Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Künstler Symposium - A Wonderful Whirlwind

I can't believe it's over! The Künstler Symposium in Neustradt, Germany just finished up on Sunday.
It was a wonderful whirlwind long week filled with new friends, wine, late nights, creative work and little sleep, all in that order!

Special thanks to Ralph Gelbert for his extraordinary generosity, expertise, patience, can do attitude and fun. Ralph, we all enjoyed your company immensely!

I arrived in Germany the week before last on July 13th in plenty of time to enjoy a lunchtime meal out, the chance to meet my incredible host family Philipp and Linda Catoir (who own and run the third largest wine company in Germany, Muller Catoir.), followed up by watching the World Cup Final at an old converted wine cellar in a picturesque pristine Palatinate village in Neustradt an der Weinstresse.

After the celebrations we met the following day at the Villa Bohm. A building with a considerable dark history but one that has seen an amazing change over the years and now functions as a centre for the arts. Many many established artists have worked and shown there, most notably a recent show by Armin Mueller-Stahl the German film actor, painter, writer and musician. His work in quite incredible by the way!

On Monday the 14th we were given our appointed spaces, requested materials, and commenced work.
Many of the artists had brought imagery and a plan as to what they would create during there stay.
I on the other hand had prepared little in that sense, but decided to engage directly with the physical space I was allocated and the materials I was presented with and encountered during my stay.
I worked like a horse, and with determination completed six paintings in six days, one of which was the largest still life I have created to date! Perhaps all the wine and lunch time spritzers loosed me up some!

As a group lead by Ralph, we enjoyed lunch time meals out together each day and also made several group trips to some incredible locations. The UNESCO world heritage city of Speyer was for me a real highlight.

I loved the chance to meet all the artists that took part in the symposium and noted that even with all the upset in the world this week a harmony and positive attitude prevailed. Everyone wants peace. The chance to talk with the wonderfully talented artists Niv Tishbi from Israel and  Nasrin Abu Baker from Palestine presented me with a very real world view - That none of this violence and hatred will get us anywhere! We all want peace and to evolve now and its our hope that through our example and work the world might become a better place.

Here are some photos from this incredible international artists symposium of which I took part.
I will cherish these memories forever and can't wait to see and welcome you all again here in Ireland or overseas soon.

- Richard

Special thanks to Juergen Messler for these photographs.
I will follow up with more photos from the week, publications we featured in, and pictures of the Vernissage shortly.

Richard Hearns - Ireland

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