Our way as artists, authors and curators
Some years after the opening of the border and the unification of East and West Europe, two art-loving and open-minded people from Eastern and Western Germany met and discovered they had creative common ground. Unlimited travel and peaceful cultural exchange have always been guiding principles in their way of life. Since 1995, Gabriele Walter (born 1957, studied language and literature) and Kurt Ries (born 1955, studied graphics and design) have worked together as artists, writers and photographers.
In addition to co-writing his travel and non-fiction books, which have been published by renowned German publishers, Kurt Ries works in his own print shop. What occupies him here is the question of what artistic techniques exist in the world and how to implement exchange with other artists. An international exhibition was always intended that would make the art comprehensible not only for its shape and color, but also for its technical fascination. There was no question that the global variety of printing techniques and painting styles could be very attractive for the German audience; however, at that time such a project was difficult to implement.
Already while studying abroad in Eastern Europe Gabriele Walter was dealing with intercultural ideas. Several years she worked as a study tour guide. She has translated belletristic literature and writes poetry as well as books and journal articles in the areas of travel, art history, lifestyle, wellness and nature. The artist couple found inspiration for artistic presentation above all from the local area, which has very much to offer with renowned art events in Cologne, Bonn and Duesseldorf.
Our aims and goals
Since the beginning Kurt Ries and Gabriele Walter have been guided by the following questions when planning art events on a larger scale:
- How can we plan an art installation (and presentation) as effectively as possible to relax the visitors?
- In what way can the humanistic ideas of international understanding be incorporated?
The path to realization
Multi-medial relaxation with nature, colors and art
Inspired by the Asian healing art popular in Western Europe, when Gabriele Walter graduated as a journalist she did additional training as a relaxation therapist. She and Kurt Ries produced their own multimedia CD in the area of travel and meditation. The concept of the interactive CD, filmed on the islands of Rügen and Hiddensee, was mainly based on meditative content, the color spectrum of the rainbow, and color healing.
Artistic content was also included in the CD as part of a multimedia study about relaxing with colors and art. Lyric poetry, relaxing music, and the affirmation, shapes and sounds of nature also played a major role. From the intensive study of color healing the idea emerged to try and transform relaxation with colors in an artistic installation, involving arrangements with various art techniques.
In 2010, Gabriele Walter and Kurt Ries launched the Internet site “www.meditaterra.de” and the travel and relaxation blog “Bernsteinrose”, in which the combining of travel, meditation and relaxation plays a fundamental role. In addition to various travel features, the blog includes the regular feature “5-min relaxation”. These are guided meditations on mindfulness with nature and landscape photos, colors and art history. From this beginning came the idea that blog readers could themselves be able to offer thoughts expressed in art images matching the travel theme of the blog, to help foster worldwide art.
Meditative installation through arrangements with worldwide art
Especially in the print media, in the artistic work of Kurt Ries the smaller format has always been important. Participation in graphic exhibitions around the world made him realize that there are many artists in this field who are not well known but whose works are as fascinating and valuable as those by big-name artists.
The small format is also crucial to the artistic work of Gabriele Walter as a haiku poet, or in the area of short poetry. (As a self-taught painter, she also designs innovative “haiku images” and engages in a kind of Zen photography.) We like the smaller artworks!
Travel to various art events in Europe finally led to the idea to promote art and to integrate pictures into an art installation in Germany. As visual artists themselves as well as poets and PR journalists, Kurt Ries and Gabriele Walter wanted to work creatively with artists, embedding exhibition images in an artistic and multimedia installation and presentation.
The landscape in which we work and live: we are currently based in Koenigswinter near Bonn, on the romantic Rhine between Cologne and Mainz.
International exchange and promotion of art
Open to new developments and ideas as well as traditional skills, Kurt Ries and Gabriele Walter are seeking to enter into an international exchange, simultaneously offering the artists a platform for increased attention in Germany.
As journalists and bloggers, besides local presentation they also aim to offer an effective PR concept for artists and companies around the world on the Internet and in the travel and relaxation blog “Bernsteinrose”. Here, the idea is to integrate both relaxation and the intercultural understanding of art into the exhibition didactics.
The visions, emotions and life contents of the artists are something new to be discovered, especially for visitors in German-speaking countries and regions; Kurt Ries and Gabriele Walter seek to promote and to mediate them. Under the slogan ‘Enter into Art’ several presentations are planned in conjunction with art installations and PR events.
The so-far-neglected topic of ‘art meditation’ should be encouraged, and not only in Germany; people should be made explicitly aware of the connection between art, relaxation and peaceful understanding.
Along with the creative imagination of Gabriele Walter, as a poet, and Kurt Ries, as an artist and graphic designer, these guiding principles will certainly lead to diverse innovations and surprises in the field of exhibitions of smaller images in the future. Your participation is welcomed.