February 24, 2011

"living up"

Almost unbelievably amazing, after one more week, my driver's licence has finally been finished to be picked up. It took the office only three months, but I don't care anymore. It is here now and I can get over to do other stuff. Above that, we've got a nice little present last night. Sometimes neighbors ask us to take care about their letter boxes or flats, as long as they are on holiday. I don't mind doing these things at all, it is what neighbors should do, but in one case, it is almost a pleasure. One of the couples living in our building, they are too sweet. Everytime they return from some far and mostly sunny destination, they'll bring a well thought about present for us; marple syrup from Canada, Mokka from Greece or herbs from Las Palmas. This time they had been to Thailand for a couple of weeks and last night, they brought us Thai Rum and a special oil to revitalize when tired and stressed out. Thank you so much guys. I will empty your letter box forever.


"filling spaces" 2009
Still kind of numb about what has happened down in New Zealand, I have been going through some of my old paintings. It hasn't actually helped to ease my mind, but this one stuck to my head since Tuesday and maybe it says more about my feelings than any words. It does not only leave me with the strange sensation of being homesick for Aotearoa's shores, but also reminds me of the one thing that I have learned from the people there: "Take it all in, hold your breath and then start doing, what needs to be done. Live your life, no matter what." This down-to-earth perspective comforts me and I know, it will help the country to get through all the tradegy and the pain it gets hit by now.

February 22, 2011

"this morning"

Drama gets different, when you know people or places involved. It does not only come closer, but even more, it gets a face. Save and sound in the Fishbowl, with beautiful sunny skies, the New Zealand part of my heart is worried and sad this morning. Christchurch, today.

February 20, 2011

"eating it up"

Working as an artist gets most interesting for me, when I am able to not only to create, but when I have the chance to get in touch with people using my art. Very often I exhibit paintings or drawings within an installation, the so called EnvironmentInstallations, to interact with the visitors of a show and to include their experience within the process of planning following pieces. Last year I was given the incredible opportunity to participate in a very interesting show; I decided to go there with a complete room. Based on the question, about how open and tolerante we actually are when it comes to others, I did design an old fashioned grocery store, where I had drawn portraits of people living in Berlin on display. I did not explain anything about those faces, nothing about their brackground, their ethnic, religious or sexual belonging, just let them stand for themselves. Instead, guests were invited to buy homemade Tolerance- and Respect-Lollies, as well as Indentity-Sweets, in the shop. My aim was to get everybody a tiny bit closer, involve them in the show and make them take something home, something despite the bare memory. It was amazing what holding or, even better, eating a Respect-Lollie for example, tiggered for some of the people. The conversations I had with them, the questions I've been asked, since that experience my interest in interactive shows has deeply intesified. Based on last year's show, I am right now working on a new EnvironmentInstallation. Leaving the questions around tolerance and respect, I am planning to create a place, asking even more specific questions. Questions around mine and other's identities. As I strongly believe, only understanding who we are for ourselves, gives us the ability to understand and to accept others. What do you think?

February 18, 2011

"paper drama"

Spending the best of yesterday and today in some beige colored office and with the studio phone, I am still rolling eyes here. The simple idea of renewing a driver's licence turned into some kind of strange comedy show. I went to the office early afternoon, to finally pick up my papers after weeks of waiting. The moment I arrived there, something felt strange and I've silently asked myself: "Should this really be one of done things on my very long and urgent list?" Probably the bare thought of this, did turn things into a clear NO. After waiting ten minutes, I was led into a huge office with at least twelve tables and even more officers. A lady with incredibly short hair, screamed friendly at me, that there wasn't even a request under my name and of course no driver's licence. I had given them all the nescessary stuff by December, but she stuck with her version, that I had never been there before. Well, after another ten minutes, suddenly some photos with my name on the envelope, showed up. Another ten minutes ahead and the lady explained, it must have been their trainee and that hings have gone wrong. Of course she couldn't help me to solve the mess and sent me over to her co-worker. This one was even more friendly, and as I insisted over and over again, how important it was for me to take the document home, she came up with an idea. I was offered to pay a little more to get an Express Print, which I happily did. Just the second before we were almost through with the process, the officer noticed some missing details on the form. As I had made the licence about 20 years ago down in Southern Germany, the Berlin office needed all the imformation from there. And, they had only sent half of the file. Express Print cancelled immediately. Equiped with stacks of paper, several phone and Fax numbers, but no driver's licence, I left the public building, heading home to the Fishbowl. This happened by 3 p.m. yesterday and it took me only until 12 a.m. this morning, to finally reach someone down south; only to find out, half of my file was lost in their system and it would take another month to recreate it. Thank God, I am a well-behaved girl. I managed to stay calm and encouraged the guy on the other side of the phone, to come up with a better idea. Something in my tone must have hit the right button and, you wouldn't believe it, he found the file in some long vanished Word document. I could almost hear, how proud he was and thanked him generously. For now, I am slightly positive to get the licence by Wednesday.

After all this, it is time to stick to my newest addiction; orange juice with banana and fresh ginger. It is mindblowing and makes you see wonderful colors within all the February Grey. Served in my favourite red glasses, I am over offices for today, focusing on a hopefully great, great weekend.

February 16, 2011

"renowned ordinary"

Wednesdays mark the middle of the week; this one was no different and an ordinary studio day at the Fishbowl above. Someone knocked in the morning, asking if he could buy the husband's office table. When you live in an old shop this happens once in a while and most of the time, I feel honored about such moves. Besides that, we had a nice premature Spring day, Emma's friend, an old man living in the hood, came by to bring her some treats, someone else delivered flyer, I managed to work on the concept for the Blossom show in March and finished one of my oil studies, the Magnolias filled the place with their amazing colors and scent, I had far too much cauliflower and mashed potatoes for dinner and now, it is time for a hot bath and a glass of wine. Hopefully your day was a smooth and as ordinary as mine.

