Tag Archives: forest

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.

Catalogue – Global Nomadic Art Project – Europe 2017

The Global Nomadic Art Project has just released the catalogue of the projects done in Europe during 2017.

You might remember that I participated in the GNAP- Germany in August/September 2017 and before that in GNAP – South Africa 2016. It was an incredible honour and also a humbling experience to meet so many wonderful land art artists and work together for 3 weeks at a time.

You can see the results of all the different GNAP projects (Turkey, Lithuania, France, Germany and Eastern Europe) in this beautiful catalogue online:

Please click on the image to be taken to the online catalogue.

My artworks are on page 95 and on page 100 is one image of a performance piece which I made. But, take your time to look at all the other amazing art and artists brought together through this wonderful initiative.

And, if you are interested to see more of the art which I created during the GNAP 2017 – Germany project, please click here to view a compilation of my artworks.

Want to see even more? If you missed what I have created in South Africa in 2016, click here.

Creation is about allowing… (and upcoming events)

Blue Sphere 2, carefully allowed in the branches between two trees in the forest, by Imke Rust

Blue Sphere 2, carefully allowed installation in the branches between two trees in the forest, by Imke Rust

Creation is about allowing
– not about going out and doing.

Recently I found this quote and it made me stop in my tracks. Coming from a society and background where doing is considered the highest virtue, this thought seemed so out-of-place and plain presumptuous. Yet, I could not dismiss it, as it also stirred something deep inside of me.

For one, I realised some time ago, that doing is not always the answer. I have written about this idea before HERE.

But even more importantly I was struck by the ‘allowing’ part. When we grow up, our life is filled and directed with an endless list of do’s and don’ts… In my younger years, I was convinced if I just learn this list and follow it to perfection, I would be happy, and so would be everybody around me. Because I was doing things right… Later in life, I realised that this list became more and more complicated and it was not always possible to separate clearly between the do’s and don’ts. This realisation was confusing and also depressing, because my neatly arranged roadmap to life seemed to be crumbling and I had nothing to hold on to anymore that would guide me along.

Allowing…

Wow, what a big concept.

In life. In creativity. In love. In believes.

What would happen if we allowed more and were less constricted by the do’s and don’ts?

Allowing… the creative process of the universe, of life, to happen, without the need to control it.

It is a difficult concept to grasp (at least for me). And I guess I will be allowing myself to ponder on this much more. And allowing the creative process more and more, instead of trying to go out and ‘doing’.

And as if the universe wanted to let me know that it was serious about this, it send some sunshine on Saturday and nudged me to go out and explore a new part of the forest. Allowing myself a break, with no responsibilities or work to do. I was so deeply touched by the spirit of the forest, the cold, fresh air, nature’s first slow attempts at spring coming, the sunlight playing hide and seek and the majesty of the trees…

I took some pictures. And when I arrived home and downloaded them onto the computer, I realised that without any intention or doing on my part, a special moment was created and captured. Yes, it is just the flare of sunlight hitting my camera, but it is also magical. As if a sphere of blue light has been installed perfectly between the trees… and documented.

If you just allow yourself to imagine that this was a carefully created art installation.

Blue Sphere 1 & 2, carefully allowed installation in the branches between two trees in the forest, by Imke Rust

 

Here are some upcoming events, where you can see or experience my art:

Save the date if you are in Windhoek, Namibia:

Art Inside 2016  

One of my artworks (Happy Mongoose, 2015, Mixed Media on Canvas, 112 x 145cm) has been selected for the Art Inside Project and exhibition at the National Art Gallery of Namibia. You are welcome to the opening this week Thursday! If you cannot make it then, the exhibition runs till the 23rd of April 2016.

Happy Mongoose

Happy Mongoose

OPENING DATE 24 March 2016
OPENING TIME 18:00
VIEWING 24 March – 23 April 2016
VENUE NAGN

Press information about the project and exhibition from the National Art Gallery of Namibia:

“The project Art Inside, which was first launched in 2014, is a nationwide art awareness project aimed at Namibian Government. The initiative aims at acquiring original Namibian visual art for installation in all Ministries and semi-government premises. By installing the artworks, the project aims to celebrate visual art as an important mode of creative communication, and to foster an appreciation for visual art as inherent part of government’s working environment.

In the previous editions Namibian artists from all Regions have responded positively by submitting inspiring art and craftwork of an exceptional quality for this project. From these, the best pieces were first exhibited at the NAGN and then purchased for the Government of Namibia Art Collection.

The Art inside 2016 exhibition will run from 24th March to 23rd April 2016 at the National Gallery of Namibia.”

*************

And save the date if you are in Germany and interested to participate in a special Land Art Workshop which I am offering in conjunction with the Fair Camp Berlin program:

Die Fülle in dir
Fair Camp Exkursion „Kreativ im Grünen“ mit Imke Rust am 24. April 2016

Wann: So. 24. April 2016, ca. 13 bis 18 Uhr inkl. Mittagessen, Wo: bei Oranienburg

Die FÜLLE in Dir: Raus in die Natur! Rein in die Seele. Sehnen sie sich auch nach neuem Ausdruck, Natur und kreativem Schaffen? Der Frühling ist die perfekte Zeit auch unsere Seele aufblühen zu lassen und neue Impulse in unser Leben zu bringen. Lust auf etwas Neues und eine Auszeit vom Alltag? Dann lade ich sie herzlich ein, gemeinsam mit mir die Fülle, ihre Kreativität und die Natur neu zu entdecken. Wir kreieren, gestalten und experimentieren mit und in der Natur und lernen dabei unsere eigene innere Fülle und die der Natur bewusster zu erleben und auszudrücken.

