Tag Archives: creativity

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!

‘Let’s be more adventurous’ she whispered

Lying awake at night I saw myself painting a huge canvas entirely black and immediately I thought how dark and depressing that would be… and dismissed the thought.

Then I remembered that some time ago I promised myself and the universe, that if I get any clear inspiration, I would trust it and follow it. So the next morning I took a 100 x 100cm canvas and started to paint it black.

It did not feel dark or depressing… it actually felt comforting, calming and very rich in its smooth deep blackness. Not at all as bad as I had imagined.

While painting I got the following insight:

Sometimes the darkness is not as bad, as it first seems...

Sometimes the darkness is not as bad, as it first seems… (Text added digitally to the photo.)

Then nothing. No new idea, no insight as to how and if to proceed. I hung the canvas on the wall and waited.

Yesterday I heard the kudu softly calling me.

Paint me! Remember, we have a long and special history together…

(When I was about three or four years old, my father worked in the field and my brother and I explored the near-by hill. I was the one who spotted the kudu, very close by. It did not run away immediately, which these wild antelopes normally do. How exciting… a tame kudu!

So what do little girls do? They wanna go and cuddle and play with any nice and tame animal…

Fortunately I had my brother follow close on my heels. We were really unbelievable close to this wild animal and it did not make any signs of running. Being older and already more knowledgable about the wild, my brother noticed strings of saliva running down from the kudu’s mouth. A sure sign that the kudu had rabies and was dangerous. This also explained why the kudu seemed so tame…

Immediately he grabbed me by my arm, softly, but urgently told me to back up and run. I was not very happy about this, as I already was so close to touch this cute and majestic animal. But, fortunately big brothers can be very persistent when they are about to save your life. 

So we ran. Down hill, all along a fence. Chased by a rabies infected kudu.
It is a common symptom that animals with rabies appear tame, but then also attack you… We ran for our lives.

My brother was faster and ahead of me. I realised that the kudu is getting closer and my short little legs had no chance against his (or hers). Somehow I realised that I could slip sideways through the fence and hope that the kudu will continue with his downhill chase. It worked…

But now the kudu got closer to my brother and my brother was getting close to the corner of the camp, with another fence right in front of him. He duck through the fence and at the same time the kudu lifted into the air with his powerful hind-legs to jump over the fence…

Another thing which happens with kudus who have rabies, is that they get weak. Usually they easily and gracefully jump over fences, but now they do not manage the height and get horribly tangled in the wires. Caught with its legs by the wires, this kudu came crushing down to the ground where my brother had just climbed through the fence. It fell partly onto my brother, but fortunately he could quickly get away and was not hurt.

My father, who was already alerted by my screams that something was wrong, came towards us and once he has ensured we are save, he put the poor kudu out of his/her misery.

This was a pretty unusual childhood encounter with a kudu and probably one of my very earliest, clear and lasting memories. And it made a huge impression on me… )

So yes, I do remember. Also the first time that I was asked to paint your portrait. I answered in my mind.

Ok, so will you paint me again?

Mhhh. Ok, maybe with white on black, that could look cool.

Ok.

What do you think of this?

Kudu White on Black (Detail)

Kudu White on Black (Detail)

Uhh, I like it. It is pretty. But…. hey let’s be adventurous tonight, otherwise we are finished so quickly… and black and white are so… mmhh, boring? Let’s just try something crazy…

I don’t know. I am scared. You look so pretty, what if I will mess that up?

You might, but wouldn’t it be fun? And anyway… if you do mess it up, you can just paint another one like this again, can’t you? Common, let’s just be a bit wild tonight… I dare you.

Ok, I trust you. And yes, I need to remember that I can always start over again. Art, like life, lets you start over and over again, as long as you are breathing. Mistakes can happen and they do. But it is not the end of the world and often they lead to amazing new and unexpected results.

So, yes, I dare…

(Untitled (Kudu on black background), Acrylic on canvas, 100x100cm)

(Untitled (Kudu on black background), Acrylic on canvas, 100x100cm)

So this is the kudu at this stage of our dialog… I think we leave her like this. Maybe, we will rather start another adventure on a different canvas.