February 14, 2011

"more than less"

After last night's post, I have decided to create one more of the Paper Blog series; a tiny guide about happiness in February. A great way to start of the week. Thank you for all your amazing and kind comments. Enjoy the ride for yourself, as much as I do this through you.

February 13, 2011

"bottles, ghosts and pleasure"

I am no believer in "artists should suffer to become truly creative", but the beginning of the year very often comes with a tight budget. No matter how careful we act, lately February it is time for stepping back and for a little saving. Though I know about this in advance and can almost see it coming, there are times when I am not good in getting over with it. Once in a while, though we are not talking about any drastic drama here, I tend to panic about this season. This year though, I have made the decision to not only take a deep breath, but to smile about it. It is of no help to look at it any different, than as the months of a year, when working for freelancer is a bit more rough than usual. Staring at difficulties might only let them grow in an unhealthy way, so probably some proper, and good balanced action, is much more useful. And opening up to be prepared for all the new adventures around the corner. Therefore, we've done something quite ordinary and spent all saturday cleaning and polishing the place. After a couple of hours the entire Fishbowl looked amazing and shiny again. I just love these moments. To reward our sucess, we took today of completely; no paperwork, no studio, but watching movies in the morning, an easy, though delicious breakfast at 3 p.m. and some sweet childhood memories. Sometimes going simple is such a pleasure. It made this a wonderful weekend of little things and rediscovered treasures around the Fishbowl and I can't wait for the week to come.

February 09, 2011

"boring but good"

I almost feels like spring here. A bit cold still maybe, but the air is light and easy. And for the first time during my long but messy gardening career, I did manage to bring some plants over the freezing season. The Ericas on the windowsill of the office are still alive. And we have passed January already. Usually I can only harvest dried out, brown strings lately by December. Though the weather has been amazing today, I didn't make it into the park and instead, had to watch the sunshine from behind the big glass windows. This wasn't too bad either, as it involved studio time and finally finished, nasty paperwork. I could dance over such mini milestones. Can you too? As a friend wrote to me this morning; we should take things as they come and just enjoy the ride. I am sure, I have spit out similar advices before, but it seems we need to remind ourselves over and over again. The most simply things are obviously the hardest ones to do. Now, call me smartie pants, I deserve it.

February 08, 2011

"inside or out"

There are many shades and colors while walking through a creative process and even more, while trying hard to work on your ideas and dreams. Once in a while it is simply turmoil. Or actually in this case, the temptest in a teapot. Though nothing had really happened, I kind of started this day on a slightly angry note. The air outside smelled like spring and even a baby blue sky was nothing to cheer me up either. Only opening my email account and finding some ridiculous messages there, started to make me boil inside. I could have screamed, thrown something on the wall or simply shoot the next person crossing my path. A furious and smoking beast. Of course, it is not the first time I have experienced such a moment of disgrace, but the part that worries me most about those days, is the fact that I start acting unfair towards my beloved ones; throwing all my "being unsatisfied" and feeling of "betrayed by life" on them. In order to probably wanting to blame myself, I will blame them. And though I am not at all proud of this, I have to admit, I am good. Good in using those tiny needles of nagging and critizising, until I'll get back what I have started myself. And then I am shocked about the reaction. Simply typing this is hurtful and I have to say, also shameful. I have no idea, why it is sometimes such a big deal to control myself and avoid to overrun my surroundings, when they have done nothing wrong but being around. On the other hand, I guess it is nothing in particular to experience emotions like this and after appologizing, I should rather get over it, concentrate on the beautiful Mangolia branches, a very dear friend brought to me yesterday, and accept, that we are all far from perfect. Maybe this is much more effective and healing, than biting my lips and becoming bitter about my flaws. With this I remember a quote, that finally helped me to kick myself out of the moody corner this morning.

“Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.” (thank you Wesna!)

February 07, 2011

"one week show"

Looking at the pictures I've just uploaded, it makes me wonder how differerent one week can be from another. Maybe it is the ending of the Year of the Tiger or simply coincidence, but those seven days have been filled with interesting ideas, appointments and amazing people. A total scene change to the slowmotion feeling before. Starting with some tuna salad to die for and a very nice birthday party, which we've hosted at the Fishbowl, I couldn't have spent the last eight days in a more energetic and focused way. There is still a lot of project planning going on and though it is not clear at all, what will come out of it, it pushes my creativity like a cool wave of fresh ideas and concepts. Being in action already, I took the chance to finally revisit the Freies Museum of Berlin. Last year I had the great opportunity to curate and exhibit the show MEMO_RAISING there and it was wonderful to go back and to meet some of their very special artists and innovative manager. As we had spent almost six weeks at the venue, going back felt a bit like going home. Whenever you have the chance, I highly recommend to check out the website and to pay a visit to one of the internationally engaged shows at the museum.

Above all the encouring input lately, one of my lifelong dreams has been fulfilled. It is only a little thing, but I had always wished to live next to a marvelous bar. No café or some ordinary beer bar, but a classy place to have some honest cocktails or longdrinks. Three nights ago, this fantasy  has suddenly become real. I am over the moon about this new lounge; dark chocolate colored walls, subtle lilac neon lights, nice guys behind the counter and some good eletronic tunes from a live DJ. Unfortunately the manager didn't feel comfortable with me posting pictures of the interior, so I have to leave you with an idea of my current favourite drink, which has to be a not fancy, but classical Whiskey Sour, and with greetings from a very satisfied barfly soul. Have a happy and inspiring weekend!