Saturday, April 15, 2017

Trees

For me, trees are a constant source of fascination. When I travel, I see possibilities for daily photo projects in tree arrangements, as in this threesome, which I caught a few days ago when my husband and I were in Bad Wörishofen.



Or our Magnolia tree in the garden, which, for the first time in the almost twelve years that we have been living in this house, has managed to bloom without all the flowers being destroyed by onsetting rain right after the blossoms opened up.


Or color combinations like this in the spring which convince me that spring is definitely the nicest season - while it's on - ...


Yesterday I went for a bike ride in the area and finally found a very nice beech tree that meets all my requirements for the next daily art tree - except for the fact, that it is not in biking distance to be covered every day.


Would it be ok to go there only once a week? Have to think about that...
Happy Easter to everyone!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Article in Patchwork Professional Magazine

Th enewest issue of the Patchwork Professional Magazine is out, and it includes my article on how to make the best of unique snow-dyed fabrics.

If you can find a copy somewhere, check it out!




Tuesday, April 4, 2017

TAFA mapping the world

I have been a member of the TAFA-list for a few years now (here is a link to my TAFA-profile), and when Rachel Biel mentioned that she was preparing a blog post on maps I notified her of one of my recently finished quilts in the series text messages. I love maps, looking at maps (including mind traveling), and we have old prints of maps and geographical subjects on our living room wall.

on top: an old print of Ratzeburg, the place where my parents met and I spent
my childhood summers visiting my grandparents;
below, left: Weilheim, where my husband grew up; and right: of the area where
my husband I got married.

If you want to surprise me and do me a favor, you can get a pretty or detailed map of one of my favorite places, or any interesting place in the world and I will be very happy!

That blog post on the TAFA-list was a little while in the making after Rachel had made the first announcement, but it is up now, and shows a number of interesting quilts and textile works on the topic of maps.
Here is a small photo of my quilt that  is featured on the TAFA-blog:

Promised Land 2015? (text messages 9)

At that point when I offered Rachel that quilt to be included in the post, I had, I think, not realized that I was already working on another quilt that would apply to the map topic as well. It was made for an article in the magazine Patchwork Professional, where I am demonstrating how my snow-dyed fabrics can be used in traditional and art quilts. The article should be out any day now, but as long as it has not been published, I will post a full picture on the blog yet. A detail, however, is well in order, I think:

Mapping the World of My Mind, detail

It is a combination of two pieces of snow-dyed fabric, and was quilted on the longarm machine.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Falcon Hospital in Abu Dhabi

For my last full day in Abu Dhabi my friend had booked me into a tour of the Falcon Hospital near the airport.


In fact, only a few weeks before I had heard a programme on the radio with an interview of the German director of this hospital, (you can find the German podcast of the interview here) not knowing that I would actually be visiting this fascinating place now.

This photo is one of many in the display room of the falcon
hospital that show all the numerous honors and prizes
which the director, Dr. Margit Müller, has received for her
outstanding work at the hospital.

I didn't know much about falcons before my visit, and I am far from being an expert on falcons now, but I must says it was a fascinating experience, and is well worth the trip.
It was a bit of an adventure to find the exit for the falcon hospital from the highway, but we managed alright. It was a rainy day in Abu Dhabi (yes, it sometimes rains in Abu Dhabi, and I was lucky to catch one of the rare days during my short stay!).

So here are a few things I learned about falcons. They have a passport to prevent smuggling. A passport has all the personal details of the falcon, including its ring number to prove that it was bred in captivity and is not a wild falcon (those are protected and must not be caught and tamed) - but no picture.


A picture would be superfluous, or the passport would have to be renewed every year, because the falcon's feather pattern changes every year with the moulding.


They need the passport because they travel with their owners to go hunting in various countries. For traveling and any kind of transport, as well as while they are waiting for treatment at the clinic, they wear eye shades, which keeps them totally placent and quiet. You might find one sitting next to you on the plane like this.

If you're traveling First Class, I suppose...

We were allowed to watch one falcon's treatment - shortening and sharpening of its claws, inspection of wings for broken feathers, and it was demonstrated how a broken feather can actually be fixed or even replaced.


In the clinic they are also treating other kinds of birds - here is an owl whose mother had been treated, freed after treatment and kept returning to the cage until she started a nest and bred four youngsters.


And you can check in your falcon for the off-season in a free-roam cage to have it under perfect supervision for moulding season. That way you know it will be in perfect shape when you pick it up again for hunting season after moulding is over.



Thursday, March 23, 2017

Little escap(ad)e: Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, and New York University Abu Dhabi

During my short trip to Abu Dhabi my friend and I went to see two art exhibits that were thematically related, although not planned in union, according to the curator of one of the shows. They are both on the topic of conceptual and modern art in the United Arab Emirates, looking at the movement from slightly different perspectives. According to the curator at the art museum of New York University in Abu Dhabi, she would have preferred if we had seen the exhibits in reverse order to how we did, but since neither of us really knew much about conceptual art in the U.A.E. before, it didn't really matter much, we think. The second exhibit is in the the to-be-opened Guggenheim Museum in Abu Dhabi, and we went through that with a guided tour, which was very helpful and improved our understanding considerably.



