Tag Archives: intervention

Happiness in Charkiv, Ukraine

Happiness, Charkiv 2015

Happiness, Charkiv 2015

Creating happiness in Charkiv by adding some glamour and text.

2015 Hotel Deco Busting

Intervention Against Tasteless Wall Decorations in Hotels and Holiday Apartments. (Part 13)
Intervention gegen geschmacklose Wanddekoration in Hotelzimmern und Ferienwohnungen.

On my recent trip to the Ukraine to prepare an exhibition and workshop I have been staying in Hotel Kharkow (Charkiv) in the centre of town. I am sure this hotel has seen better times, especially the rooms, but still it was a pleasant stay.

The room’s wall decoration (I cannot call it art) was made to match the pillow cases and duvet covers. Or was it the other way around? I do not know. Anyway it was neither particularly pretty nor interesting.

With my hotel deco busting projects I try to add value, to improve on what I find and to add some original touch. I also like to do this in an unobtrusive way and hope that my additions will bring some joy and happiness to those who notice them.

The country and citizens have been through a hard time with the war happening in the eastern Ukraine, only 100km away from Charkiv. Keeping that in mind, I wanted to bring back some of the old glamour which I imagine this hotel and city had. And add a sparkle of happiness.

I found out the Ukrainian spelling of the word Happiness and added these letters to the wall decoration with a gold pen. Looking at the artwork from the front, you almost do not notice the difference, but when you look at it from an angle – for instance as you enter the room –  the golden letters glow beautifully.

Please sign up on the right side to receive updates, if you want to be informed about another  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.

The Ghost of the White Lady

2015 Hotel Deco Busting

Intervention Against Tasteless Wall Decorations in Hotels and Holiday Apartments. (Part 11)
Intervention gegen geschmacklose Wanddekoration in Hotelzimmern und Ferienwohnungen. (Teil 11)

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

It is that time of the year again, when my husband and I travel to Frankfurt for the LEA (Live Entertainment Awards) and as usual we stayed in the Marriot Hotel.

They have upgraded all of their rooms 2 years ago and fitted them with new decorations. I must admit, the new canvas prints of colourful digital collages of Frankfurt buildings are pleasant to look at. They look much more modern and add a pleasant colour highlight to the rooms. Certainly the best hotel art I have seen in a long time. (And ok, I must admit, I do not often stay in hotels, especially not in upper-class hotels, so there sure is more good art out there somewhere.)

At least since my public confession many of my regular followers know about my passion for improving hotel and guesthouse décor. I just cannot help myself and there is always ‘room for improvement’.

Hotel room and digital canvas print as found

Hotel room and digital canvas print as found

So, although I do appreciate the tasty art in this hotel room, there was something bothering me, about Frankfurt, the hotel and the art. The inner city is dominated by imposing skyscrapers and concrete, the hotel is decorated in a very masculine, dark style and the art represents this materialistic, powerful, male atmosphere. It’s a man’s world. I missed the humanity and the female touch or balance of yin energy.

A close-up view (or the BEFORE picture)

A close-up view (or the BEFORE picture)

As usual I let myself be inspired by what I find and then determine the best approach then and there. It did not take long and I knew I just had to add some positive Yin energy to the artwork. Also something that puts people in the foreground and add something personal, to draw attention to the individuality and humanness of the guest who stays in this multi-storey hotel.

I am not sure where she came from, but without a doubt I knew clearly that the White Lady of the Brandberg wanted to make her appearance here. Like a ghost she wanted to travel the world and inspire the modern-time city dweller.

For those of you, who do not know her, let me introduce her to you. She is most widely known as a cave dweller, a rock-painting situated at the Brandberg in the Namib desert, Namibia. Her age is not known, but she is ancient, and probably has been drawn by the forefathers of the San people. She is striking, mostly for her different appearance in relation to the other drawings. She wears strange clothes, is elegant and looks powerful. She dominates the scene.

The White Lady in new surroundings...

The White Lady in new surroundings…

She is called the ‘White Lady’ because of her white garment. Some people claim she is not female but male, but it is difficult to know for sure. Some people also assume that she was a stranger to the land and that she was honoured like a goddess or queen. There is even talk about her not being from this world. It is said that her strange headdress and suit could resemble that of an astronaut, complete with helmet and all. And if I look at her, I can very well imagine that to be true. She is also holding a strange object in her hand, I always think that it is a wine glass, but who knows, maybe it is some gadget to control her spaceship?

She definitely is full of self-confidence. She is powerful; she even has her own bow and arrow, in a time when hunting used to be the men’s job. She is a traveller. A stranger who is welcomed and honoured… She is African – at least that is where she was last seen. She is proud, elegant, and beautiful and knows where she is going. And she enjoys life… if it is indeed a wine glass in her hand. 😉

So she, or her ghost, wanted to come to Frankfurt and inspire people here too.

