering it can be to face and overcome my own fears (like being alone in a foreign country of which I do not understand the language).

I realised that I enjoy sharing my ideas and knowledge in order to help, enrich and inspire others, so I hope that life will present me with many more similar opportunities.

My very special thanks goes to Nastia, who is the kindest, hardworking and committed young curator of the Municipal Gallery of Kharkiv, who also has been my very capable Ukrainian voice (translator) most of the time.

And here are some Kharkiv impressions:

I hope you enjoyed this summary and pictures of my trip to the Ukraine.

Berlin Premiere of ‘An Infinite Scream’

We are very excited to announce the Berlin Premiere of the German version of our

documentary film ‘An Infinite Scream’ at the

BrotfabrikKino in Berlin

on Saturday, May 30th (2015)

We hope we can welcome many of you for the very first public screening and a discussion with Steffen Holzkamp (director and producer) and myself, the artist. This is an exciting and intimate look behind the scene of my art making, my intentions behind it and the challenges and opportunities of the art scene in Namibia.

Please feel free to share this event widely with your friends! Thank you.

EinladungEinBild

   Die Deutsch-Namibische Gesellschaft e. V. und der Glashaus e. V.

laden Sie herzlich ein zur

Berlin-Premiere des Dokumentarfilms AN INFINITE SCREAM (Deutsche Fassung)
 
am Samstag, dem 30. Mai 2015

Beginn: 18:00 Uhr
Ort: BrotfabrikKino, Caligariplatz 1, 13086 Berlin-Weißensee
(Tram M2, M13, 12; s. „Service“ unter http://www.brotfabrik-berlin.de)

Programm:

18:00 – 18:45 Uhr        “An Infinite Scream”
18:45 – 19:00 Uhr        Gespräch mit dem Filmemacher Steffen Holzkamp und der Künstlerin Imke Rust
19:00 – 19:40 Uhr        weiteres Filmmaterial zum Thema

Synopsis:

In der prallen Wüstensonne über 1000 Weißdornen zu Kreisen legen? Schwarze Müllsackrosen in die Sanddünen pflanzen? Oder eine halbe Tonne Salz  zu einer begehbaren Skulptur formen?

Die Landart Installationen der Namibischen Künstlerin Imke Rust folgen einem immanenten Anliegen: Der Sorge über den zunehmenden Uranabbau in Namibia und der Verschandelung der Wüste. Ihre Kunstwerke sorgen für Aufmerksamkeit, verstehen sich aber auch als ein symbolischer Schutz für das geschundene Land.

Kann Kunst etwas bewirken? Was kann ich tun? Mit diesen Fragen beschäftigt sich Imke Rust auf eindringliche Weise.

In 2012 in Namibia und Berlin gedreht, spiegelt der Film die  teils meditative Stimmung der Entstehung von Rust’s Landart. Ruhige Einstellungen bei der Installation der „Salt Circles“ oder reportagige Handkamera bei der Videoperformance „The Scream“ auf der Seebrücke am Atlankik: Schnitt und Montage folgen dem Tempo der Kunst.

Die Absage der gebuchten Rust-Ausstellung seitens der Kunstvereinigung bringt dem Film eine dramaturgische Wendung und verlagert den Schwerpunkt hin zu einer gesellschaftlichen und medialen Kontroverse über die „Freiheit der Kunst“ in Namibia.

So organisiert sich die bekannte Künstlerin mit Hilfe durch ein Netzwerk von Unterstützern ihre Ausstellung einfach selbst.

Starke Bilder an atemberaubenden Orten, sowie Illustrationen und Musik verdichten den Film zu einem eindrucksvollen Statement für Courage und Eigeninitiative im eher konservativen Namibia.

Die Filmarbeit in Namibia wurde teilweise vom National Arts Council of Namibia unterstützt.

Trailer und weitere Informationen zum Film: https://aninfinitescream.wordpress.com
 

Das Kino hat 60 Plätze.

Vorverkauf oder Reservierung über Tel.: 030/471 40 41 oder per E-Mail: karten@brotfabrik-berlin.de werden empfohlen.

Der Eintritt beträgt 7,50 Euro (normal) und 6 Euro (ermäßigt).

Etwaige Fragen richten Sie bitte an: imkerust(a)iway.na

 
logo_brotfabrikNEU

Logo DNG (neu)

Feeling the Drought in Me

'I am Desert' by Imke Rust

‘I am Desert I’ by Imke Rust (Photography, Digital print on Alu-Dibond)

There is a blurring, hot tension in the air. Even though I am not there, I am so familiar with this situation that my body physically reacts to it every time I think about it or remember the many years of experiencing this same intense and ominous collective fear of an upcoming drought.

