Of hope and healing

04 August 2019 | Art and Entertainment

Stars & Ashes, a collection of work created by local artist Urte Remmert opened at The Project Room in Windhoek on Friday.

In 2015, a car accident changed the artist’s life: While she was saved by considerate and brave people, her husband did not survive. Since then, she says she has been struggling with the thought of life and death and the meaning of it all.

“Charcoal was the first medium to resemble the fire that consumed the two cars and the people in them besides me,” she says. “Collage was meaningful, as I could rip and tear the paper, overlay and fold and use old writings, sheet music, burnt diary pages, gold leaf, pieces of molten glass from the accident site and torn up old artwork.”

As means to work through this traumatic experience, Urte began documenting her struggles, pain and sorrow. She describes her initial thoughts on the topic and the development thereof as embodied in sketches, scribbles, poems, articles, angry outpourings and small collages, all contained in a logbook.

“This writing down and sorting, reading and meditating has helped me not only to heal my wounds, but also resulted in four angry charcoal drawings, and 18 collages - some colourful, some in monochromatic tones.

Thus Stars and Ashes is a reflection of her healing process, and deeply personal body of work. To Urte, making and creating art is “a healing process in which my whole being is involved, the human condition is questioned and finally my mind finds liberation and redemption”.

While some of her work is self-labelled “dark and violent”, others “eventually become lighter in colour and themes”. As accompanying thoughts, the artworks are completed by poetry from the artist, as well as by some of the great poetry masters.

By presenting her manifestation of trauma, Urte hopes that the exhibition will facilitate viewers to talk about death and dying, feelings, mourning and forgiveness, and more than anything, the life we should lead. “Above all our everyday troubles, our disappointments, loss and deep pain there is one eternal wisdom that makes our life worth living and complete: To love and to care.”

The collection can be viewed until 16 August. Opening times: 09:00 to 13:00. The Project Room is located at 32 Jenner Street.

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