How I got the idea to construct paper
||1949 in Algermissen, a village near
Hannover in Northern Germany.
I studied philosophy and theology in Frankfurt and German languages and politics
in Mainz. Since 1978 I live in Bremen in Northern Germany and for 25 years
I was working there as a teacher in a vocational training centre belonging
to the German Federation of Unions. We trained jobless workers for to get
a better chance on the labour market. Shipbuilding and fishing industries
crashed in Bremen and so the rate of unemployed people is rather high. One
of my subjects was technical drawing and sometimes some of my trainees are
building mechanical devices in the workshop which we had developed in theory
before. So my profession and my artistic interest were close to each other.
Since May 2006 I work as a graphic designer.
||Bremen is one of Germany´s
16 federal states, and for one legislative period I was a member of parliament
there, a memory is my model "The Representative". For 15 years I was engaged
in the Green Party, because I was interested in environmental affairs and
development policy. As the Greens conformed to the political mainstream and
became similar to the other parties I left them.
Since my childhood I´m interested in drawing
and sculpturing. I trained my skills by going to artistic courses. The result
can be seen in our garden: water-spitting frogs and lions all around which
I have made out of concrete. Due to my job as a teacher I had to do with
mechanical principles and mechanical devices and I became fascinated by kinetic
sculptures, especially those made by the Swiss artist Jean Tinguely, who
created completely useless machines. In 1999 my wife and I visited the
Tinguely-Museum in Basel and we went to nearby Winterthur with it´s
well known "Technorama"-Science-Museum. There a special exhibition "Kabinett
der Mechanik" - Mechanical movement - took place, among others 30 exhibits
of the "Cabaret Mechanical Theatre" / London could be looked at, funny little
machines made out of wood and metal, driven by a crank mechanism. Small wooden
sculptures were moved by a mechanism placed in the box. The titles of these
automata gave a hint to the story they were telling: Bird Watcher, Lion Tamer,
Poisoned Milk, Skiing Dog, Wave-Machine, The Council Counsellor and so on.
We were fascinated. Later I discovered card cut-outs with similar designs
made by the same artists like Paul Spooner, Peter Markey, Keith Newstead
and others. I remembered my former handcraft experience with ships and castles
out of paper, assembled some of these models and then I started to construct
paper automata by my own.
The paper-machines do not try to imitate reality in a smaller scale, but
fundamental is the idea of movement or the intention to tell a story. In
this sense the designs are originals in a 1 : 1 -size.
I would be very pleased about your opinion,
your experiences and your suggestions::
D - 28203 Bremen
Tel./Fax: 0421 - 74421