The 18th European Artists Symposium “Art and Intercultural Dialogue” 11th – 24th of April 2010 Haus am Turm Werden-Essen Germany

21 May

View of Werden-Essen Germany

Haus am Turm Werden

I have been to a few International artist workshops since 2008, and I can say so far there are three major benefits. First, the provision of space, time and art equipment provides an opportunity for the artist to experiment with ideas and to make new work. Second, in conjunction with the workshop there is usually almost always an exhibition coordinated by the host organization in which, the artists present the work they produce during the workshop without the overhead costs of installation and gallery rental. Third, what I consider to be the most important and interesting part of the workshop experience is the opportunity to work alongside a variety of artists from different nationalities and stages in their career, and with whom you can establish a network of friends. The last point is the most important for myself as an artist, because for most of the year I am working in isolation in my home, so the workshop enables me to observe other artists approach to their practice, but also to engage in lively discussion about art, and life in general, not to mention having lots of fun!

Scottish artist Sigrid Shone

Japanese artist Norio Takaoka

The 18th European Artists Symposium “Art and Intercultural Dialogue” was described by many of the participating artists as the best workshop they had been to for a long time, because of the interesting and friendly group of artists invited to attend. I would say that the workshop was very successful, because it included the three benefits mentioned above, and was a very well organized event, thanks to Karola Teschler, Simone Ramshorn and the rest of the European Artists ev. Management team.

Saudi Arabian artist Ola Hejazi

President of the Omani Society for Fine Arts Maryam Al-Zadjali

The workshop was located in Haus am Turm on a mountain in Werden-Essen, overlooking the city and river. The artists invited included current members of the European Artists e.v. from European countries such as Germany, Poland, and Italy, and also new members from Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, France and myself as an Australian/European National. The artists primarily created paintings for the duration of the symposium, but a few artists including Brunivo Buttarelli and Rudi Punzo, and Fulvio Colangelo created sculpture, photography and performance art.

The artists worked for nearly two weeks in the shared studio spaces, and in the evenings presented slide shows or videos of their practice to the group. There were two excursions to visits museums in Dusseldorf and Essen.

Rudi Punzo designed experimental instruments and insects that were used to create organic musical performances. His insect pieces were displayed in a public park just outside of Werden. On the final evening of the exhibition he gave a live performance.

Insect installation by Italian artist Rudi Punzo

The group of artists from Essen Symposium

Ralf Klement, an artist from Germany, is a sculptor who uses a chainsaw to carve giant carrots, vegetables and ordinary domestic appliances. He coordinated a special workshop for children, in which they would draw a portrait of several artists in the symposium, and then Ralph would carve a giant wooden version later painted by the children. This was a very popular activity and was a nice link between the artists and the children.

The resulting artwork from the Symposium is now on exhibition in several locations. The opening of the exhibition was in Haus am Turm, and then the work moved on to its current location in Mulhausen, Germany (details in my previous post or check out the European Artists e.v. link on my blog).

Ralf Klement's sculptures from the children's workshop

Italian artist Fulvio Colangelo and his two portraits

The highlight of the workshop from my personal experience was the group of artists and the friendships and sense of fun that developed over the course of the two weeks. It was an intense experience, to live, eat and work with the same group of artists for that length of time. Yet, this is what made the experience so rewarding, as I gained an insight into the methodology, process and approach that each artist pursues to produce their work. I learned a lot about my own work through discussion and the observations of other artists, particularly from the Arabic artists in my studio space. I discovered how the personal and cultural identity of an artist might influence the approach and concept for an artwork.

Not having to cook, or clean for two weeks, and sleeping one minute from my studio, allowed me plenty of time to experiment with concepts for new work that I had not explored at home. At the end of the workshop I came away with plenty of new ideas for artworks and approaches, as well as many new friends I hope to see at future workshops.

Maryam Al-Zadjali, Kim Goldsmith and Ola Hejazi in the studio

In the upcoming blog posts, I intend to include profiles of artists involved in the Symposium.


One Response to “The 18th European Artists Symposium “Art and Intercultural Dialogue” 11th – 24th of April 2010 Haus am Turm Werden-Essen Germany”

  1. Yasemin November 21, 2010 at 5:37 am #

    Great Job! Great Artists!

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