Being in and with Pictures
Picture Maker and Companion in Picture Making
To get a clear professional profile precise decisions should have to be made: for example, become either a good artist or a good teacher. Some professions aim to exclude one another, but isn’t it possible that these professional identities, more than any other, can become reciprocally empowering? Doesn`t there always have to be something in between? As well as – not only but also?
My work in painting is based on a concept trusting in the huge variety of relations in between colors, shapes, materials and media. The resulting pictures transgress my boundaries. They fight for clarity and allow me to be playful.
In making pictures I answer to formative experiences in practicing piano and violin. My pictures document my search for my own rhythms in between spiritual silence and clusters of everyday sounds, powerful tones and cheeky surprises.
In my pictures I work in small units. Put together, narratives emerge - not literary ones, but visual ones. They are condensed, independent, and stand for themselves. When they touch, sparks fly.
My work as an art teacher is closely related to my work with pictures: as a young person, I wanted to discover my own melodies in order to answer others. Therefore I am convinced that educational processes based on pictures will succeed, meaning teachers offer their students not only a broad foundation for learning knowledge and skills but also for enhancing themselves in focusing and developing their own images. Such a framework offers support and orientation. Students can explore the stable frame, lean on it and also fight against it. This is art education as companionship, condensing artistic processes while making pictures.
As a companion in making pictures, I can not know how somebody will develop. Looking trustfully together on as yet unfulfilled works, but also reviewing what has already emerged, is an important stage in my teaching.
For these changing perspectives, the finest perceptions have to be translated into words in order to articulate impulses for next steps. In this way, companionship in picture making comes alive as fulfilled steps are connected with those which haven’t yet been formed.
Knowing that being a companion in making pictures is closely connected to the development of my own pictures, I keep these visible for my students. My own orientation in making pictures becomes transparent, tangible, but also discussible. The sharing of my own experience is therefore a political statement: it empowers me and others. It allows transformation for everyone.
My pictorial work is the pillar of my professional identity while being its vulnerable core. Here I can act playfully and freely, because teaching gives me stability. Veering back and forth between standing and playing allows me an inner balance, the knowledge of the vulnerability of all artistic processes, but also mobility and movement.
Reflecting this constant balancing between identities seems to be important for all questions of professionalism. It empowers professionals to stay in deeper contact with their own topics and engages and impassions them in parallel with their entrusted people.
© Tobias Loemke