I feel how this fear increases with every day in which the sun burns from the bluest skies with no cloud in sight. I feel the heat and the dust and the lack.

The lack of everything…

lack of aliveness and lack of hope.

I can taste the dryness.

But mostly I feel the silent terror and doom hanging in the air like an invisible monster.

I have experienced the impact of a serious drought. And I have experienced the fear oozing out of every wretched discussion, which repeatedly circled around the drought and the rain like a starving dog tied to a tree sniffing some fresh meat in the distance.

The elderly compared and remembered the many droughts they have experienced and seemed to revel in reciting their horrors. The younger, who could not rely on memories that much, were more likely to speculate according to the weather forecasts, the dreaded El-Niño phenomena or any other scientific statistics or findings. I remember these discussions as mostly negative, fearful and resigned, sometimes angry and usually interrupted only with long heavy pauses, knowing glances and deep sighs. For one or other reason, everybody seemed to know that we would be doomed with another great drought, as if by stating the worst that can happen, we are bracing ourselves for it. The few hopeful voices in between quickly got lost or talked into submission.

This fear and the helplessness have crept into my bones. As a child I listened to all these discussions in the hope that somewhere some one would have a solution or know for sure what is going to happen. Will it rain?

Hoping to find somebody who could say: it is going to be okay, even if it doesn’t. Even as a child I knew, that no matter what people said, the rains are not always forthcoming, that is just part of living in a desert country. So I hoped to find some way of creating hope and faith that the natural order of things are okay…

The older I became, the more resigned I became. I had accumulated more experience with dry years, with droughts and the impact it had on our life.

Yes, I fear the droughts. Deeply. But I came to fear one thing even more: the continuous doom saying and negative speculating that happens throughout the year, but increasingly in the rainy-season, when this seems to be the only topic on everybody’s minds. And the feeling of helplessness.

Sure, when the rains come and when they are good, we all are grateful for a moment, only to easily and quickly forget our moaning and return to life as we know and want it.

When the rains do not come, or let us wait too long, we are spiralling down into an ever darker abyss of fear, lack and death. I came to think of this as natural, but when I became more aware of physically experiencing the discomfort of cringing cells in my body whenever I think about this, I started to question what is happening. Even more so, when I realised that even far away from home, in Germany, I am not immune to this.

What is natural is that we are living in a very dry country – in Namibia, named after one of the oldest deserts, with unpredictable and variable rainfall. What (according to me) is not natural is how we deal with it.

I understand the fear, because I feel it too. But I refuse to believe that this deep fear and immense sense of being helpless at the hands of the weather is necessary, natural or useful. I also feel that the relentless doom-mongering and negativity is the worst way of expressing this fear or avoiding the situation.

This constant distress is killing our souls and we have let the drought creep into our hearts and veins.

I started thinking about the ancient San people in Namibia and then also about so many different ancient cultures, maybe the most well-known being the American Indians. All people throughout history were exposed to the unpredictability of the weather and to extreme conditions, droughts, floods, raging storms and endless freezing winters. Maybe it is idealistic of me to assume that the people long ago had a better relationship to the woes of the climate and nature, but from the stories that we have from that time, I am sure they knew something, which we have lost.

I guess the core difference is that they lived with deep respect and reverence towards nature and understood the importance of a healthy give-and-take relationship with everything around them. They understood themselves as a small part or children of this much larger Mother Earth.

We on the other hand have come to view ourselves as masters of the earth. We believe it is our birth-right to exploit any natural resources, to take without giving and separate and put us above the rest of nature.

We have made man the centre of the universe and profit our highest and only purpose.

Every time a drought looms, we are uncomfortably reminded, that we are not the masters of this universe. Our presumed intelligence, scientific and technological advancements and our arrogance all are futile, when the environment stops supporting us. When earth stops to produce new resources. When earth dries up and shrivels under our endless and greedy exploitation.

We are at the mercy of a benevolent environment and we are part of everything that happens. The old people understood that, we don’t.

With every drought we get angrier and more fearful. People like farmers who live closer to nature feel it first and the most intense, while others can ignore it for longer, as they have already distanced themselves so much from nature. Their money can still buy food, when the animals and plants on the farm already starve, but eventually their money also will have nothing left to buy.

What if we all would be willing and open to rethink the possibility living more in tune with nature again? Before nature forces us to. What if we would stop investing our energy in complaining and doomsaying and instead find better ways of prepare and deal with reality?

