Tag Archives: site-specific

Rust imagines Twyfelfontein in Sweden

By Martha Mukaiwa for The Namibian Newspaper (copied here with kind permission)

and further down: an interview with Johan Adeström published in Söderhamns Kurieren (translated to English via the internet and copied here with kind permission.

Imke Rust in her art installation ‘Drawing Certainty from the Spring of Doubt’, at Erik-Anders Farm, Asta, Sweden

IN a once derelict hut in Sweden, award-winning multidisciplinary artist Imke Rust draws the spirit of Twyfelfontein across space and time.

Her installation which connects the decorated farmhouses of Hälsingland and the famed site of ancient rock engravings in northern Namibia was created for this year’s World Heritage Scholarship.

Rust was awarded the residency from a crop of 101 applicants from 34 countries and spent four weeks living and working at Sweden’s Hälsingegården Erik-Anders and Kristofers Farm.

The scholarship invited artists to connect the aspirational and elaborately hand-painted farmhouses of Hälsingland with another Unesco World Heritage site and Rust quickly saw a link with the rock engravings of Twyfelfontein, some of which, like ‘Lion Man’ and ‘Dancing Kudu’, are said to depict shamanic rituals and trances.

“Both sites are not ‘mere decorations’ but are intentional creative interventions, which allow us to transcend into an alternative reality,” she says.

Transforming the hut into a fairy tale-like space by painting wallpaper in the style of the decorated Hälsingland farms while referencing Twyfelfontein in images rendered akin to the famed rock engravings, Rust engaged in a highly intuitive process that combined found natural and man-made objects with retro telephone book pages which culminate in an installation she titled ‘Drawing Certainty from the Spring of Doubt’.

Though the installation is in Sweden and draws on Twyfelfontein, Rust maintains that neither becomes the other.

“The installation creates a room where both sites are in correspondence with each other, without imposing one on the other. Correspondence is an open-ended, dialogical process of unfolding and becoming,” she says.

To Rust, this straddling and correspondence between realities, cultures, time and space, provides a unique opportunity for learning and connection.

“Maybe a bit like eavesdropping on a conversation between the two sites and making up your own story from the elements you recognise and the ones which seem strange and unfamiliar. Or like stumbling into an unknown cave and finding more and more treasures as you look, but not fully understanding them.”

Honoured to have her installation supported and on show at the Erik-Anders World Heritage site which receives around 30 000 visitors per year, Rust left Sweden with the feeling of having highlighted our shared humanness.

“One of the central ideas of my art and installation is to show how humans are much more alike than different,” Rust says.

“We marvel at the ‘other’ and how exotic they are, but once we look a bit closer, we can realise that we all have the same needs, hopes and fears.”

Visit imkerust.com to explore the installation online.

–martha@namibian.com.na; Martha Mukaiwa on Facebook and Instagram; marthamukaiwa.com

See more images and info HERE.

Interview:

International artist weaves together world heritage from Africa and Hälsingland: “Feeling a bit like a curious child”

What do artistic elements in Hälsingland farms have in common with rock carvings from a world heritage site in Namibia?

“Quite a lot”, says the acclaimed Namibian artist Imke Rust, who for a month worked on an art project at Erik-Andersgården in Söderala.

This is the third time that the World Heritage Scholarship has been awarded by the Gävleborg Region. This year, the Namibian artist Imke Rust has received 5,000 euros to create art where two world heritage sites are linked: Twyfelfontein, an area with rock engravings in Namibia and Erik-Andersgården in Söderala.

This year, more than a hundred applications were received from 34 different countries, but the jury stuck to Imke Rust’s application.

She was born and raised in the Namibian capital Windhoek and has on two occasions received the country’s finest art award from the Namibian national art gallery. Nowadays she lives mostly in Germany.

The visit to Sweden is her first, and she did not know much about the country.

– I had an image that it is a well-ordered country far north, with cold winters, she says and smiles, after just having had experienced a hot summer.

Four weeks ago, she came empty-handed to Erik-Andersgården with the task of pursuing her creative idea: to interweave the Hälsinge farms in an interesting way with Namibia’s first world heritage site Twyfelfontein, which means the doubtful spring in Afrikaans, as there is not always water.

