Dieser Blog ist dem Material gewidmet, der Konstruktion, der Technik, der Opulenz und der Schönheit, dem Spektakulären, Aufregenden, Anekdotischen, den kleinen Details und dem großen Gesamteindruck, der Bewegung, der Farbe, dem Vergangenen und der Zukunft.

Montag, 25. Januar 2021

The Sanquhar-Project: My artist residency in Scotland in summer 2020


Sanquhar Highstreet in August 2020


















My artist residency at the MERZ Gallery in Sanquhar, Scotland

In spite of all the complications and restrictions that were caused by the global pandemic that is still going on, this summer I had the opportunity to travel to Scotland. I stayed there as an artist in residence at the MERZ Gallery in Sanquhar, in the southwest of the country, not far away from Dumfries. Several months before I was finally allowed to take one the first flights that went to Edinburgh after the lockdown, I started to plan my project for my stay in Sanquhar. It was based on the fact that as a teenager I was seriously eager to learn to play the bagpipes, on my general fascination for the English language, my yearning for Great Britain and also on the story about the old red telephone box that my parents installed in their garden, more than twenty years ago.

In the end I was working on two parallel projects, on a video about Sanquhar itself, that also included the story about the telephone box and the local knitting tradition and also on a second project that dealt with the architecture of Peter Womersley. As this is also a rather extensive story I will describe it in a further article.


The woven Sanquhar Dress

Sanquhar is famous for having the Oldest Post Office in the world that is still in operation. Another important topic is the Sanquhar Knitting Pattern, a black and white pattern that dates back to the 17th century and that is mainly used for gloves.

One of my original ideas for my residency in Sanquhar was to weave a dress out of ribbons that were made in the old textile company that friends of mine are running in Wuppertal. During the industrial revolution and also still in the 20th century Wuppertal was a thriving textile city. Kerstin and Christian Escher's company named Escher Textil dates back to 1849 and today is one of the last textile companies of Wuppertal. They were so kind as to send me a big package full of ribbons to the MERZ Gallerery. By weaving my dress out of their ribbons, improvising and varying the Sanquhar pattern, I aimed at linking the textile tradition of my home area with the textile tradition of Sanquhar.

Weaving the sleeve of my Sanquhar-dress out of ribbons produced in Wuppertal












My bagpipe - finally re-assembled in Sanquhar        


Originally I wanted to do a performance wearing this dress and take part in the Riding of the Marches, the annual procession that takes place in Sanquhar each summer - perhaps even with my bagpipe. Unfortunately the Riding of the Marches was cancelled due to the global pandemic. Nevertheless I went on with my Sanquhar Project, trying to document what I experienced and what seemed beautiful and special for me. And I started weaving the dress.