And till we do, I am enjoying her presence. We are having fun, like girlfriends do, giggling and enjoying the neon colours we used, her prettiness and weirdness, marveling at the world, laughing at our vulnerability, fears and constant search for the elusive perfection… And think: who cares? When we can just be pink or turquoise or whatever we feel like? We should be more adventurous and less scared of making mistakes.

How did the dog get onto the beach?

I painted it there…

There is a dog on the beach... (Hotel Deco Busting by Imke Rust)

There is a dog on the beach… (Hotel Deco Busting by Imke Rust)

Intervention Against Tasteless Wall Decorations in Hotels and Holiday Apartments. (Part 18)
Intervention gegen geschmacklose Wanddekoration in Hotelzimmern und Ferienwohnungen. (Teil 18)

Since 2010 I have secretly been slightly altering tasteless or boring hotel or holiday apartment art whenever I had the chance to.

This is another intervention from our seaside holiday’s in August this year. The holiday flat we stayed in had numerous wall decorations all in the form of calendar images framed in cheap frames. So I just had to give them all a face-lift and add some originality and life. Now the flat has 6 original art intervention works by me. It must be a really worthwhile holiday art experience 😉 …

Once again I forgot to take a proper ‘before’ photo, so you will see I have already started on this one:

There is a dog on the beach... Before(almost) and After pic (Hotel Deco Busting by Imke Rust)

There is a dog on the beach… Before(almost) and After pic (Hotel Deco Busting by Imke Rust)

And here two more pics:

If you enjoyed this, you can view more Hotel Deco Busting Interventions Hotel Deco Busting Interventions by Imke Rust.

How would you like your story to be told?

Yes, how would you like your story to be told?

Will it be a story full of excuses and reasons, perfectly plausible, why you did not live your dreams, succeeded at your goals or lived happily?

Or will it be a story of how you overcome the obstacles and challenges, on how you tried and maybe sometimes failed, but then tried again and how you chose to live happily despite whatever bad things life threw at you?

And how are you yourself telling the story of your life?

Thinking about this, might be a good way of telling how you are living your life and to consider if this is the best possible way.

Which kind of story do you most like to hear others telling you about their lives?

Untitled (sitting person) Charcoal and Acrylic on paper, 105 x 135cm by Imke Rust

Untitled (sitting person) Charcoal and Acrylic on paper, 105 x 135cm

When I prepared for the workshop I had to present in the Ukraine to young curators I was struck by this question. I was faced with preparing a two-day workshop in a field where I knew that I did not have the proper recognized qualifications and also could not match up with the experiences of my co-presenters, who in my eyes were the ‘real curators’, the ones who have curated the big Documentas and who earn their daily living and a great deal of international recognition with being curators.

And I? Who am I and what could I possibly share in these dreaded two days, which they could not do better?

My head was in a flat spin. I thought of the messed-up situation that was my so-called curator job at the gallery many years ago. I remembered the challenges I faced at the experiencing.etosha art project and how disillusioned I was afterwards, about so many things. I cringed when I thought about the endless hard work that went into the ‘shared experiences’ cultural exchange program which I called into life with Oliver Schruoffeneger and co-managed for several years, the ingrate artists and constant nerve wrecking scramble to keep sponsors and artist and everybody else happy, while feeling totally unappreciated…

What of any of this is worth to share? But yet, somebody must have thought that I am the perfect person to offer my two-cent’s worth of wisdom to some wonderfully ambitious and young curators, otherwise I would not have been invited. They have done a lot to be able to attend this workshop, they expect to go home with lots of new and worthwhile knowledge and they surely do dream of becoming influential curators and this should be a stepping-stone in this dream. And I owe it to them (and to the workshop organizers) to do my very best to somehow enrich their lives and career through my presence.

I agonized for days about this. Then it struck me…

While I focus on my failures and on unrealised expectations, others see what I did have achieved and admire me for that. If I am totally honest, I also do believe that I have achieved a lot, maybe not always in the way I wanted, or with the results I hoped for, but still… Yet, there are also many people who are critical (or openly hostile) about me, my art or what I am doing and how I am doing it. So to which of these groups should I give the stage?