Inspire us to honour the female role in the world more.

To put humanity back in the forefront.

To remind us to honour and welcome strangers in our society, especially when they possibly have fled from war-torn countries.

To remind women of their strengths and the important role we need to play in this world.

To remind us of old traditions, rituals and art which honoured our spirits and the connection to nature.

The White Lady in Frankfurt (or the AFTER picture)

The White Lady in Frankfurt (or the AFTER picture) – Acrylic on found printed canvas.

She did not come alone. She brought three female friends with her. Friendship is important and together we are more powerful and have much more fun.

More white ladies...

More white ladies…

I hope you, and the guests who will stay in this room, enjoy their presence and the fact that you/they are viewing a very unique, personalized artwork.

The room and unique, personalized art work.

The room and unique, personalized art work.

Many people have asked me how come I have all the right materials on hand to do such things. Well, I am an artist by profession, so I usually travel with some basic art making tools. I cannot plan in advance, since I usually do not know what kind of artwork I will find in the hotel, but part of my creativity is to make a plan and use what is available. Also, usually I do not have much time, so I have to work spontaneously and use what I have. I do get creative. Once I was faced with an artwork behind glass and none of my pens were permanent or working on glass and I only brought watercolours, so I had to borrow a scissor from the hotel staff and used their in-house magazine for images, begged for some double-sided tape from the people laying out the red carpet in the hall and created a collage on top of the glass. Have a look at that here.

If you want to see other similar projects, just click HERE.

Autumnal Equinox

Hello Autumn (leaf work by Imke Rust)

Hello Autumn (leaf work by Imke Rust)

Yesterday I realised that we have just passed the autumnal equinox…

Ahh, I have to accept that summer is definitely over and the days are getting colder and shorter. I fear the cold and was just about to feel miserable, when I decided I just need to make friends with the situation.

And what better way than celebrating the beautiful things about autumn, like the red and yellow leafs with some creativity?

The wild vine covering my soon-to-be studio is slowly turning red. It is really beautiful and I have already collected and pressed the first of these red leafs.

(Click on the photographs above to see a larger view.)

I had the idea to type something onto these leafs. It did not work too well… but I had the opportunity to sit outside in the garden with my old typewriter (which my husband found in the trash). Touched by the cool sun and struggling with the fragility of the leaves, the stubborn, faulty typewriter, no idea what to write and my miserable spelling skills, I started to feel better.

As a welcome to autumn (for those of us living in the northern hemisphere), I decided to share a few of the imperfectly perfect results with you.

The typing worked best on a larger green leaf from the cherry tree.

Dear Universe, thank you for the different seasons in nature as well as in our lives. Thank you for the summer that has passed and the autumn on our doorsteps. Thank you that the sun keeps on shining, no matter what & the stars return every night. Even if we do not see them, they are there for us.

A little prayer of gratitude: Dear Universe, thank you for the different seasons in nature as well as in our lives. Thank you for the summer that has passed and the autumn on our doorsteps. Thank you that the sun keeps on shining, no matter what & the stars return every night. Even if we do not see them, they are there for us.

I even tried to type on this white feather which I found in the garden, but it was not really successful, I guess the ink tape of the typewriter is to old and dry. But I liked the photograph 🙂

White feather with love by Imke Rust

White feather with love by Imke Rust

Wild Sky

Cloud, collected and documented by Imke Rust

Cloud, collected and documented by Imke Rust

Remember the days during childhood, when we looked up at the clouds in the sky and imagined their shapes to represent all kinds of things?

Well, part of my life’s mission in the recent months was to reignite the lightness and playfulness of childhood in my life. I guess I cannot help it, I play best by being creative.

As part of my rainmaking experiments and research, I have been collecting clouds by photographing and documenting them. I have some great ideas for these photographs, but somehow, like so many of my ideas and projects, they have not yet found their way out into the world.

I find this frustrating, because I have so much fun working on different projects and I enjoy sharing them, because I know that many of my wors or projects are inspiring, intruiging or interesting for others.

When I was looking at the pictures of the collected clouds some time ago, I started seeing some figures in them and decided to take a moment to play the old childhood game. Instead of just imagining the animals and figures on my documented clouds, I decided to draw them onto the photographs in Photoshop. Those are the advantages of being an adult and having all these wonderful technical equipment and programs!

I had so much fun, that I spent quite a bit of time making more and more. As so often, also these fun images were saved in a folder on my computer and almost forgotten.

Maybe one day, the right time will come and I can present these projects in their full glory, printed, framed and exhibited in a cool venue… 🙂 Maybe a gallery or curator will invite me to show one or the other project.