'I am desert II' by Imke Rust

‘I am desert’ by Imke Rust
Photography, Digital print on Alu-Dibond

I refuse to believe that we are separate or above nature. And I refuse to believe that we are powerless. Not only should we honour and respect mother earth, but we should accept the responsibility that comes with it. If we understand that we are but a small part of the whole, yet we are an important and powerful part.

If we would see us as the hand of a person, we would understand that the hand is subjected to what the body does, but at the same time, it also has an important purpose and function. It is powerful in its own right, but not of its own. It needs the body. And the body needs the hand. The hand cannot complain that it is starving, if it refuses to act in its power and pick the fruit and bring it to the mouth.

My research and exploration into old rainmaking traditions have shown me, that we have the answers and the power of our destiny within us. Yes, there are forces larger than us, but we are part of those, and thus we also can have an impact.

Rainmaking has become synonymous to me with actively co-creating our reality, to become conscious of our part in this grand oneness and act accordingly.

We can choose how we want to act out this role. We might not be able to change Namibia into a rainforest, but we can learn to accept that we are living in an arid country, we can take responsibility for living within the means of what is available and the courage to act as blessings to our surroundings.

We can honour and respect what we have, and express our joy and gratitude in a thousand ways.

We can use our power to change our ways and find ways to better serve our earth-body.

Yes, I believe we can make rain and we should!

Is it easy? No, but it is definitely more constructive and fun, than being prophets of misfortune and disaster and clinging to our fears.

Do you fear being at the receiving end of the weather and climate around you? In what ways do you deal with that fear? And what is your solution? Do you save water? Have you ever performed a raindance? Or have you consciously prayed for rain? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

If you want to read more about my thoughts and actions on rainmaking, please click HERE to see a list of all blog posts on this subject.

( I started writing this as a short introduction to one of my rainmaking experiments which I wanted to share with you, but then it turned out to be a loooooong introduction and I decided to rather let you digest this first, and share the experiment with you in the next post.)

Walking Through the Night Sky

My last post was about the blue, blue skies with beautiful white clouds…

But, do you ever walk through the night sky? Touch the stars with your toes and breathe in the darkness of the universe?

I do.

Sometimes.

 

(Title: Walking Through the Night Sky, 1:16min, by Imke Rust)

Just press play to start the video.

It is soft and bouncy. Just me on my journey through the stars which sometimes tickle the soles of my feet, when I pay close enough attention…

I made a video of it, the old-fashioned, stop-motion way. My camera did not catch the amazing Namibian night sky with its plethora of little stars, but you can at least see some of the big ones.

This post is dedicated to the awesome poetess Indigo Spider (if you have not checked our her fine spider web-weaving, delicately crafted and powerful writing, please do so), who commented on my last blog that she prefers the night skies over the day skies.

So I thought, wait a minute, I have something very special to share with you. An artwork, which also still needs to see the light of day…

Thank you, Indigo Spider, for being a kindred soul, virtual blogging friend and continuous source of inspiration and support!

Enjoy watching the short video!

PS. I miss the warm summer nights of Windhoek, when I can be outside and play like this forever.

Rainmaking Experiment #3

Notes – Rainmaker Experiment #3:

Finding the rain inside of me

23/01/13 – Farm Otukaru, Namibia

A hot day - dry earth, clouds on the distant horizon and an empty dam. Ideal to start this experiment.

A hot day – dry earth, clouds on the distant horizon and an empty dam. Ideal to start this experiment.

Be.
Rain.
Have the intention.
Imagine.

Have fun.
Lighthearted play.

Notice.
The bringer of rain.
The wind.
Swaying my body.
 
Recognize it everywhere I look.
My blue toenails like large water drops.
The butterflies…
The clouds on the distant horizon.

Blue raindrop nails and butterflys attracted by them...

Blue raindrop nails and butterflies attracted by them…

Feel the heat.
Be grateful for it.
 
Touch a tree. Climb it.
Touch the earth. Caress it.

On my favourite tree - in awe how they survive through so much dryness and still have grey-green leaves.

On my favourite tree – in awe how they survive through so much dryness and still have grey-green leaves.

Caressing and climbing a tree.

Looking down at the earth…

Touch water. Play with it.
Throw it into the air to create drops.

Happiness.

Throwing water drops...

Throwing water drops…

Use my fingers, dipped into water
To paint raining clouds on rusted surfaces.

Drawing water

Drawing water

Raincloud painted with water on a rusted drum. drying quickly.

Rain cloud painted with water on a rusted drum. drying quickly.

Use a stick to draw a raining cloud
On the dry sandy road.

Believe.