Sie brauchen keine Vorkenntnisse, nur Offenheit, Freude an der Natur und Lust sich auszuprobieren. Als deutsch-namibische multimediale Künstlerin und Regenmacherin freue mich darauf, sie dabei zu begleiten und inspirieren zu dürfen. Imke Rust

Dieser Workshop ist der Arbeit in und mit der Natur gewidmet. Aber vor allem soll er die spielerische Kreativität, den persönlichen Ausdruck und die Freude am Schaffensprozess anregen. Wir werden die meiste Zeit draußen im Wald verbringen. Falls das Wetter nicht mitspielt, arbeiten wir mit Naturmaterialien im Atelier. Alles ist in kurzer Laufentfernung.

Bei Ankunft gibt es ein Mittagsmahl, eine Spende von Wünsch Dir Mahl. Wasser, Saft und Kekse für zwischendurch stehen bereit.

Click HERE for more information.
Space is limited to 10 participants, and places are already filling up quickly…

Kreativ im Grünen_FairCamp2016

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.

 

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):

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.

Times of Change

Recently sold artwork (via my Facebook artist page) Mixed media on 170m/g2 acid-free paper, A4.

Untitled (Blaue Kudufrau) – Recently sold (via my Facebook artist page) Mixed media on 170m/g2 acid-free paper, A4.

Social media is awesome!

But also a bit complicated… There are so many easy ways to share my arts and ideas with friends and strangers, connect and get feedback and interesting conversations happening. It is also a challenging world to navigate, as I post on this blog, on Facebook and sometimes on Pintrest and Twitter. And I post very different stuff depending on the general idea of what a blog or a Facebook page is used for.

I realised that many people who follow me on Facebook, miss out on my blog posts and my blog readers do not get to see all the art which I post on Facebook…

When somebody mentioned to me that they love to see much more of my art, I realised that in my blog posts I focus mainly on ideas and concepts in my art. On Facebook I try to post an artwork or sketch per day (except weekends), with brief news or info. So there you see what I am up to much more regularly. Yet I also know that many people are not on Facebook – and I totally understand you.

I love making art and being creative as a way of life, but just as much, I love sharing my art and ideas with people. I hope to inspire, to bring happiness and joy, to provoke some new and different thoughts or alternative perspectives. With that in mind, I am considering posting more often to share more of my art and thoughts, maybe in occasional shorter, news-style posts. I am still not sure how exactly I can and want to do this best and ensure that it is still lots of fun and interesting for you, without becoming too much.

The best way to find out how things work best is to try it. So I guess I will just slowly feel my way forward and would love to hear your feedback.

Recent Art

As I have just mentioned, I regular post new art on my Facebook page. I enjoy the immediateness of it. FB followers see the image in their news feed and can press the ‘LIKE’ button when they enjoy what they see or they can easily leave a comment to which I can reply. And recently the fact that more people see my art there has led to increased direct sales.

Always be your imperfectly perfect self... Acrylic and pen on the back of a discarded Toffifee (choclate) box... approx. 15x15cm

Another work which was recently seen and sold via my Facebook artist page: ‘Always be your imperfectly perfect self…’
Acrylic and pen on the back of a discarded Toffifee (chocolate) box… approx. 15x15cm

Facebook is also the platform where I share experiments, sketches or little projects which will probably never see the inside of a gallery, a frame or somebody else’s house. I might consider to share some more of that on my blog in future too.

Here are some recent images:

Magic Sticks. I bought myself some funky new colours and had some dried rose stems which needed some love. This is the result. (Posted on FB on 17th of July)

Magic Sticks. I bought myself some funky new colours and had some dried rose stems which needed some love. This is the result. (Posted on FB on 17th of July)

Just finished this one... no title yet. Mixed Media on 170g/m2 acidfree paper, A4  (Posted on FB, 12 July2014)

Just finished this one… no title yet.
Mixed Media on 170g/m2 acidfree paper, A4 (Posted on FB, 12 July 2014)

'I just smell that this is going to be an awesome week! - Can you smell it too?' Pencil sketch from my sketchbook, posted on FB on 21st July 2014.

‘I just smell that this is going to be an awesome week! – Can you smell it too?’
Pencil sketch from my sketchbook, posted on FB on 21st July 2014.

 

New Moon – New Beginnings

But before you expect a whole lot of new posts in the next few weeks, I have to tell you, that it might still take some more time before changes to happen. Because we are moving!!!

We have bought a little house in a little village just outside of Berlin. The house is really sweet, but even better: it comes with a beautiful garden (with a very own cherry tree!) and a lovely outside building and garage, which we plan to convert into a studio. Another absolute bonus is that the area is really pretty awesome and idyllic. There is a large forest just 100m down the road, the Havel river meanders past about five-minute walk into the other direction and there are several pastures for horses in between. We are so excited! And cannot wait to finally get the keys at the end of this month and start moving in and doing some renovations.

I have the feeling this move will be the start of a new magical time in our lives. I cannot wait to be closer to nature again, see how a desert girl can adapt to the forest and real running rivers, picking cherries and planning my own herbs and vegetables again!

Depending on how soon we will have our internet connection installed there and finished the move and the renovations, I will probably write the next blog from our new place, sitting under a tree…

Here is a sneak preview of our new place and surrounding area (click on the thumbnail image to see a larger view):

Wishing you all a great start to this new week! May the new moon energy fill you with wonderful energy!