None. Because both scare me in their own way. The positive ones, do not know or see my struggles and the negative ones only focus on what (according to them) I am doing wrong. I am the only true authority on my life, and even if my vision of it is sometimes rose-tinted and at others overcast with insecurities and doubts, I do have the main role in it and do know it best. It is not the critics who count, but my intentions, my efforts and me living my live wholeheartedly.

Facing the Eagle 100x130cm, Acrylic and charcoal on paper Inspired by a dream I had... by Imke Rust

Facing the Eagle
100x130cm, Acrylic and charcoal on paper
Inspired by a dream I had…

So, I could have told the story about my curatorial experiences just as I did above. Or I could take one step back, focus on the bigger picture, relate my intentions, my hopes and ideas, the challenges I faced and how I overcome them, or how and why I failed or succeeded. I could tell what I have learned. What I will do better or different next time. And most of all, I could tell how I moved on, started over, tried again. I realised that in my own way, I have collected interesting experiences, learned many skills worth sharing and found solutions where others just saw problems.

I have true in-depth knowledge about that. And I know that I have a great critical mind, which I can trust to guide me in being direct, honest and practical. And that is what I did and the story of my life which I shared. You can read more about how that was received in this previous blog.

While preparing for this, I realised that I do not want to look back at my life and tell the story of why things did not work out as I wished and how that is the reason for an unlived life and unhappiness.

I want to have the courage to do my best and if that did not work out, then try again and again and again. To have the courage to decide to live a life that feels purposeful and inspirational to me; with or without great achievements.

My father urged me to read the biography of George W. Carver (The Man Who Overcame). I decided to use my flight back from the Ukraine to start with it. I cried throughout most of the flight. It felt pretty embarrassing, but hey, what can a girl do who is extremely sensitive to the injustice of this world?!

Born into slavery (+-1860) with a wish to get an education and find the answers to his questions this young black child was determined to find a way. I lost count of how many dreadful experiences he had, how many huge obstacles he overcome and how hard he worked to get his schooling and finally be admitted to college on grounds of his extraordinary good marks, only to be rejected again when he arrived and they realised that he was black, and black men were not allowed to study there. Still he continued with an incredible amount of perseverance, hard work, patience and humility. Despite all odds, he went on to become one of the most prominent scientists and inventors of his time, he was also an extraordinary artist, botanist and pianist. And most of all he made a real contribution to the upliftment of his people and the fight against poverty… (If you have not heard of him, you should do yourself a favour and read the abovementioned book –also available in German – or check him out in this short movie http://www.biography.com/people/george-washington-carver-9240299#early-years )

Life sometimes deals you heavy blows... that is just how it is. But we have the choice to make them part of the dance. To turn them into something beautiful. 'Part of the Dance' Charcoal and Acrylic on paper. 105 x 140cm by Imke Rust

Life sometimes deals you heavy blows and knocks… that is just how it is. But we have the choice to make them part of the dance. To turn them into something beautiful.
‘Part of the Dance’ Charcoal and Acrylic on paper. 105 x 140cm

I am telling you about this man, because he seemed to have everything counting against him. He would have had every possible excuse to feel sorry for himself and to curse at the cards he got dealt again and again. He could have blamed every thing and so many people for having a miserable life and everybody would nod and fully agree that he did not have a chance. Yet, he chose to overcome. To try again and again. He worked damn hard. He hurt and he doubted, yet he got up again and tried again. And even when he had all the fame and could have had all the fortune, he stayed humble, refused a salary increase for most of his life and worked till his death in search of ways to improve the lives of the people around him.

What a man! And what an inspiration! What a life well-lived!

If he could overcome all this and be such an inspiration to so many people, who am I to not at least try to live my life purposefully, content and try again and again. In comparison to him the obstacles I have had to face in my life faint into nothingness.

I believe we can all choose to overcome so many things. We can end up telling an exciting, uplifting and inspirational story of a life well lived and that is what I want to do. And every time I feel like giving up, I want to ask myself: is this the end of the story you want to tell about your life? Or is this the beginning of another awesome creative adventure?

I need reminding of this every now and then – that’s why I am putting it in writing here 😉 .

