“Only through art can we emerge from ourselves and know what another person sees.” -Marcel Proust
“If I create from the heart, almost everything works; if I create from the head, almost nothing.” -Marc Chagall
Yesterday was a marathon day of curating, hanging, and getting ready for the show at Unterhammer. It was the first time I was closely involved with the hanging of an art exhibition with more than just myself, so it was an interesting learning experience. It helped that I was among friends, women who stepped aside and let the collaboration happen without forcing anything. The result was beautiful, delicate, and expansive, which is all the things I think about when I think about the natural place that was at the center of this project.
This is the curator’s dog, Soraya, who supervised the day’s proceedings. (Actually, one of the nicest moments of the day was giving her a little walk because her mom was too busy. I took a trail I’d never walked before and came upon an old stone cistern with water burbling out of it into a stream. It was covered with moss and ferns and seemed to come from a fairy tale. Sorry, no picture. I didn’t take my phone with me, but maybe next time!)
But being outdoors and connected again with this beautiful place and its surroundings reminded me of this year-long process of trying to capture nature. And even though we only came together once at the beginning of the show, the other artist, Astrid Blasberg, created delicate work similar to mine. Her mixed media works focused in turns on the man-made traces and the tiniest of natural phenomena such as the zillions of tiny lily pads in the old water penstock where the iron foundry stood. The lily pads and the spray- painted spots on the logs turned into a profusion of dots in her work.
Here are some more pictures of the hanging, the result of much discussion as to how to mix and match everything. In the end, all of our work was in a harmonious dialogue.
Our curator, Dr. Claudia Gross and her daughter, Miriam, presented the show in both English and German and explained that the staff and director of Unterhammer were as excited about the show as we were, because it was the first time they had hosted a show whose subject was Unterhammer itself.
They presented us all with a bouquet to express their gratitude. It was the perfect end to a perfect night. I had to put them in my artist grandmother’s vase. I think she would have been very proud.