Just, how will anybody know about all the wonderful things I have buried somewhere in a folder on my computer or in my studio, I wondered? If they have never seen them or read about them, they cannot possibly know.

Instead of storing and hiding my art and projects, I decided to try to get them up onto my webpage and out into the world. At least that way they people can see them and hopefully find inspiration or joy in them, no matter if I ever find a way to exhibit them in a proper space close to you.

So, here you go, I share my Wild Sky Cloud Creatures with you.

They are not my most important or serious project, by far, but I enjoyed working on them.

I hope that you might feel inspired to stop for a moment, remember your carefree moments as a child, look at the sky and marvel at the offerings it has for you!

Please click on the circles to see the full image.

You can see more works of this series HERE.

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!

 

 

Falling in Love With the Unknown

Cherry Blossoms Close-up

Cherry Blossoms Close-up

On Easter morning we went for a cycle trip, when we noticed that the street was lined with thousands of pink flowers. More leaves were floating down from the pink blooming cherry trees with every new breeze. What a beautiful view!

A lady was watching from the window ( I heard that this used to be regarded as the favourite pastime of Germans for many years, before TV took over), as we stopped and started to pick up hands full of these fresh blossoms and packing them into my shopping bag. Curious about our actions, she asked, what we plan to do with it and was not too impressed when I told her that I do not know.

I really did not know. I just knew they were pretty, they were abundant and available and easy to collect. And I knew I would find something to do with it…

For two days I just did not have the time to even think about it. On the third, I knew the time is running out, as the petals will start to rot. I enjoyed watching the petals float from the trees, so I thought lots and lots of floating petals would be something fun to film.

Fortunately my husband and his daughter had a bit of time and were willing to assist me on the very vague idea and so off we went with some cameras, the buckets of petals and – in the last moment I thought of taking along our mirror as a large round shape.

The vague idea turned into a bit of frustration, as we tried to find a way of doing it and make it look good. Look good for me from an artist point of view and look good for my husband who is the expert in filming. But the beauty of creativity and working with what you have, is that if one idea does not work out, there are millions of possible alternatives. And there is always something one can do.

Maybe it is not the grandest of projects or delivers the most spectacular results, but we sure had lots of creative fun, excellent teamwork and a great time together. There might be a short video one day and there are some photos.

And we brought some excitement and beauty to the life of some people and dogs who passed by ‘a woman in a tree playing cherry blossom fairy’…

Being the cherry blossom fairy sprinkler

Being the cherry blossom fairy sprinkler

Alarmed dog who was not allowed to investigate

Alarmed dog who was not allowed to investigate

The camera crew seen from up the tree

The camera crew seen from up the tree

Creative assistants having fun

Creative assistants having fun

View from the tree

View from the tree: My favourite image…

Displaced mirror with petals

Displaced mirror with petals

Spring Circle

Finished Work: Spring Circle

When Angels Come to Town…

… the mice are dancing on the roofs.

Another addition to the Hotel Deco Busting Series

Intervention Against Tasteless Wall Decorations in Hotels and Holiday Apartments.
Intervention gegen geschmacklose Wanddekoration in Hotelzimmern und Ferienwohnungen.
(Part 10 /Teil 10)
Since 2010 I have secretly been slightly altering tasteless or boring hotel or holiday apartment art whenever I had the chance to.

Recently we stayed at the Marriott Hotel in Frankfurt for two nights. You might remember that last year we were here too, and I made the piece ‘Love & Devotion‘ which is still one of my absolute favourites.

This time I came better prepared for working on artworks behind glass and with an idea for a new creation in mind…

And as life has it, I was surprised that they have renovated the rooms and added new and much more colourful and modern art (and my plans became obsolete). Now they had digital prints on canvas by some anonymous artist hanging on the wall. I actually thought the new art is not bad and really loved the colours, especially the deep reds. It works well in the room – compliments to the decorator!

But hey, even a good artwork can use some fun and magic…

This way it will stand out from the probably 50 exact copies of this print in the other rooms and hopefully add some sparkle to the lives of future guests who notice the small additions.

Without further ado, here is what happened:

BEFORE PIC (Digital print by unknown artist)

BEFORE PIC (Digital print by unknown artist)

AFTER Picture - can you see the differences?

AFTER Picture – can you see the differences?

Since I actually thought this artwork is not bad, I did not want to make huge differences and decided on many small interventions guided by what the images suggested to me…

Mice are dancing on the roof... how many mice do you see?

Mice are dancing on the roof… how many mice can you find?

Angels descending from the roof

Angels descending from the roof

Balloons and fireworks all over town

Balloons and fireworks all over town

Angels in town

Angels in town

New title of the artwork

New title of the artwork added to the bottom of the frame

I decided to add my new title on the bottom border of the artwork. If the guest has not noticed the slight alterations he or she might see this title when lying in bed and looking at the artwork and hopefully become curious.

If you ever stay in the Marriott Hotel in Frankfurt, you might want to ask for room 37-05 and enjoy the company of angels, mice and magic… 🙂

At work :)

At work 🙂

Leopard Sighting in the Forest

Once again I have swopped the warm African sun for the cold, dark and wet winter in Germany.

As a reminder of the creative fun that can be had in the cold I decided to share with you a little sketch I did on an outing to our favourite forest last year.

There were lots of frozen puddles of water and I liked how clear they were, like solid three-dimensional piece of nature art. Feeling a bit homesick I instinctively decided to add some African imagery to it. Maybe something like rock-art on ice?

I happened to have a white Tippex marker with me and started to draw a kudu. I was moderately happy with that. So a bit further away I started again, drawing a person, thinking this might turn into a traditional hunting scene.

Kudu and man on ice in the forest

Kudu and man on ice in the forest

The lines I drew dissolved and moved in weird ways on the ice surface, so I did not have much control, and thought adding a bow and arrow would totally mess it up. I felt awkward and unhappy with both figures. It needed something interesting to happen to save it…

Along came the leopard.

Leopard and man on ice in the forest

Leopard and man on ice in the forest

Interestingly the leopard started to chase the person and not the kudu, who was watching from a safe distance.

Unfortunately I cannot tell you how the story ended, as it got so cold, that I rather put on my gloves again and walked on.

Last view of the scene with the leopard chasing the man into the distance

Last view of the scene with the leopard chasing the man into the distance

Wishing you a happy and playful week and the perfect weather for your creative expressions!

Imke

Hotel Deco Busting: Gänseblümchen

2013 Hotel Deco Busting: Gänseblümchen A

Intervention Against Tasteless Wall Decorations in Hotels and Holiday Apartments.(Part 7)
Intervention gegen geschmacklose Wanddekoration in Hotelzimmern und Ferienwohnungen.(Teil 7)

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

Gänseblümchen A (finished intervention)
Gänseblümchen A (finished intervention)

Our bungalow on the island Poel in the Baltic ocean was small, but had a few typical holiday bungalow decoration gems on offer. The colourful ceramic plate was by far the most classy and valuable piece of ‘art’, but it was chipped on the side – probably the reason why it ended up as decoration in the bungalow.

Gänseblümchen A (Original plate without intervention)
Gänseblümchen A (Original plate without intervention)

I decided that the alteration should be simple, easy to remove and just change the viewing experience slightly. I had some red tape and after some deliberation I decided a text element would be a great addition to the abstract and organic design of the plate. On the lawn in front of the building thousands of daisies started growing and I really like their German name: Gänseblümchen. The letters for the word were cut out from the 1cm broad tape and stuck to the plate.

Gänseblümchen A (Detail)
Gänseblümchen A (Detail)

Gänseblümchen A
Coloured sticky tape on found porcelain plate in a holiday bungalow on the island Poel.
approximately 45cm in diameter
July 2013

Work in progress

Work in progress

Disclaimer: It has become a habit of mine, to subtly alter and improve the decoration in hotels and holiday appartments when I have the opportunity. I do this with respect to the owners and future guests. I do not intend any harm and hope that it will put a smile on people’s faces who notice.

To see other similar projects, click HERE.

Coulrophobia – or how to face your fears

Who is afraid of the clown? Apparently enough people to have an own term for this fear: Coulrophobia.

In our holiday bungalow on Poel we found a children’s porcelain savings ‚box’ in the form of a clown’s head, used as decoration. It was so ugly and trashy that we immediately named it

Gruselclown

(German for creepy clown)

Gruselclown (Before)

Gruselclown (Before)

In a state of absolute coulrophobia, I decided that it definitely needed to get a real makeover:

Gruselclown - After our intervention

Gruselclown – After our intervention

The bookshelf had mostly thriller and horror novels on offer. With the name already set for the clown and seeing the books, it was a short way to decide to turn him into a skull. Now he had a real purpose to hold the books upright and add to the horror theme and the poor thing did not look so out-of-place anymore.

Gruselkabinett - Horror Bookshelve

Gruselkabinett – Horror Bookshelve

In good company with books titled: In the Name of the Dead and Cemetery of the Living Dead or In a Coma.

Disclaimer: It has become a habit of mine, to subtly alter and improve the decoration in hotels and holiday appartments when I have the opportunity. I do this with respect to the owners and future guests. I do not intend any harm and hope that it will put a smile on people’s faces who notice.