– From the beginning, I thought I would do something inside the house at Erik-Andersgården, but the ideas did not work completely, says Imke Rust.

And she is not an artist who works conventionally, strategically and goal-oriented. One of her watchwords is “trust the process”. Usually many small things must happen before the big thing falls into place.

“I had a vague idea, but I was also clear that I am open to the creative process to happen. The places and the material tell me what to do next. It’s like a dialogue. Communicating with the places and the objects and asking how they want to get together”, she says.

She prefers to call herself a multimedia artist. Which means that she uses what is available to take the creation forward.

“I love working like this, to just listen and feel and accept the process. In a way. But it can also be frustrating. As a person, I am really structured as well and like to have a plan for what to do. There may be some conflict …

– And of course I can feel stressed when I have a limited time of four weeks and I have received a scholarship where there are expectations. It can feel a little strange when people come and ask: How are you, what are you doing? And one can only answer: I do not know yet. But I have realized that this is how I work, she says.

But what began with empty hands and an empty sheet has now resulted in an art installation. A walk in the meadows around the farms in Söderala has now ended in a small abandoned cottage a few steps from Erik-Andersgården, which has been given new life.

It with the help of old objects found in the cottage and with new elements of paintings from Twyfelfontein.

– The first thought is of course that there are totally different places from completely different parts of the world. But people have always decorated and used art to communicate and tell things. It does not matter if it was 5,000 years ago in Africa or 300 years ago in Hälsingland. The need is the same, says Imke Rust.

She describes the rock engravings in Twyfelfontein as a way to create an alternative reality. Something that has also been common in Hälsingland.

– Even in the Hälsinge farms, people painted and tried to imitate precious materials such as marble. To make it look more glamorous and finer than it really was.

The tiny cottage was abandoned and full of dust and debris, but also contained a wood stove, wooden chair and some other small items have now been given an alternative reality.

The walls are now decorated with old pages from a telephone directory with exotic painted animals similar to those in Twyfelfontein and small rock carvings in miniature.

– It was only in the last few days that everything came together. I have not really been able to show anything before now.

And how does it feel to leave it behind you now and leave here?

– Exciting and a little sad. I have put so much energy into it. But I like working with things that are non-permanent. When I open the door and walk away, perhaps nature and the rain will destroy it over time. It is also an interesting process…

– If you look in here, you may not understand everything immediately. But your mind will surely create new stories. I hope you feel a bit like a curious child when you look around here, says Imke Rust.

Johan Adeström for Söderhamns Kurieren, originally published in Swedish, translated via Google Translate.

Offenes Atelier und Ausstellungen

Es ist viel passiert und viel geplant…
Gerne nutze ich die Gelegenheit euch einzuladen und zu informieren.

 
Gerade bin ich von meinem 4-wöchigem Welterbe Stipendium aus Schweden zurück gekommen und gleich geht es mit ein paar spannenden Events weiter zu denen ich euch einladen möchte!
Zu dem Welterbe Stipendium will ich in den nächsten Tagen noch einen ausführlicheren Post schreiben.


Tage des offenen Ateliers in Brandenburg:
Am 21. Und 22. August öffne ich wieder mein Atelier für Besucher, Sammler und solche die es noch werden möchten.

Unter anderem kann man einige meiner neuen Arbeiten aus Schweden sehen und ich erzähle gerne über meine ortsbezogene Installation und Erfahrungen dort.

Jeweils von 10-18Uhr
Birkenstr. 11, 16515 Oranienburg OT Neu-Friedrichsthal.

Gransee zeigt Gesicht


Am 28. August (12 – 16Uhr) eröffnet die Ausstellung
Gransee zeigt Gesicht
Marina Hillebrand | Reiko Kammer | Imke Rust


Die Ausstellung endet am 24. Oktober.
Ruppiner Strasse 61 · 16775 Gransee
Di bis Fr 10 – 16 Uhr · Sa und So 12 – 16 Uhr
Ein Projekt von KuNO e.V. 

