Yma Ac Acw / Heir Und Da / Here And There

A hundred years ago they were enemies but now there are strong links between Wales and Germany, as a new exhibition highlights.
 
Heather Eastes of The Welsh Group – one of the organisations involved – reveals more about the project.

It was 1973 when, as an Aberystwyth University student, I arrived for a semester at Düsseldorf Art Academy.

 

A man in a hat sat on the entrance steps to the academy, drawing on the ground – a sea of students and some local rough sleepers surrounding him.

 

This was Professor Joseph Beuys, a father of performance and conceptual art in Europe and who now has a room at London’s Tate Modern dedicated to his work.

 

He had accepted 400 students for the summer semester of 1973 – not the designated 1% – and he had just been sacked. Declaring that he would not deny any undiscovered Pestalozzi chances in life, he stayed on unofficially for the next 10 years, fighting his case, still teaching, misunderstood by the authorities and adored by his students. He accepted a professorship at Hamburg and won his case.

 

Beuys believed in the creative power of art to heal lives.

 

Among the students at the time were many members of the present Düsseldorf Association of Visual Artists, the BBK.

 

One of whom, Irmgard Kramer, together with myself has initiated the International Exchange Project, entitled Yma Ac Acw / Hier Und Da / Here And There, with a series of exhibitions in Wales this year, shared between BBK and Welsh Group members.

 

BBK is also showing work by guest artists, Diana Rattray, Dagmar Triet, Edith Oellers, Professor Jörg Eberhard, Ruth Bussmann and Stephen Reader, and there will be two shows for Welsh Group members in Germany in 2015.

 

It is hoped it will raise awareness of the world-class art being produced in Wales - not seen often enough beyond Welsh borders or abroad, with current financial cuts destroying opportunities for artists at home.

 

The anniversary of World War 1 presents a great chance to do something about this.

 

The artists of the Welsh Group will show their work in Düsseldorf at BBK KunstForum Gallery in 2015, and in nearby Hilden.

 

The BBK has spoken about its wish to deepen international friendship and exchange of ideas between Welsh and German artists.

 

The project will provide a chance to remember the great contribution of German artists and emigres from Nazi repression in the ‘30s and ‘40s - artists like Fred Konekamp and Heinz Koppel who took refuge in Wales, and infused Welsh art with their ideas, and were also early members of The Welsh Group.

Gas Gallery launch

Gas Gallery launch

(L-R) Heather Eastes (WG), Stephan Maria Aust (BBK) and Jill Piercy (opening speaker) at the Gas Gallery exhibition launch, Aberystwyth. Photograph by taken by Arvid Parry Jones for Cambrian News.

Poster

Poster

Humanitarians

Humanitarians

Agii Gosse from Cologne BBK

A Walk in the Park

A Walk in the Park

Heather Eastes WG

Tegan / Toy

Tegan / Toy

Gustavius Payne WG

Reliquien

Reliquien

Jörg Eberhard BBK

Going Home Another way 2

Going Home Another way 2

Ken Elias WG

Three Sirens

Three Sirens

Martina Justus BBK

The Gift

The Gift

Jacqueline Alkema WG

Faces / Röntage

Faces / Röntage

Rita Klein BBK

Self Portrait....

Self Portrait....