Imke Rust. Are you having fun in your life? If not, how could you change that? I had fun with the large format paper and painting whatever I like... 'Having Fun' 120 x 105cm Mixed media (Charcoal, graphite, arylic and waxcrayon) on paper

Are you having fun in your life? If not, how could you change that? I had fun with the large format paper and painting whatever I like and this came out of it…
‘Having Fun’ 120 x 105cm Mixed media (Charcoal, graphite, arylic and waxcrayon) on paper

 

You will not believe what I found in the forest…

I decided to go for a spontaneous walk in the forest, because I felt overwhelmed by the emails I had to answer and the admin that I had to do. And I could not think, because my head ached so much.

Me in the forest

Me in the forest

I decided to only take my camera and my new summer hat along. And since I longed for a good foot massage, I went barefoot. I love that there are almost no thorns in the area where I live now. Back in Namibia there are so many, small ones which we call ‘dubbeltjies’ and large thorns, for instance from the Camelthorn trees. Going into the bush without shoes would be hell.

The forest ground welcomes you with soft moss. What a delight. Yet there are also broken off branches and pinecones, which can be quite painful when stepped on.

I found that walking barefoot in the forest made me walk slower and take every step with more consciousness. Not only did I get a foot massage, but I was also enjoying the sensations of the different textures beneath my feet. The feeling of being supported by a soft, green carpet made me feel connected and happy.

I found peace, trees and ferns in the forest.

I know, you will think that is nothing special. But it is. On a hectic day, peace is really special. And trees and ferns are too. Especially once you decide to see them, and then be grateful for their presence. They also make wonderful playmates and soul soothers.

Tree with line of fern leaves

Tree with line of fern leaves

Together we played a silly game and had a good time. We placed small parts of the fern leaves into the bark of a tree to form a line. And yes, just so that you know, I do ask permission and say my gratitude for the donation of the leaves from the fern. Here you can see what we have done.

 

Detail: Tree with line of fern leaves

Detail: Tree with line of fern leaves

Scrolling up and down the green line on the bark of the tree (the line is about 2m long )

Scrolling up and down the green line on the bark of the tree (the line is about 2m long )

I even made a small video.

 

Then I found 4 young birch trees, which have been driven over by the forestry vehicle. They were still holding on to their roots and growing, but they were lying flat across the earth, instead of growing upwards. I pulled them up and secured them with each other so that they can grow upwards again. I believe that were grateful and will soon go back to see how they are doing.

 

Lastly, I found a dirty puddle of water and the awesome orange peels of bark lying around.

This gave the impulse to one last game I played. I carefully arranged the bark in a long line on the water, taking care that they do not sink in. Suddenly the puddle looked much happier.

 

Detail view of the Bark Line

Detail view of the Bark Line

 

Bark Line in puddle of water

Bark Line in puddle of water

When I finished with this, I could even save a beautiful butterfly from drowning in a dirty puddle. 

See the video to get to know my unexpected co-creator:

 

So, two hours later I got home and felt much better.

I hope that you too have the chance to slip out into nature, every now and then, to get grounded and recharge your batteries.

 

The Morning After… Gold and Glamour in Kiev

Looking at the hotel and a stunning rainbow over the Maidan, Kiev

Looking at the hotel and a stunning rainbow over the Maidan, Kiev

My hotel overlooks the Maidan in Kiev and I had two hours before sunset to find some food and spend time walking around this famous square. It was a national holiday, so the square was filled with people and music. And numerous reminders of the lives lost at the recent Euromaidan uprising which happened here just a few months ago…

So, once again, it was in the middle of the night, that I could start with my intervention to turn the hotel room’s decorative print into an original and unusual art work.

webBeforeAfter2015 Hotel Deco Busting

Intervention Against Tasteless Wall Decorations in Hotels and Holiday Apartments. (Part 14)
Intervention gegen geschmacklose Wanddekoration in Hotelzimmern und Ferienwohnungen.

Wow, this was already the 14th intervention! So, let me tell you about this one.

The hotel is prominently located and surely has seen really glamorous times, but that must have been some years ago. It still has the old-world charm and the rooms are fine. The decoration which I found in this room, was a print on cardboard of a painting depicting a boat close to a waterfall.

