Tag Archives: Tree

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

Memories of a Tree Taking Flight

 An exploration in a forest and trying to reconnect with its magic…

Taking flight...

Memories of a Tree Taking Flight

Running through a forest of departed trees

Running through a forest of departed trees

Zwiegespräch mit einem Bieber (Dialog with a Beaver)

Zwiegespräch mit einem Bieber (Dialog with a Beaver)

Tate Kuru, a tree and a road – a story of courage and doing the right thing

Tate Kuru, a Tree and the road - Sketch

A little sketch I made to remember this awesome story

Some years ago I lived in Oshakati, a town in northern Namibia, which was/is a crazy mix between traditional Africa and urban shopping centers, absolute poverty and tremendous wealth, thousands of people and similar amounts of donkeys, goats and hungry dogs roaming the streets. Not really a pretty place, but interesting and alive.

The time there left a huge impression on me in many ways and left me with quite a few stories to tell. The memory of one story suddenly returned to me in vivid colours and stubbornly keeps sticking in my thoughts. I guess it is a good time to tell and share this story, as it is so inspiring. Here it goes:

One day we left Oshakati, driving north-west towards Ruacana with a friend. The surrounding area is pretty flat and the road at most places unimaginatively straight, except for one place. About 50km outside of Oshakati the straight road heads straight towards a gorgeous, huge tree. Shortly before the road meets the tree it makes a bend to the right and travels around it, just to take up its normal course shortly afterwards. I commented that I thought that was great of the engineers that they did not just chop down the tree in their way, but instead planned for the street to go around it. Our friend smiled and told us, that the engineers and road builders had no intention to do this, but planned to fell the tree. A ‘Tate Kuru’ (Ovambo for wise old man) – I assume from a nearby village – found out their plans and did not want this ancient, impressive tree to die to make place for the street. He pleaded with them, but the authorities were not interested and told him the tree has to go in the name of development.

The old man was not that easily impressed, so he went home, got his gun and sat under the tree, threatening to shoot anybody that tried to remove him or the tree. He sat there for a very long time, day and night, protecting the tree from the developers and nobody knew what to do with this stubborn and determined ‘Tate Kuru’. Eventually his perseverance of this one old chap won and amazingly the developers build the road around the tree. Unfortunately I do not know who this guy was… I would love to meet him and thank him.

I made a tiny little drawing to remind me of the responsibility and power we all have towards our environment.

The moral of the story?

If one old man can protect a tree from a tarred road and rich developers, so can you and me. We just need to remember what is really important and act accordingly. And remember this very special ‘Tate Kuru’ if you ever feel that you are all alone or not strong enough to make the world a better place.

You alone can make a difference, and if we join forces, we can make an even greater difference. And sometimes some bold actions and perseverance is needed.

IRust_Tree & road

Just to prove to you that this story is not made up, I have located the spot on Google satellite images and marked it for you. You can clearly see the road making a bend around the big dark tree.

If you want to know why this story is so important to me at the moment, read on:

I am really concerned about the future of our beautiful Namib Desert and coastal area around Swakopmund – just recently the Namibian Cabinet has agreed to sell 700 hectares of the Dorop National Park to a company who plans to build a huge industrial and chemical plant. Eventually they will need about 3000 hectares according to their plans, also all inside the recently established Dorop National Park. The same company (and some others) also has plans for marine phosphate mining along our coast and they have already acquired the respective EPLs (Exclusive Prospecting Licenses). In most parts of the world it is prohibited to mine marine phosphate which is highly radioactive and scientists do not know what impact the mining could have on the ecosystem and oceans. You can get much more detailed and scientific information about this on “The Earth Organization Namibia” blog.  

Have a look at some of the artworks which I have made for this cause here. And watch out for my exhibition in Swakopmund in December!

About a year ago a small group of concerned citizens has got together and are trying to spread information on this situation and the possible consequences and to protect our home from pollution and exploitation. They have formed several Facebook forums and they have also started a petition.

Please support this cause, by joining the Facebook groups, signing the petition and by getting informed and active in whatever way you can.

Link to the Petition: (just click on the links to be taken straight to the respective sites)


Facebook Pages:

Industrial Swakopmund?? What future do we want!

We Say NO to Gecko’s VIP Industrial zone near the Namib Coast

A good summary of some background information can be found at:

The Earth Organization Namibia” blog


Encourage your family, friends and contacts to send their e-mail addresses to the following e-mail address so that a comprehensive mailing list can be maintained and all those can be reached and kept informed about the environment of the Namibian coastline and its ocean: