"The Creativity of Plants", Tenri Japanese-German Institute, Cologne 2018

The international exhibition project at Tenri Japanese-German Institute in 2018 deals with the question of creative abilities of plants and analyzes the expressive possibilities of an artistic cooperation between plants as material and impetus and the creative artist as executive and interpretative medium.
Based on the idea that both artist and plant have creative potential and a will of expression a mutual exchange and influence or inspiration occurs. But also material and motif create and determine the work.
Six artists from four countries showed their extraordinary works using different techniques and media. The exhibition was complemented by the concert Patterns of Plants with contemporary compositions by Mamoru Fujieda, Meng-Chia Lin and Ernstalbrecht Stiebler.

Patricipating artists:

Lisa Creagh (GB, Brighton), photography
Lisa Creagh’s photo series „The Instant Garden“ shows floral patterns. Inspired by the study of oriental and Celtic ornamentations with their perpetual structures and patterns she recognizes these elements in leaves, blossoms and parts of plants and merges them with an elaborate digital technique to impressive ornamental compositions.

Angela Kiersch (Neukirchen-Vluyn), objects
Angela Kiersch forms delicate and fragile shapes from parts of plants. The plant’s decay and the resulting dissolving order of things inspire her to determine the unused abilities of the plant and parts of plants to thus create tensions with new shapes. "Developing a 3-dimensional shape that may show a strange sort of intimacy like in some dreamlike pictures is fascinating to me." Her objects and wall installations underline this feeling.

Yui Tombana (J, Wakayama/Münster), installation
Yui Tombana’s works concerning botany are dedicated to the finer details in nature and bring up new classification systems for allegedly random natural phenomena. The installation shows a sand garden in which an almost uncountable number of maple seeds almost uniformly realign and, as if so agreed upon, turn towards a shared purpose. In her second work made of fine china forms in the shape of tree-of-heaven (ailanthus) seeds she turns the viewer’s eye back to an individuality that gets lost in the mass.

Werner Henkel (Bremen), installation, letters
Werner Henkel's work is based on a communicational definition of nature. He always sees nature as a metabolic field not only of material or energetic processes but also as a field of an informational metabolism. Therefore, he developed characters and fonts from the trees habits, so far from 15 different tree species. Each tree species individually writes its life own story in its characteristic branching style into the shape of the tree. A font type here means the specific style of lettering used by a tree species as an expression of a type-specific gesture. The artist now gets into contact with the trees by using written letters.

Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters (NL, Eindhoven), video
In their video "Withering flowers" the art and design duo Maarten Kolk and Guus Kusters induce plant movements that in their delicacy reveal a deep connection to the expressive forms of contemporary dance.

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