Last week I attended a seminar in the beautiful town of Quedlinburg in the Harz mountain region of Germany. Most of Quedlinburg is medieval. What remains of the medieval town covers an area equivalent to a block of around 120 football (soccer) pitches and is choc full of half-timbered houses. That's around a third of the area the old town covered at the end of WWII. The other houses were simply demolished by the East German government. The remaining buildings and streets are now part of the UNESCO World Heritage programme and are being rebuilt and renovated.
I'll post pictures over the days to come and will tell the little stories that go along with them, but the first pictures I want to post are very special to me.
As you probably know, I'm coordinating and participating in a year-long journey in the name of the Travelling Artists' Guild. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, just click the TAG link in the sidebar on the right of this page.
Part of Alba's story tells of how she arrives at the Guild. On her walk up to the Guild from the town, one of the streets through which she passes is "Artisan Row".
On my way up to the castle complex in Quedlinburg, I took a shortcut and found myself in an alley which was, to me, quite clearly the back of (my) Artisan Row. On my way back into town, I walked the other way and was, indeed, on Artisan Row. As I passed along the back alley, I stumbled across a tiny shop called "Papier Atelier" (address at the end of this post), filled with paper and simply beautiful things made of paper, like cards, visiting card blanks, and journals, but also lamps and decorative objects. I went in, of course, and had a fascinating conversation with the owner, Katrin Ruhnau, a young woman who studied textile design. Among other things, she allowed me to photograph one of her paper and fabric objects.
I know we all make and see a lot of art and are accustomed to seeing sumptuous, rich objects. Even so, this roll stopped me in my tracks: it was so beautiful. I think I last had that feeling when I saw Susan Kapucinsky-Gaylord's "Spirit Books", or Judy Chicago's "Dinner Party" exhibit (waaaaay back).
See for yourselves.
Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord's Spirit Books
Judy Chicago "Dinner Party" - Brooklyn Museum