Childhood Memories, the Wall, Light and Change – painting in process

Light of Change (WIP), acrylic on canvas 115 x 180

Currently, I am erecting the Wall again to tear it down with light. 50 years ago they really did built a wall that split my home town. I was born behind it, in East Berlin. From today’s perspective it is right to phrase it like this. Yet, for someone, who has experienced it, the words feel wrong because it was really West Berlin that was enclosed in it – caged in freedom, I am so tempted now to ponder a bit about Hegel as I mentioned caged in freedom, yet I leave this to the day I am done painting this picture.

I remember wondering there this miraculous place ‘West Berlin’ would be that I could see in TV, that offered awesome chocolates and sweets and to where people including my grandparents traveled to from Berlin – Friedrichstrasse train station. I mean for a kid like me it was all kinds of mythical. I could circle the train station and wherever I went, it was plain, grey East Berlin. I could board a train, but it would take me only to the places I knew. Then there was this one door people, who were allowed to, vanished through, and from all I knew they immediately entered a place that was heaven or hell, depending on whom you asked. For me – well, it had that chocolate, bright colored clothes and backpacks, chocolate powder that actually melted in the milk and a special sweet smell. But it was mythical and only if I was lucky I got some glimpses and tastes now and then.

I was thirteen when people started to flee in masses, camped in embassies, gathered in churches and took to the streets. My older brother was in the middle of thing. I envied him. Just once I was allowed to join a human chain with a candle in my hand. These tiny flames flickered in the darkness of an early night. They were so fragile but broke the mighty darkness. Enlightenment for a moment in history..

Nine days after my 14th birthday the Wall collapsed. It was the light’s work. It took me a while until I realized that this is exactly the one picture only I can offer for Jewels of Elul this year. It’s official theme this year: Seeking the Light. And for the first time ever there will be art added to the essays – that is if I succeed in gathering and organizing a group pf artists joining me in it and if I finish this picture in time.

2 thoughts on “Childhood Memories, the Wall, Light and Change – painting in process

  1. Your art is so – I don’t possess an adjective to describe it. It is good, good. Your words are truly evocative however, I feel transported. I was always obsessed and fascinated with the divided city, from afar. I am much older than you, as you know. I always wanted to go and would be so envious when friends traveled there, telling me about it.

    When I finally went, the Wall was long down (2005) but I insisted on staying in what was East Berlin, a remnant of the Wall, with art upon it, clearly visible outside my window.

    The light, the light, the light.

    When I first saw “wall” in the title of the post, I thought of the Kotel.

    • It’s funny how I never think of the Kotel as the Wall. When i hear wall only one image pops up in my mind. Or actually two: the Wall and the wall in my grandparent’s garden we always climbed and balanced on, driving them crazy.

      Thanks Fran, for coming here to see what I am up to. 🙂

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