Renate Hugel: The Glassy Room
„The Glassy Room“ by Renate Hugel – – – From the series “Falls of the Folds”, Mixed technology and collage with all sorts of papers – – – “Painting with Paper” – – – 70 cm x 100 cm, 2000 + 2008, Bremen (Germany)
The Glassy Room
In preparation on this symposium I had collected papers of every kind in the course of time: Tissue paper, transparent paper, wrapping paper and others, but also packing material made of plastic or dressing material… I had in addition provided a bucket of wallpaper pastes…
The picture on hand has the extents 70 x 100 cm and carries the energy of a long work process in itself. But first I will concentrate on the really visible, and will describe this:
Looking on the picture “The Glassy Room” the observer first may remark the many components while being hold in their being joined together. A certain transparency determines the surface of the picture, although not all picture parts are so transparent. By this arisen alternation of “light” and “compact”, the picture gets an “in front of” and a “behind this” of a spatial effect. The back of the head of a person dipped in “blue” can be recognized in the lower quarter of the picture-surface (of the vertical middle axis from moved a little bit to the right). This person looks on a “heavenly body” into the behind sitting there while meditating in her being centered within the room of her own…
On the right and on the left of this almost fine-material composition there is a limitation each. On the right side, the colors gray, blue and gray-brown form the front-side of a wall which apparently continues into the depth of the room. The static-laws seem to be “suspended” in one place, though: Down on the right a white streak is leading from inside to the outside – and reversed, like a small gap. On the left side one can recognize a kind of “water-ditch” which vertically goes up from below. A beige-colored area on which five leaves are situated is at the lower ditch-course. –
Between these two limitations (to the left like also to the right side) the picture-room spreads. This is mainly determined by numerous shades of white between dull and glittering, of soft blue-tones -, like also of an apricots-colored hint – with shades – in the shape of a circle. Partial the own colors of the used papers are shining through the applied colors. The color seeming the firmest is this orange with both its dark and bright shades. This color covers the piece of a bandage which has been put over the blue head. A gesticulatory sedate off-white thing which is above the picture center kept in yellowish tones stands out still, too. And exactly to the right of this egg-shell colored thing, the shining of a puzzle part out of plastic foil is flashing.
All these elements of the picture parts joined together by sticking on are the elements of the „glassy room“. This one appears like something fragile which is in a state of a balance. “To find a hold” is connected with taking into account the laws of letting things in balance – with each inner act…
I turn now to this how my picture has arisen and what it says:
As I had shown in „Art Touches Art – 9“, my pictures had come spontaneously from the depth at that time and reflected my “inside” in result. These were therefore “fast pictures of a small format” – however just very intensive! This painting process “had led me to me myself” in the nineties, this one I still experienced as intensive after all the years, nevertheless I really wanted me change. With the help of the material I had described above, so I supposed, I could build hurdles which would cause a deceleration. This was also so. But I had faced a challenge because I also wanted to extend my formats, for example!
The work “The Glassy Room” is an example for it. My efforts were for my aim of putting an energy-loaded, present and abstract result into effect. Actually, they (my efforts) had been the attempt to form a new “living space for me myself” however out of a “pile of broken pieces” (see: “Art Touches Art – 9”). At first, this fact had not been conscious to me because I had “eclipsed” my feeling for it with my ambitious targets which I had set me myself! And therefore I had been engaged in establishing a balance on my picture on many days over hours. With it, my chief attention had laid primarily on this, to pay attention to fineness. To an outsider such fineness would probably have appeared as unimportant or irrelevant. For me the sense in this had been to preserve the transparency of the picture on one hand, on the other hand to come closer to my idea of a “perfect picture” while following my minimalistic procedure. – – – This aim of mine, I pursued determined, but in the course of the time rather “desperately”! It apparently seemed unattainably to be for me to realize my not concrete idea. And, this circumstance finally had made me impatient! – – – From today’s view I then had absolutely “captured” the immateriality of my sphere, how to be seen by a look at an intermediate result of the picture in the year 2000 (photo below):
„The Glassy Room“ – Intermediate Result – by Renate Hugel – – – From the series “Falls of the Folds”, Mixed technology and collage with all sorts of papers, “Painting with Paper” – – – 70 cm x 100 cm, 2000, Bremen (Germany)
It finally was “shown” to me that a development cannot be forced: I had got more and more tensed up with my trouble to obtain an artistic expression. For, I was on the search for a signal which tells me: “The picture is ready”!
Suddenly, without thinking, I took my hand on my work-table.
There I had picked up silvery and purple glittering leaves collected, which outside in front of the gallery pro art had been laying there in masses: These fascinating “coin-shaped things” were the seed-carriers of the Silver-Leaf (Lunaria annua). They had “touched” me with their tenderness and their transparency… I held the leaves seized out from the moment in my hand (it had been six of them) and put them on my collage which so intensively “challenged” me. I slid the leaves into an order chosen spontaneously and fixed them then with paste… – “My unconscious” had acted in me!