L’andart21 – 4a Biennal Internacional d’Andorra


 

Als Teil des Künsterinnen Kollektiv ZAC (Zest Artist Collective) stelle ich noch bis zum 15. September 2021 bei der

L’andart21 – 4a Biennal Internacional d’Andorra
in Spanien eine Raum und Audio Installation ‘Nature’s Dance’ aus.

Weitere Informationen und Bilder: http://landartlexviral.com/project/zest-art-collective/

Kurse an der Volkshochschule Oberhavel



Bei der Volkshochschule Oberhavel startet das neue Semester und ab Ende August gibt es wieder einige Kurse von mir.
 
Zur Zeit gibt es in allen Kursen noch freie Plätze, aber aus Erfahrung werden sie dann doch schnell voll.
 
Hiermit also eine Erinnerung euch bald anzumelden, wenn ihr Lust habt wieder kreativ zu werden mit dem beliebten Art Journaling, der intuitiven Malerei, Kunst in der Natur, Leporellos oder Vision Boards gestalten oder zu lernen wie man eine Instagram Seite gestaltet und vermarktet.
 
Ich freue mich auf neue Teilnehmer*innen, und natürlich genauso sehr auf bekannte Gesichter!

Informationen zu den Kursen und Daten findet ihr auf der Seitei der VHS Oberhavel. 
Buchungen bitte auch über die VHS online, oder telefonisch unter 03301 601-5752

Circle of Life – Meeting the Rainforest

(Deutscher Text weiter unten)

Initially I felt overwhelmed by the rainforest and how unfamiliar this environment was to me. I spent the first day getting to know the forest and made small, quick artworks to introduce myself to the forest and ask its blessings for me to work there.

Small creative offerings to Banco forest:

Following is a short meditation which I have written in my sketchbook on the first day in the Banco forest:

Introducing myself to the forest.

A desert girl coming from the cold.
Feeling fragile and overwhelmed.
It is noisy.
My headache is slightly better.
I think it is raining.
I can hear it, but not feel it.

I feel a lot of pressure. And some loneliness…

I must trust that Banco will also introduce itself to me.
Open up and invite me in. Share its secret and let me know why I have come here.
Why are we brought together?

I feel a certain sadness.
I don’t belong. But that should be obvious.
This is a foreign place.
Africa, but far away from home.

Desert. Contained.

I am here. In the rainforest.
The lungs of Abidjan.
The heart of the rain.

I am here for a reason.

To bring a gift and to receive some.
As a pioneer. As a creator. As an African and a German – I meet in the middle (of my two homes).

I am coming to the source of the rain.
To learn, to understand, to transform and be transformed.

There is something the forest needs from me. That is why I am here.
I am open to all I can be and listening and feeling into what needs to happen.

Desert. Contained. In a rainforest.

I witness. I create. I play. I move. I am moved.

The space which chose me

By the end of the day the forest invited me to this space and I knew this is where I should start. A few initial ideas were considered and offered to the forest, but then discarded, when I realised it is not what wants to happen there.

Working with no plan and with this kind of careful dialogue with the nature around me is exciting and yet always a challenge too. I am challenged to trust, to become quiet, to hush my ego and to ignore my inner critic (and she is a real tough one).

The dialogue happens on a soul-heart basis. I imagine a next step and then feel it in my body. Does it feel good? Is there a YES? Are there any other images coming up?

As soon as there is a yes-feeling, I start with that step. Even though I usually do not know where the road leads to or how the final artwork will look like. I have learned, that the idea, which I form in my mind, of how it should be, usually gets tumbled over pretty quickly. Unless I try to hold onto it, then the artwork does not flow along, but gets sticky, like stepping into old bubblegum.   

Starting to create a circle

All the time I had this idea to work with clay. Yet, that did not want to happen. At least for now. The idea of a circle felt good, so I mapped it out with some fallen branches. Then I found more branches and thought, ok, I can just as well add them.

Part of the benefits of the AGA was, that there were several art students who would assist us artists with our work. Having an assistant, especially an enthusiastic and hard-working student, who is curious, open and friendly is a real blessing. I still had no idea where this will be going. Silue, my assistant, wanted to know what he can do. After asking him to wait a few times, I realised that I needed to just give him some task. So I asked him to collect some more branches.

After the first day of working, with Tenena Francis Silue.