The exhibition in the Guggenheim show room focusses on aspects of performance art in the U.A.E., and the one in the NYUAD concentrates on a group of artists strongly influenced through each other, and mostly by Hassan Sharif.
I really liked many of the works on display  by Hassan Sharif, even if one might be tempted to look for influences from outside:

Hassan Sharif, Cardboard and Coir, 1999

Hassan Sharif, Plank from Directions, 2000

Photos of the performance of Directions

His influence on the art scene in U.A.E. must have been tremendous, and nowadays visitors, who have seen other, and perhaps numerous pieces of conceptual art, probably cannot understand at all the kind of effect these works must have had on their first viewers, in a part of the world that had not been overly influenced by western movements at the time.
Actually, that is one thing that I have repeatedly thought about, also in connection with music: it is hard to understand the readicality of some things on their first appearance, and the uproar they caused 'back then' when one has been living with these things all one's life. As our guided group was told in the introduction in the Guggenheim, "we have seen things like this many times, but it was radically new back then."

A favorite of mine in both exhibitions was this work by Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, Lines:

Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, Lines, 1992

Another of his works, Teela,


inspired my friend and me to start our very own piece of performance art on her balcony.


Whenever more sand accumulates on the balcony, my friend is going to sweep it all onto one pile, which we have started in the corner of the balcony, and covered with a piece of plastic to keep it from blowing away. We don't really know how long she is going to live in Abu Dhabi, but we hope that by the time she leaves the pile will have reached recognizable height, and will be bought by the museum for a good sum...
If you should get to Abu Dhabi soon, make sure to go and see those two exhibits. And if you would like to see performance art in the making, let me know, I will get you in touch with my friend ...

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Reflections from Abu Dhabi

A friend of mine is living in Abu Dhabi right now, and I could get a cheap flight. So yesterday I flew to Abu Dhabi, and these are a few first reflections from our evening walk.

























Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Teaching at Petersberg

I spent a weekend teaching at Petersberg, west of Dachau, my favorite teaching site, where I get to teach a weekend every year.

On the top of the hill: a Roman Church

The weekend starts out for me with an hour-long-massage at the local massage place, which is the perfect introduction to the entire setup.
This time the workshop had been completely booked after less than 24 hours, which made it the second favorite workshop of the institution. The house is very favorable towards us, and the group that attends has grown to be a group of friends. I suppose it wouldn't matter what topic the workshop - they would sign up nevertheless. Because they know, they can bring their own projects and just spend the days sewing.


We have the largest room in the house, we can spend our time as we like - except for the fact that meals are being served at 8 a.m., 12 noon and 6 p.m., with coffee served in the afternoon.  As a special treat, I have arranged with the massage place that they offer appointments for the participants on Saturday morning. We have had this for three years now, and that way the Saturday has acquired a special atmosphere. For a few hours the participants quietly take their leave, come back a while later with a serene smile on their face and a completely relaxed atmosphere around them.
Quite stressful!
Next year's date has been set, and we are going to be there on the first weekend in February.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Little escap(ad)e: Niki de Saint Phalle in Dortmund

Two weeks ago I spent a weekend in Dortmund with the annual meeting of board and regional representatives of the German Patchwork Guild. As the new International Representative for the Guild, and a member of the editorial staff of the magazine, I had to attend, of course, and it was an interesting weekend. Some of the members of the board I already knew, but it was good to get to know the others as well. By mid-Sunday the meeting was over, and I had booked my flight together with Barbara Lange, current President of the Guild, for the evening as the mid-day flight would have been a bit difficult to catch. So after cleaning up most of the left-overs of the meeting we found ourselves with a few hours on hand and were happy to hear that Ulla had pre-planned and checked the museum exhibitions, and joined her to go and see the current exhibition of works by Niki de Saint Phalle in the Museum Ostwall.

Outside banner announcing the exhibition

The interior of the building is quite impressive, you have to go up five long escalators before you get to the entrance of the museum, with several other interesting sites located on the lower floors.


There were explicit signs on the wall saying that photography was not allowed, so I was a good girl and kept my camera hidden, just taking a few notes. Assuming that I would be able to find pictures on the web that would make illustration possible, without incriminating myself through illegal photography.

I have known quite a bit about her for a while, and must say that I have never been particularly impressed with the early works in their artistic quality. Shooting pictures certainly make for a scandalous reputation, and she was successful at that. Nor does she come across as a particularly likeable person in the biography presented, more like a spoiled brat and very self-centered person. But I know, of course, that those aren't any standards by which you measure or judge artists... and she was a fighter, she had a lot of influence on the position of women in art, so her achievements must not be disapproved of because she was a strong-headed and uncompromising person.

But I did like the 'autoportrait' on display in the entrance area. And I lover her Nana-figures and drawings.

Photo taken from here

And I am sure her relationship with Tinguely was an interesting one that never got to be boring...


The exhibition is on display until April 23, and well worth a visit!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Weekend getaway

My husband has sent me on a weeken getaway because he thought that once again I was getting to be too deeply emotionally involved with refugee issues, so I am spending a weekend on Lake Schliersee, south of Munich.
The lake was frozen and the ice, although it is not safe to walk on anymore, is still pretty much a closed cover.