After this action I did not find the result so matching my picture anyway. To my understanding this leaf-collage disrupted my intended artistic character. However, it had been impossible for me to remove those leaves again: My grip to them had come out of me sudden from an enormous depth which had intuitively instilled respect into me! I had understood this message only much later: „Growing has to follow its own time“…
And with that, the factor “time” had come into the game: Growing and ripening within the time of one’s own, the personal speed…
My look changes now to the pondering person who reflects a condition in which I had got contact to my atmosphere meanwhile. In the past I had not met at all such a “getting-down-to-quiet” or “being-centered”. Therefore, I have arranged two of my works of art here once: On the left is my work “Being Away”. It shows a “restless something” with lines fluttering around, without a hold, having lost their interplay! (See to it “Art Touches Art – 9”) That I had already left this condition by then, this points the detail of “The Glassy Room” on the right side: There I rest now in me myself, as it can be seen. Between this a long process during which my art had accompanied me and led me lies.
Renate Hugel: Left picture: “Permanent Away”, Watercolor painting crayons, water-soluble, 10,5 cm x 15 cm, 1991, Right picture: “The Glassy Room” (Detail from the series “Falls of the Folds”), Mixed technology and collage with all sorts of papers / “Painting with Paper” – 70 cm x 100 cm, 2000, Bremen (Germany)
My lines had lost their “interplay” – I have formulated it above so. What this looks like, however, when such an energetic interplay works in a person, can be recognized regarding the picture “Sonata” of Roland Schneeweiss (see to this the last picture I had interpreted in the contribution “Art Touches Art – 14”.)
At the time then I still stayed in the lack of energy, hold back to myself in “my room” for many hours of the day and “turned my look into the depth” – away from “the outside”… Because, something in me had gone on “Reset” – towards the “beginning”! I experienced the voices of the persons speaking to me prior-ranking as carrier of emotional information. (I had learned to concentrate exclusively on this, which rational ascertainable information a statement has – and this had been “normal” for me). I, now however, felt the inner energy being the basis of the voice speaking to me, while I myself did not have any energy to set something against it. Exactly this, I experienced as “glassy room” in which I felt unprotected. Namely, it had not been so that I would have got glassy for the others or even clear. No, I had been rather locked under my “protection foil”. For, the inner attitudes reaching me went through me through because my own inner attitude had been feeble. In this state I had not been able to counter. This “communication-gap” produced by my condition, this one I had to endure though it had been painful for me. By feebleness like paralyzed I refuged to the strategies represented in my picture in order to escape from this feeling: The wall (right side of the picture) on the one hand, and on the other hand the water-ditch (left side of the picture). With the help of these limits, I had prepared myself for the emergency…
The “normal” communication-level of today is speaking on the intellect-level – and this one I had left due to the “events within me”. There where I stayed meanwhile (at that time) I had been just in the being and in the presence. Though – in this state of mine – I had had no choice and could not simply leave this level. This “liberty of choice” I had have to work out hard. Fortunately, I had got two super, good helpers who had accompanied me on this long stony way: My art and the time (the “leaving-growing in the speed of one’s own”)…
At the end of our symposium, I had presented this picture within our group exhibition, though I really had not found it “ready” or “completed”. This is why I had got it out again and again (in longer intervals) within the following years in order “to ponder” in front of it…
Sometime in the year 2008, it then happened:
I had painted while I had put in sight the picture “The Glassy Room”. A little package whose contents had been egg-shell-colored powder also was between my spread painting utensils. This had been a wall color with high chalk amount out of the nineteen fifties years which had not been produced already for a long time any more. I liked this old color for mixing with its dull effect and the pleasantly warm tone of white. In this atmosphere of mine I received all of a sudden an impulse and put this (my brush line) spontaneously on the picture. There where that field can be seen, which mainly was kept in different yellow-tones – and where the sixth silver-leaf sticks on the blue short stripe, exactly there, over these yellow and blue, I had put my gesticulatory brush line. Since then, this silhouette of an energy-loaded and in herself centered person in the here and present of our reality is situated on this picture – with her „being in the presence“. She (this yolk-toned silhouette) is with that a marking for this where I had arrived by then – and, that I (in “good days”) had the necessary energy now to realize impulses spontaneously.
The observer, however, has got the possibility of taking up this “person in the here and present”: He (the observer) may feel in this gesticulatory silhouette a mirror of his own inner being-reality-oriented and of the own power. And from this point of view familiar to him he possibly can follow the ways into the “glassy room”. These ways move to the different levels of the picture, like also of the events: Reality in the here and present (“this yolk-toned silhouette”) – (1st level); this fragile thing I called “The Glassy Room” (2nd level); the time of our own within our own slowness (the coin-shaped seed of the silver-leaves) – (3rd level); meditative look into the depth (the person dipped in blue) – (4th level); view through the gap to the world “behind” (I talked above about “my look at the own “heavenly body”) – (5th level) – And over all, the silence of such a process is laying, far away from the noise of this world (6th level)! Renate Hugel
Remark 1: Current stand: To Renate Hugel I have written under “Art Touches Art” the contributions “Art Touches Art – 9” and “Art Touches Art – 17”. There in addition is a mention under “Art Touches Art – 16” (the contribution to the teamwork “block-pictures”).
Remark 2: The contributions under „Art Touches Art“ refer to the symposium „Attempt of an Encounter – Five Native American Artists meet five European Artists“. This had taken place in Bremen (Germany), in the year 2000. Whoever would like to ask about the genesis of the symposium can scroll back till „Art Touches Art – 1“, then continue scrolling back till Information about ‚Art Touches Art‘; after that you find then the „Chronology of the Past History“. Renate Hugel