And I too collected some more branches and slowly this nest-like structure grew. As I worked on it, I realised that not only is it positioned between 2 large trees and enveloped by their roots, but also that there is a small tree at the entrance to the ‘nest’. I also realised that one of the large trees was in actual fact dead.

While I placed the branches along the circle, I saw the resemblance to life: we are born (small tree) then grow up (large tree) and then die (second large, dead tree) and that this cycle continuous endlessly. That is how it got its title.

Small tree, large tree and dead tree…

As I finished, I also noticed that during the two days working, I started to feel more at home and at ease in the forest. It was as if the forest has invited me to consider it as a friendly home, by allowing me to create this nest-like structure and protective circle.

I heard it whisper to me “Now you have a home in the forest too. When you are mindful, you recognise that you are part of nature and therefore always safe and protected. Similarly nature needs you to help raise the awareness, that this, our all home, needs to be protected too.”

Circle of Life (Imke Rust, Banco Forest, Abidjan for the Abidjan Green Art Biennale 2019)

View more works created during the Abidjan Green Arts Biennale HERE.

German:

Kreis des Lebens – den Regenwald kennenlernen

Am Anfang fühlte ich mich überwältigt von dem Regenwald und wie fremd ich mich in dieser Umgebung fühlte. Den ersten Tag verbrachte ich damit den Wald zu erkunden und ein paar, kleine, spontane Arbeiten zu erschaffen um mich dem Wald vorzustellen und um seinen Segen zu bitten, damit ich dort arbeiten kann.

An dem Tag entstand auch der folgende meditative Text, den ich in mein Skizzenbuch notierte:

„Mich dem Wald vorstellen.

Ein Wüstenmädchen das aus der Kälte kam.
Fühle mich zerbrechlich und ein wenig überfordert.
Es ist laut.
Meine Kopfschmerzen sind etwas besser geworden.
Ich glaube es regnet.
Ich höre es, aber fühle es nicht.

I spüre einen großen Druck. Und etwas Einsamkeit…

Ich muss Banco vertrauen, das er/sie sich mir vorstellt.
Sich mir öffnet und mich einläd. Seine/ihre Geheimnisse mit mir teilt und mir zeigt warum ich hier bin.
Warum wurden wir zusammengeführt?

Ich verspüre eine gewisse Traurigkeit.
Ich gehöre nicht hier her. Aber das ist ja offensichtlich.
Dies ist ein fremder Ort.
Afrika ja, aber sehr weit weg von Zuhause.

Wüste. Eingegrenzt.

Ich bin hier. In dem Regenwald.
Die Lungen von Abidjan.
Das Herz des Regens.

Es gibt einen Grund warum ich hier bin.

Um mein Geschenk zu bringen und etwas zu erhalten.
Als Pionier. Als Schöpferin. Als Afrikanerin und als Deutsche – wir treffen uns in der Mitte (von meinen beiden Heimaten).

Ich komme zu dem Ursprung des Regens.
Zu lernen, zu verstehen, zu verwandeln und verwandelt zu werden.

Es gibt etwas das der Wald von mir braucht. Darum bin ich hier.
Ich bin offen für alles was ich sein kann, höre und fühle was passieren soll.

Wüste. Eingegrenzt. In einem Regenwald.

Ich beobachte. Ich schöpfe. Ich spiele. Ich bewege. Ich werde bewegt.“

View from inside out.

Am Ende des Tages hat der Wald mich zu diesem, einen Platz geführt und ich fühlte hier soll ich anfangen. Ich hatte ein paar erste Ideen, die ich dem Wald anbot. Aber sie wurden verworfen, sobald ich merkte, das sie nicht passten.

Es ist spannend und gleichzeitig eine Herausforderung so ungeplant zu arbeiten und mich dabei auf einen sensiblen Dialog mit der Natur zu verlassen. Ich bin angehalten zu vertrauen und still zu werden, meinem Ego und inneren Kritiker auf stumm zu schalten. Gar nicht so einfach.

Dieser Dialog findet auf einer Herz-Seelen Ebene statt. Ich stelle mir einen möglichen nächsten Schritt vor und spüre dann in mich hinein. Fühlt es sich gut an? Ist da ein JA? Kommen irgendwelche anderen Bilder hoch?

