Category Archives: Photography

The Comfort of a Couch (Fun Art)

Finally I can move my work space out of our living room and into the new renovated garage / studio space.

Suddenly we have space in the living room and are now looking for a nice couch which can double up as a guest bed. Ideally a couch needs to look good, be practical and it definitely needs to be ultra comfortable…

This morning when I started working and was looking for some images, I came across a spontaneous and fun ‘preformed photography action’* I did some time ago in a holiday flat, and decided to turn the photographs into a GIF (moving image).

Couch Testing by Imke Rust

Couch Testing by Imke Rust

Wishing you all a wonderful and comfortable day!

* Sometimes it is difficult to perfectly describe my art. I hope this term comes close, but am not sure. Often I do a performance kind of work, but without an audience. I document it through photographs or video. Yet the action is the central part and the photography just a way to share it with you. So it is neither pure photography, nor a performance in its original definition.

Impressions from my visit to Dnipropetrovsk

The poster announcing our event.

The poster announcing our event.

Dnipropetrovsk. I practiced very long and often to say it correctly and still I stumble over it. Since November last year, when Artsvit Gallery‘s curator, Ms Iryna Polikarchuk, approached me with the idea to visit this beautiful city and share my art and curatorial approach with them, Dnipropetrovsk has been a phrase set on repeat in my head.

Lots of planning and ideas were sent between us, until I finally could board the plane and fly to the Ukraine again, on the invitation of the Artsvit Gallery and the German Consulate in Donesk, who are currently located in Dnipropetrovsk. On the first evening I was joined by a wonderful and inspirational colleagues Ms Sabina Shikilinskaya (Azerbaijan) and Nikita Shalenny (Ukraine) for an introduction on our art and curatorial practice and public discussion afterwards. Additionally the visiting artists each had one evening to give an in-depth presentation about our art. All three events were received by much public interest and a packed audience.

During the days we also had a full program, organized by the gallery. Another main part of my visit was to meet with the German General Consul, Mr Mössinger and representatives of the city and gallery, to finalize details for a public installation of my art planned to be installed in a park in Dnipropetrovsk later this year. I am very exited about these plans, but will share more with you about this, closer to the time.

Following is a selection of impressions from my visit. I hope you enjoy them. (Click on the images to see a larger view and description.)

 

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!

Sensational Find: Rock Art on German Streets

Who would have thought that Germany has so many unnoticed, secret treasures? So far I have only seen the rock paintings and engravings in secluded rocky mountains in Namibia. So this is a first for me…

I was so excited to find well-preserved rock art right under my bicycle’s wheels!

It seems these amazing petrographs (Images drawn or painted on rock face) tell stories of a life long past, of strange animals that have walked this part of the earth and the humans that have shared their existence.

These very expressive, graphic pictograms reveal a great craftmanship, fluid line control and the ability to paint the soul of the being with only a few lines. But what do they represent? Why have these images of animals and humans been drawn right here on these cycling paths?

Since we know that some of the animals represented in these petrographs, like the Decimpedi dinosaur (a longish dinosaur with 10 legs), have long died out, we can assume that these images are really, really ancient.

And by the way, this is not my own art, just something I found and thought interesting enough to share with you!

Click on the images to see a detailed larger view.

(Found close to Ahrenshoop in August 2015)

What you missed last weekend (but can still sign up for in the future)

Yes, you missed an awesome sunny Saturday spent in the forest in a relaxed atmosphere, learning and creating together at the Land Art workshop I presented.Kreativ im Grünen

After a short introduction to the ideas and possibilities of land or nature art, we set out on the short walk to the forest. The area offers a wide variety of different backgrounds and possibilities, ideal for each to find their best mode of expression. There is a small open birch forest, a dense coniferous forest, a meadow and the Havel river…

We had time to get to know the area, the materials available and then experiment with own works. The exchange between the different members of the group brought further ideas and inspiration and lots of laughter, but also serious discussions.

“What a wonderful way to spend the day! I could feel how the stress of the week quickly left my body and I began relaxing into my surroundings. It was great to have no pressure of having to perform, but to be able to experiment and create to my hearts desire. Thank you, Imke.” Ilona.

