Tag Archives: contemporary

Art in the Park (Berlin)

Gemeindepark 7June11

Summer has arrived in Berlin, with lovely warmth and sunshine. So it is the ideal time to get out and make some art outside. As i still do not have a studio, working outside is another great way of being creative.

There is a small community park just around the corner from where we live, so while the others played Badminton I kept myself busy with this…

For a change, not so much text and rather more pictures. Enjoy!

Untitled land art intervention by Imke Rust.

(Gemeindepark Lankwitz, Berlin, 7 June 2011)

Portrait of a Dog

Bolle

Bolle

In his fearless quest to protect my brother and father on the farmstead, Bolle, the dog pictured above, has killed several snakes during his life. Unfortunately during his last fight with a vicious black mamba, he got bitten so badly, that unlike previous times, he did not survive the venom and died in September 2010. The loss of the dog was a very sad event for my brother, as he has raised Bolle from being a tiny puppy and the two were inseparable.

For my brother’s birthday this year, I have painted this portrait of Bolle from a photograph which I had taken some time ago. Through the artwork, at least the memory of this special dog can live on in a “physical” form.

Although I have painted many dogs, it was a personal challenge to paint the portrait of Bolle. This was not just any dog and it was meant as a gift to my brother – so it had to really look like him and hopefully also somehow catch his spirit and nature. I am happy, that somehow, while I painted, the trusted magic has happened once again and my brother was overjoyed with his gift. The painting was done on an aluminium printing sheet, which was used to print newspapers – that explains the text which shimmers through the background ;o)

My brother with his painting

My brother with his painting

Many people know me as “the artist who has painted the red dogs”, due to my firstpublic success with winning the Standard Bank Namibia Biennale with the “Bitumen Dogs” in 2001. I have often worked with images of dogs, usually as a metaphor for different human relationships, most notably for my “Power & Politics” series. I like painting and drawing dogs, they have interesting and versatile forms and shapes. And yes, I love dogs, but not more than other animals. And no, I do not have a dog myself. I am more a cat person. (Click on the links above if you like to view more dog artworks.)

Still Weeping – Four Years Later

Weeping Women in 2007

Shortly after completion 2007 – still standing tall

Transformation, change and a tribute to an old myth were the central topics of my land-art installation “Weeping Women” (2007). Based on the San myth about the origin of the huge salt pans at the famous Etosha National Park in Namibia, the artwork consisted of seven tall figures made out of rock-salt. The figures, representing the women who have cried so much for their murdered men and children, that their tears collected into a huge salt-lake, which eventually dried out, were intended to symbolically cry every time it rains. The pure raindrops would mix with the salt and create a natural tear solution, while at the same time also wear away the figures. The “Weeping Women” were meant to cry for all the sadness of the world and slowly wash away. Once they are gone, I hope, enough tears have flown and the world will be a better place.

By recreating the myth through my artwork, I hoped to raise the awareness about the myth, the violence we inflict on our fellow human beings and the pain and sadness of this world in general.  But I also hope to offer a solution: although we need to be aware of the history, we should not get stuck in it with blaming and revenge, as this continues the vicious cycle. And just like the Christian myth of Lot’s wife, who could not let go of her past, we will turn into rigid, dry and bitter salt-pillars, unable to move forward. Through acknowledging our pain and emotions and releasing them through the salty tears we cry (and not through calls for or acts of revenge), we can mourn and heal.

The “Weeping Women” have now mourned  for four rainy seasons, most of which were unusually heavy rains, with record rains recorded in Namibia during the past four months…. Maybe the world needs to cry a lot in our current times? Most of the “Weeping Women” have “done their duty” and have transformed, cried away and returned to the soil. One is still standing about 50cm high, hopefully crying her last tears during the next rainy season, after which the artwork will have disappeared and with it, hopefully also the need for further tears. I know, I am an eternal optimist and idealist…., that’s just me, but maybe I am not alone?

Still Weeping 17April 2011

The last “woman” standing (17 April 2011)

To see more pictures of this work and its transformation, please click here.