The Völklingen Iron Works, a giant monument of 19th century industry, dominating the skyline of Völklingen, is now a World Cultural Heritage Site and a place for major exhibitions. The last exhibition – The Celts. Druids. Princes. Warriors – has just closed, attracting nearly 200.000 visitors.
Further sections of the plant – blower shed and works locker rooms – were opened up to make use of these generous industrial spaces for contemporary art exhibitions.
Colleen, Anni, Walter (and Leo) exploring the exhibition space.
Art and industry. Two sides of the spirit of mankind. Inspiring each other.
Colleen & Walter
Bremen, Sunday September 4, 2011
This icon and most of the other icons on display at the House of Icons in Traben-Trarbach were written by Alexej Alexandrowitch Saweljew (1920 Kiev – 1996 Traben-Trarbach). Saweljew re-discovered and used the Byzantine technique of icon writing taking the recipes to his grave. His icons are referred to as “modern icons” according to the Novgorod school of icon writing. Icons are, however, part of the sacramentals, intrinsically bound to the liturgy of the Eastern Church and as such never “modern”.
Colleen & Walter
Völklingen Saturday 27 August 2011
An astonishing site – the Buddha Museum in Traben Trarbach on the banks of the river Mosel with a permanent exhibition of thousands of priceless Buddha statues on a space of over 4000 square metres. Nearby the Parkschlösschen Bad Wildstein advertises itself as the no. 1 Ayurvedic treatment centre in Germany.
What then is happiness and what is suffering? Since nothing is ever lost in this world, you might as well be prepared to find both.
The Buddha says: “To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”
This blog is dedicated to Paul Cilliers, philosopher, musician, culinary companion, dear friend – missed by many.
(Paul died Sunday 31st July, the day we left for Europe.)
Walter & Colleen
Thursday 18 August 2011
Globalized marketing has made shopping easy but has also taken the fun out of it. The loss of individuality is the price paid for convenience. You can pick and choose virtually anything anytime anywhere at your leisure from supermarket shelves. Humans do, however, need to have that casual social interaction – something that till operators can hardly provide. And that is where markets have a place in communities such as Cape Town, Stellenbosch and now Hout Bay – bringing fun back into shopping.
Well, not exactly. These new “markets” must not be compared with the old-fashioned ones still so very common in France and much loved by tourists. Bay Harbour Market serves different needs. A fish processing plant was turned into a social space to serve the community at large. A re-birth of community spirit through community projects and products, that is what we experienced as core element of this space when we visited it yesterday.
shapes, colours, beads, heads … all counted …
... celebrating tea ...
… free-range flame roasted …
An old factory space, creatively adapted to serve the community of the Cape at large and the traditional fishing community of Hout Bay in particular – bringing together the spirit of fresh enterprise, of good commercial sense and community feel – for all to enjoy and eventually to profit from.
Walter & Colleen
Betty’s Bay, Sunday 17 July 2011
One has a general idea of what it means to visit a game reserve. You get up early. Shortly before dawn. On one of the open Safari vehicles you need to dress warmly or you freeze your butt off even with lots of blankets provided. The driver/ranger is a trained and knowledgeable person, spotting game and pointing out the smaller things on the road to give you some context of where you are.
And where are you?
You are “in the wild”. Really? You are in an area which looks as if it was “the wild”. It is an area set aside for conserving what we believe to have been the wild – once upon a time.
Your presence here makes “the wild” un-wild. It tries to hide from you, but cannot. You are the great spotter of spotty things.
On the ground or aloft.
Time to roost while others spot.
Who is the tallest of us all?
And who the speediest of the lot.
End of dream-time.
Our way of seeing calls this a “harem” in the wild.
Downtime. – Submerged they graze – ill-tempered guardians of the subliminal.
The keepers of all our memories of the wild. Without them we would be orphaned in this world.
A game drive converts your awareness of where and who you are.
We are the lost children of a world once wild. And all our memories, faint as they are, become true and real again in observing animals in the wild, their expressions of integrity. They are what they are and we are not any longer. We were driven out of paradise once and for all and have every intention to make this world a hellish place to be in. A drive in a game park can be a truly revealing and healing process. Looking in from the outside. Seeing us from where we have come and cannot return.
With love from
Colleen & Walter
Betty’s Bay, Sunday 3 July 2011
Dear Darryl who had invited us to his house in Margate, showed us among other places of interest, the Beaver Creek Coffee plantation in Port Edward. It was too late for a guided tour, so we tasted their various blends of coffee, bought a packet of the finest for our daughter Thekla, the gourmet fundi, and snooped around the yard to see what was happening.
Just then the seasonal pickers were arriving with their bags of fruit, lining up to have their pickings weighed and be paid for it – R 2,50 a kg. From what we could see and from further enquiries, they averaged between 20 and 25 kg this day. The season lasts from June to August and at the height of the season some pickers bring in as much as 100 kg on a good day. It does not make for any form of living, but brings the much needed extra money. We had not seen a coffee fruit, plant or plantation before and enjoyed the outing to Beaver Creek, one of the few coffee plantations in South Africa, enormously.
The weather was mild and balmy – quite different from what we had had at the Cape a few days before. So we felt privileged as so often. Thank you, Darryl. We’ll show pics of your lovely house in our next blog.
With love from
Colleen & Walter
Mt Edgecombe, Natal
Saturday June 18, 2011
Bipolarity is another name for a condition that has been with mankind since we left the tree-scape, entered the land-scape and began to roam the world.
It is a name for a condition within the conditio humana we all are subjected to and most of us have more or less under control.
It too is a condition prevalent in highly creative people.
It is, in fact, the stuff of creativity itself, of greatness, of mediocrity or, in the extreme of insanity.
It is also the stuff of gravity against which we have to negotiate our balancing act throughout life at all times.
What now, then?
Why is it a tricky subject to approach within one’s own circle of family and friends?
Because no-one wants to be seen or pointed out as potentially mad.
We are, however, not speaking of clinical madness.
We are looking at a human condition that is common to all of us.
That is in us.
And many of us, come to think of it, are just lucky to have it under control.
Others are less fortunate, be it for genetic reasons, or through illness or traumatic life experiences.
I am so strong
I am multi-tasking
better than anyone around
I am creative
I feel good
Others must get out of my way
I am cool
I am in control
Must I then go through life
Drugged to dull the pain
With love for now Walter & Colleen Betty’s Bay, Election Day, Wednesday, 18 May 2011
The Mood Disorder Questionnaire: http://www.dbsalliance.org/pdfs/MDQ.pdf