If you would like to participate at one of our future one-day workshops, which will be presented on a monthly basis, please send me an email, so that I can keep you updated about future dates and send you all other information needed. I am also happy to create tailor-made workshops according to your wishes, for that extra special private birthday party, company outings, a fun family breakaway, etc.

Please email me at: imkerust(a)iway.na (replace the (a) with an @ when sending).

Further information about the workshops can be found HERE. (The information is only available in German at the moment, but I am happy to offer the workshops in English too. Please request the English information sheet directly from me.)

Since pictures say more than a thousand words, I will not write further and rather share some pictures of the workshop with you (click on the images for a full-view slide show):

Unseen Dialog

When earth is thinking... Photograph, tippex and scratchmarks, 15 x 10cm

When earth is thinking…
Photograph, tippex and scratch marks, 15 x 10cm

Recently I bought a beautiful book about the artist Ana Mendieta. Most people have never heard about her. And people who have heard about her, usually only know or have access to a small portion of her art.

“Ana Mendieta (November 18, 1948 – September 8, 1985) was a Cuban American performance artist, sculptor, painter and video artist who is best known for her “earth-body” art work. Originally born in Havana, Mendieta arrived in the United States as a refugee in 1961, shortly prior to the beginning of the Cuban Revolution.”

The book is entitled Unseen Mendieta and tries to give an insight into her creative output during her short live, which came to an abrupt end when she fell from her 34th floor apartment window after a row with her husband.

Several weeks after placing the order the book arrived by snail-mail in a blue postal bag. I was so excited!

Several weeks after placing the order the book arrived by snail-mail in a blue postal bag. I was so excited!

Although she produced many ground-breaking, interesting and amazing works, most of it had never been exhibited before her death and has left her family with the huge task of researching the work and try to decide what to make available to the public and in what form. A daunting task.

I am sharing this with you, as it made me think about my own work, and how many of my artworks or creative outpourings will probably never make it into a gallery or a publication. And I am not sure if anybody will care (or have the time and nerve) to comb through my computer and other documentation and artworks, and then decide which is worth to keep and to share. It is a task that even I would find too daunting.

I had to search through my old folders for some specific works which have been requested for a publication and realised that I have accumulated so much work, that I need to find a better system of storing and finding it again. If that is possible…

When airplanes leave secret signs in the sky...

When airplanes leave secret signs in the sky… (Photograph and scratched text, 10x15cm)

Fortunately today we have the internet and can share many works without ever officially exhibiting them. And people can see art they like, at their own convenience. No need to travel to visit a gallery to see an artist’s work from another continent. No need to stick to opening times of a gallery.

And today’s world also makes it possible to share the ‘little works’. The ones which happen in between, which are fun, creative, curious, etc. but which do not amount to a serious body of work ready for a gallery show. When I searched for my other artworks, I stumbled across some of these, and thought: they put a smile on my face every time I see them.

They make me feel alive and creative, in a different way than the more formal artworks.

Small Accidents happen and turn into tiny, fun artworks. (home printed images with water spilled onto them by accident, deliberate felt pen markings added) about 5x5cm

Small Accidents happen and turn into tiny, fun artworks. (home printed images with water spilled onto them by accident, deliberate felt pen markings added) about 5x5cm

Small Accidents happen and turn into tiny, fun artworks. (home printed images with water spilled onto them after accidentially finding out what cool effect that has) about 5x7cm

Small Accidents happen and turn into tiny, fun artworks. (home printed images with water spilled onto them after accidentally finding out what cool effect that has) about 5x7cm

I decided to share some of them with you, so that they get noticed by a few people, if only for a few seconds, possibly maybe gifting you with a smile or a short moment of curiosity before they return to their secret and forgotten virtual life.

After all, I believe art is visual communication, so it needs an observer to make it complete. I hope you enjoy this chat and turn my monologue into a dialog, even if that just takes place in your head.

Say What? Secret dialog happening between the rider statue and a bird. (Photograph with scratched text) 10x15cm

Say What?
Secret dialog happening between the rider statue and a bird. (Photograph with scratched text) 10x15cm

...and another secret dialog possibly happening between the miltary men in Istanbul.

…and another secret dialog possibly happening between the military men in Istanbul.

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!

NAWA!

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.