It started in July 2013, when I visited the Basse-Normandie for the third time in my life. I was merely expecting to enjoy seeing the places again that had made such a big impression on me back in the eighties…passing on the stories and know-abouts………
But what I didn´t expect was the „company“; the inspiration I found. Maybe my work on „the Way of the Cross“ (2004-2006) and „Heaven´s Gate Triptych“ ( Hagen aTW 2011 ) had made me more sensitive than I wanted to be, but I could not ignore the subtle frequencies that surrounded and flowed through me this time. I also had the strangest but most lively dreams while sleeping in the old Hotel Normandie in Arromanches les Bains. I remember one of these dreams was also a back-in-time experience, where I met two german scientists during the days of WWII. They were at the hotel, waiting for something or somebody. One of them was really friendly, the other one a snobby jerk. We met in the hotellobby and went for a long walk towards Asnelles. I asked them so many questions…
Back in Düsseldorf I started painting soon after some refreshment, food,sleep and unpacking my luggage. But it seemed I had forgotten myself. My mind, or call it my soul, was still lingering in Normandy.
The first painting made it clear to me. There were stories to tell: „John“ was the first (fictional) encounter on canvas. The look in his eye was captivating: he looked traumatized but adorable at the same time.
Iron, rust, acrylic and oil on canvas were the materials I started exploring with. Eventually most of the paintings were done in oil. The complete framework is made out of driftwood, found by the river Rhine here in Düsseldorf. The cycle also contains a few drawings, driftwoodobjects, collages and some additional historical artifacts.
In the winter/spring of 2014/2015 I was asked to give a few seminars that took place in two different monastries in the Eifel, Germany. This is where I found/felt the link to the battle in Hürtgenwald. These are the paintings in green. And this is where it stopped… I was unable to feel and anticipate any further, with one exception after I visited a british warcemetary in Reichswalde near Kleve. This is where the inspiration for “ Colin finally fishing at home“ and „Dakini“ came from.
In July 2015 I revisited Normandy once more. I was in preparation for the upcoming Normandy exhibition in the well known Bunkerkirche, a former air-raid shelter, converted into a church after the war. I purchased the original MK I helmet for my collection, did some research in Lisieux for my new assignment and finally I tried not to forget „anybody“. „A Resurrection Encore“ was finished just a few days before the Vernissage.
A selection of work from the Normandy 1944 Cycle:
Bunkerkirche, September 2015
Bunkerkirche, September 2015
„The Black Mermaid“, 2014 “ The Beach to Hell „, 2014
“ Whistle-Spade “ 2015 + „Forget-Me-Not“, 2015 Bunkerkirche
“ Eifel I+II“ , 2014
2014 2015 2016
After finishing two assignments ( „New Jerusalem“ for the St. Theresia Church and designing windows for a chapel in Bad Laer) I have returned to some free work. And my newest paintings are undoubtedly echoes, referring to the Normandy Cycle. But I do not wish to descend again, to go through it and „meet“ more caracters with stories to be told. But since an assignment is taking me back to Lisieux this year, it is impossible for me to ignore the latest impressions on canvas. And ofcourse… I would love to go to the beach again.