Rain cloud drawn onto dry earth with a stick

Rain cloud drawn onto dry earth with a stick

Notice how I sweat.
Being in touch with my own wetness.
Be grateful for the water inside of me.
Pouring out.

Take a cold shower,
A cool, wet relief.
Closing my eyes,
Imagining the cold water as rain on my skin.
More gratefulness.

Drops start falling outside.
Finally.
Rain.

Finally it is raining

Finally it is raining

Today it is raining in Berlin. The rain reminded me of my rainmaking experiments in Namibia. I always wanted to share the notes and pics I have made of this experiment, but the time never felt right. So, sitting with a grey sky and the sound of rain outside of my window, I am enjoying the memories of some time gone by and sharing them with you!

This also links up nicely to my previous post about rituals, explaining how the ancient rainmaker or shaman would connect with the spirit of the rain through a ritual.

Today I am grateful for the rain and joyously breathe in the fresh, wet air!

 

 

A Wedding Ritual

Inspired by a previous post about my interest in totem animals a friend lent me an intriguing book called Tafassasset – Regentier und Zauberbilder. Felsbilder der Sahara und Spurensuche nach dem afrikanischen Geist. (Which would probably translate as follows: Tafassasset – Rain animal and magical images. Saharan rock paintings and the search for traces of the African Spirit – by Edgar Sommer.

The book is beautifully written and contains some interesting ideas and concepts helping me to understand more aspects about the potential inherent power of the image and art making.

Loosely explained, the author implies that the ancient rainmaker or shaman would connect with the spirit of the rain through a ritual. The spirit first manifests through language and song and then materialises through dancing. Finally the painting of this process against a cave wall conserves and binds the ritual, and by that also the spirit, in time and space.

I love learning about different traditions, rituals and beliefs and then picking and combining the best parts or those that make sense to me in my own life. I improvise a lot – either out of necessity or out of curiosity. And also because I have never been comfortable with blindly following what others do… it has to fit and make sense for me.

So, today I wanted to share with you a wedding ritual, which I have made-up created for our wedding. I wanted to honour the role played by family and friends in a marriage and celebrate the joining of the two separate families and set of friends who have now been brought together (and met each other for the first time) through our union. I could not find any meaningful ritual that I resonated with, so I made up my own.

I mused over the ‘spirit’ I wanted this ritual to connect with and represent: love, an eternal bond and the interconnectedness of the people close to us…

Bond – binding together – different lives touching,
intertwining,
sharing and creating something new.
Weaving.
We are all like threads in a beautiful cloth…

I liked the idea of weaving and of threads representing each person.

We asked every wedding guest to bring along a ribbon. I created the symbol of eternity, an 8 on its side, from wire. I found a cord made out of three strands, representing my husband, myself and our union.

On the final day of our three-day wedding celebrations, we all joined on the beach at sunset, for everyone to weave their ribbon together with ours around the eternity symbol.

Getting started with our wedding ritual on the Swakopmund beach. © Imke Rust

Getting started with our wedding ritual on the Swakopmund beach. © Imke Rust

I had no idea how it will work out, but I guess that was part of the ritual too. I trusted that together we would find a way to make it work. It anyway needed joined forces to make it possible.

Yes, it was confusing and difficult to figure out, there were some struggles, some disagreements and lots of willingness to find a way to make it work. Advice was given and also rejected. Help was offered and accepted. Some were more involved than others. And eventually we completed the task. Together. Perfect.

My personal wedding ritual... weaving our lifes together. © Imke Rust

Our own wedding ritual… weaving our lifes together. © Imke Rust

Helping hands, weaving strands.  © Imke Rust

Helping hands, weaving strands. © Imke Rust

It turned out to really represent what life as a couple and part of an extended family is about. The intention of a loving bond for life is set, and everybody in his or her own way becomes part of it. Problems are solved together and eventually we have an intertwined, beautiful, colourful, knotted, patched, perfectly-imperfect life and relation to show for it.

Everyday I am reminded of this, when looking at the final symbol of our love and the love of our families and friends, hanging above our bed. Its spirit contained in time and space.

The final object. Manifesting the spirit of honouring and celebrating the love and support of our family and friends. © Imke Rust

The final object. Manifesting the spirit of honouring and celebrating the love and support of our family and friends. © Imke Rust

I am grateful, that my family and circle of friends has grown in such a beautiful way through my marriage. I am grateful for each colourful, unique thread that weaves into my life and makes it so exciting and worth living.

And I know these threads are only a small symbolic part of all the invisible ones of all other family and friends in our lives. People who are touched by us and whom we touch, weaving our own threads into their spiderwebs.