...with Reference to Still-Life with a Bowl of Curacao Oranges Alan Salisbury WG

Sleep Walker

Sleep Walker

Angelika Stienecke BBK

Angel Islington

Angel Islington

Thomasin Toohie WG

Clown und Affe

Clown und Affe

Mariele Koschmieder BBK

Flow

Flow

Dilys Jackson WG

London

London

Stephan Maria Aust BBK

Y Cusan yn yr Ardd

Y Cusan yn yr Ardd

Anthony Evans WG

Unfolding Landscapes

Unfolding Landscapes

Mary Husted WG

Tillerman

Tillerman

Ceri Thomas WG

Spanish Patio

Spanish Patio

Angela Kingston WG

Possit Pot

Possit Pot

Mike Organ WG

Leaving Ioannina 1942

Leaving Ioannina 1942

Chris Griffin WG

Elephant Mask

Elephant Mask

Wendy Earle WG

-

-

Heather Eastes WG

Cliff Forms Gower

Cliff Forms Gower

Lorna Edmiston WG

Against the Dying of the Light

Against the Dying of the Light

Robert Alwyn Hughes WG

Marie from the Bad Girls series

Marie from the Bad Girls series

Hanne Hor BBK

Module Tucher

Module Tucher

Renate Domke BBK

Mondo Verde

Mondo Verde

Ilse Gabbert BBK

Money

Money

Gabriele Weide BBK

Natur Gesicht

Natur Gesicht

Dagmar Triet BBK

Made in Leeds

Made in Leeds

Gabriella Fekete BBK

Landscape on a postcard

Landscape on a postcard

Vera Herzogenrath BBK

Klabautermann

Klabautermann

Roswitha Riebe-Beicht BBK

Beletage

Beletage

Edith Oellers BBK

Break

Break

Diana Rattray BBK

Repetition Compulsion

Repetition Compulsion

Jenny Allan WG

Dialogue

Dialogue

Helga Weidenmüller BBK

Bread and Puppets

Bread and Puppets

Jean Walcot WG

Geschichtenerzahler

Geschichtenerzahler

Martina Justus BBK

Katwijk aan Zee / Dammerung

Katwijk aan Zee / Dammerung

Rolf Gerhards BBK

Rolf Gerhards BBK

One from Bohemiya Gurasu

One from Bohemiya Gurasu

Stephen Reader BBK

One from Bohemiya Gurasu

One from Bohemiya Gurasu

Stephen Reader BBK

Money Makes The World Go Around

Money Makes The World Go Around

Helga Weidenmuller BBK

Yma Ac Acw/Hier Und Da/Here And There was the trilingual title suggested by German sound artist Katja Kölle.

 

Support from the Arts Council of Wales, Welsh Assembly Government and National Lottery have helped make it all happen.

 

This summer, artists of The Welsh Group and the Düsseldorf BBK come together to present three shows with a glossy trilingual catalogue designed by Sue Hiley Harris.

 

The project was launched by David Alston of the Arts Council of Wales, at Rhondda Heritage Park and Agii Gosse’ portrait of Beuys can be seen here, together with South Walian Mike Organ’s blue ceramic Landscape Kettle, Irmgard Kramer’s abstract landscape Catania1, Angelika Stienecke’s Sleepwalker, painted in tar and paint, and Wales’ Sue Roberts’ tiny plump Venus figures, juxtaposed with the negative-positive plaster objects of Gabi Fekete of Duisburg.

 

She has made outdoor monumental sculpture in the Lower Rhine area lamenting the humanitarian horrors of war, strongly influenced by Beuys.

 

The breathtaking show at Mid Wales Arts Centre, Caersws takes place throughout this month.

 

See the display of more than 100 works by 64 Welsh and German practitioners with monumental sculpture by Dilys Jackson (Cardiff) and Wendy Earle from Llandysul.

 

Work ranges from exquisite delicate woven sculpture by Sue Hiley Harris and tiny graphics and painting (Martina Justus, Heather Eastes, Vera Herzogenrath, Lorna Edmiston, Jacqueline Alkema, Agelika Stienecke, Helga Weidenmüller) to powerful figurative image-making by Gus Payne (Wales) and Mariele Koschmieder (Düsseldorf) and landscape by Jutta Gerhold, Veronica Gibson and RobertMacdonald – a major feat of hanging by director Cathy Knapp.

 

A selection of all this work will travel to Gas Gallery, in Aberystwyth – the third and final venue in Wales – next month.

Mariele Koschmieder’s sister looked wistfully at the tiny enamel pins given out at Mid Wales Arts Centre. They depicted crossed Welsh and German flags.

 

“Imagine 100 years ago today,” she said. “This could not have happened.”

 

Edited by Karen Price.

 

Originally published in The Western Mail, 4th June 2014.

 

 

Exhibition dates:

Rhondda Heritage Park level 1 Gallery 

15.05.14 - 22.06.14

 

Mid Wales Arts Centre

01.06.14 - 29.07.14 

 

Gas Gallery, Aberystwyth

03.07.14 - 29.07.14

 

QQTec e.V., Hilden, Düsseldorf

21.06.15 - 05.07.15

 

BBK Kunstforum, Düsseldorf

18.06.15 - 12.07.15

 

 

Catalogue available HERE.

 

Click HERE for German launch opening speech translation

 

Click HERE for photographs from Germany

 

Click HERE for BBK Kunstforum, Düsseldorf exhibition layout