When I know that I will be staying in the hotel, I try to take a small selection of art supplies on the trip, but since I never know what to expect, I usually have to be inventive and work very spontaneously. And again, I only had limited time to do this, as I only stayed here one night, arriving late and leaving before breakfast. So I decided to try to keep this one simple.

Inspired by the rainbow, which I have seen earlier in the evening, and the golden frame of the deco print, I decided to once again make use of a golden felt pen, just like I did in Charkiv already. It is graphic and dries fast.

Gold seemed perfect. This beautiful old city and hotel, reminded me of glamorous, golden past eras. Yet in this time where there is a war raging in the east of the country and many young people have lost their lives, the future looks uncertain for this country and its people.

I added a square of 9 x 9 golden circles to the centre of the print. The metallic golden circles are almost invisible, when looked at from the front, but they glow beautifully when seen from an angle. I hope that this can remind us, that sometimes our reality looks bleak, but looked at from a different perspective we can find hope and beauty in every situation.

We just need to be open to find the opportunities and gifts of every situation. Just like believing in finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

And this is my wish for the Ukrainian people and in fact, for all of humanity.

The number 9 is an auspicious number. In numerology Number 9 is the number of Universal love, eternity, faith, Universal Spiritual Laws, the concept of karma, spiritual enlightenment and divine wisdom. And it is linked to the colour: gold.

Some have asked before, how I ensure to have the right materials handy. I try to take some useful things along, but am always limited by stuff like baggage allowance and the fact, that I seldom know what to expect. I try to work with what I find and what I have. And to make a plan. Here I had the vision of adding the circles, I had the right pen, but I wanted to make sure they are at an equal distance from each other and the same size.

So in the middle of the night I went down to reception and asked for a punch.

Not an easy task, since they only spoke a pretty basic English and I don’t speak a word of Ukrainian or Russian. And I do not think that many guests are requesting a punch at 11:45 at night. I took a card along, punched a row of holes into it, thanked them, and went back to my room. Now I could get started…

Getting started, with my newly created stencil.

Getting started, with my newly created stencil.

Well here is the final result of this late night hotel deco-busting intervention:

websideviewIRust

And some more pictures, just click on the images to get a larger and complete view:

Did you like this? You can find more similar interventions HERE.

I wish you a wonderful, hopeful and golden week ahead!

Creative Value Adding

ProcessDetailOMG hope you don’t vandalize hotel art…I know it’s not good. .but it serves a purpose. ..as all art does. …  A friend asked on Facebook.

Me: Nope, I am just donating my awesome creative skills to adding value to the cheap hotel deco and turning it into a unique, original piece of art.

2015 Hotel Deco Busting

Intervention Against Tasteless Wall Decorations in Hotels and Holiday Apartments. (Part 12)
Intervention gegen geschmacklose Wanddekoration in Hotelzimmern und Ferienwohnungen.

I have just returned from a business trip to the Ukraine. As my regular readers know, whenever I happen to stay at a hotel I have a special mission. I upgrade the usual bleak and cheap hotel deco, by turning it into an original piece of art. I use my time and resources to infuse the found hotel deco (I cannot really call it art) with some humour, style and creativity. So the hotel ends up with something better and more valuable.

In Kiew I found a cheap and slightly fading landscape print in my hotel room. It has been printed on canvas and framed in a solid wooden frame. I arrived late at night and had to leave early, so this piece of work was done in the early morning hours.

I like to not plan too much and rather react spontaneously to what I find. Besides this faded print, I found a complimentary sewing set from the hotel. I decided to use that and originally thought of just doing some kind of geometric shape. After a few stitches, an abstract geometric shape did not feel right and suddenly it became a house, with a shed and a dog.

The complimentary sewing set, does not offer a lot of thread, so I had to be very economical and selective with my lines and stitches. Anyway, without further ado, here are the pictures! I hope you enjoy them.

Please sign up on the right side to receive updates, if you want to be informed about another two hotel deco busting works which I have done during this trip.

Please click on the images to see a larger view and read the information about them.

Find more similar interventions HERE.

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.