Sobald ich ein JA-Gefühl habe, fange ich mit der Umsetzung des nächsten Schrittes an. Meist habe ich aber keine Ahnung wohin er führt oder wie das finale Kunstwerk aussehen soll. Ich habe gelernt, die Idee, die ich selber davon habe, was passieren soll, meist sehr schnell übern Haufen geworfen wird. Es sei denn ich halte zu stark daran fest, dann will es nicht fließen und die Arbeit wird zäh, als sei man in ein altes Kaugummi getreten.

Die ganze Zeit meinte ich, ich solle mit Ton arbeiten. Aber das wollte nicht passieren. Immerhin vorerst nicht. Die Idee eines Kreises lockte mich, also fing ich an, mit heruntergefallenen Ästen einen Kreis auf den Boden zu legen. Ich fand noch mehr Äste und legte sie auch auf den Kreis.

Einer der Vorzüge der AGA war, das es einige Kunststudenten gab die uns geladenen Künstlern assistieren sollten. Es ist wirklich ein Segen, einen Assistent zu haben, noch dazu jemanden, der enthusiastisch, fleißig, neugierig und offen ist. Allerdings wusste ich immer noch nicht was genau ich machen sollte und Silue, mein Assistent, wollte natürlich gerne etwas tun. Nachdem ich ihn einige Male gesagt habe, er solle einfach noch warten, bekam ich ein schlechtes Gewissen. Ich musste ihm eine Aufgabe geben. Also bat ich ihn, mir erst einmal noch Äste zu suchen.

Circle of Life (Imke Rust)

So entstand langsam ein nestähnlicher Kreis. Während ich immer mehr Äste einbaute, merkte ich, das der Kreis zwischen den Wurzeln zweier großen Bäumen war. Außerdem stand ein kleiner Baum am sich entwickelnden Eingang zu dem Kreis oder Nest. Und mir wurde klar, dass einer der großen, starken Bäume eigentlich tot war.  

So wie die Wände des Kreises wuchsen, verstand ich die Verbindung zum Leben: wir werden geboren (kleiner Baum), wachsen auf (großer Baum) und irgendwann sterben wir (zweiter großer, toter Baum). Dieser Kreislauf wiederholt sich unendlich. So bekam die Arbeit ihren Titel: Kreis des Lebens.

Nach vollendeter Arbeit fiel mir noch etwas auf. Während den zwei Tagen, in denen diese Arbeit entstand, fühlte ich mich immer mehr zuhause und wohl in dem Wald. Es war, als ob der Wald mich eingeladen hat, ihn als ein freundliches Zuhause zu erkennen, indem er mich dazu anhielt diese nestartige Struktur und einen schützenden Kreis um mich zu bauen.

Es war, als wollte er mir sagen: „Nun bist du auch im Regenwald zuhause. Solange du Achtsam bist, erkennst du dich als Teil der Natur und bist sicher und beschützt. Genauso brauche auch ich deinen Schutz und Hilfe diese Botschaft mit anderen zu teilen.

Kreis des Lebens von Imke Rust im Banco Regenwald, Abidjan. Für die Abidjan Green Art Biennale, 2019.

Hier sind weitere meiner Arbeiten die während der Abidjan Green Art Biennale entstanden sind zu sehen.

Floating Energy Video

I am so excited and grateful!

My talented husband, Steffen Holzkamp, has once again created a video to document my latest site-specific nature art installation. A big thank you also goes to Hans-Peter Wollmann, who has kindly provided us with his video material to use in combination with mine.

In this short video clip (1:49min) you can the ‘making-of’ and get an impression of the artwork itself.

But – it is still much better to experience it in person! If you can, please go and visit it.

I got so much wonderful feedback from the visitors while I was working there and even afterwards. All saying what a lovely surprise it was for them when they first noticed it on their walk through the forest. And then as they came closer and realised how long it was, how it was winding its way down the hill and crossing two paths, they got even more excited. It brought them so much joy, they said.

For those of you, who cannot go and visit the forest and my installation yourself, this video gives an impression, adding to the photographs in my previous post.

Enjoy! And do let me know in the comments what you think. I would appreciate it.