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General News · 3rd November 2008
Volker Steigemann
Dear Friends,
In the late summer of this year I participated in an international wood sculpting symposium in the town Halle an der Saale / Germany. I want to invite you to a one hour slide show on 6th nov, Thursday evening at the Mansons Hall at 8pm

From the first time I learned about this sculpture symposium in Halle, it had a vibrant dialog working throughout me somehow I really wanted to be there. I applied for the symposium and somehow it manifested all.
The period of bringing it forward called out questions full of personal stuff I am born in the old West Germany but my parents roots are from the east the former Breslau.

Here I am(was) in Halle by the river Saale the area Sachsen-Anhalt, is now Germany United. How is my feeling and my relation to this new Germany in general? This is my first time I made contact with East German life. For now I am living and working in the soviet style suburbs of Halle in the direction South Stadt Silberhoehe/Elsteraue for four weeks

The Theme is, ”Towers” and I work with my imagination and see this big united 1m bud log 5m long all embraced German Oak Oha ha ha . The picture changed, two, Red German Oak trees with a light bow inside the trunks and a little twist thought the whole length of the log in this case a charming double movement in both individual trees. My imagination and the dialog became a lesson. The message was simple enough take the” Now “and see. I vent my air temperamental at first, a hereditary curse on my tongue then I was able to surrender with wit and grace.

The logs changed again they transformed into two presented logs from the Doelauer Heide a natural forest park outside Halle they are given to me for free, so I make at it with my open heart to receive the energy channel of light. I know how personalities in wood can bee so elusive, while working them I get to know them. As a living tree they spiralled their shape into the sun receiving the light, I try to capture the very slow trance-dance around the source, the light, which is of the most important value for them and me to bring that quality to my sculpture.

Individually one tree is slightly bigger in size, the logs have a body size feel to them, I set about to shape the outside into five offset following rectangular Structures, at the same time creating a quarter spiral a “ Turn, a Wende”.
The five sections each, makes ten ordered segments facing each other from the top down opening at midway and to face opposite directions at their base, by having a strong individual base, I imitate the two German sides as male and female energy, or a catholic male tower to a protestant female tower, for each the common religion. I carved alphabetic Hebrew numerals into each of the ten segments to say, without the Old no New. So I place the beginning numeral Aleph to the fatter log and Bet to the other so the viewer has to move around the sculpture to see the next correct number Gimmel, Dalet, He, following numerals up to ten Vav, Zayim, Het, Ted, Yod. Jewish tribal religion is the original, the common ground of Christianity.
I leave the outer skin of my creation with readable marks that make sense for themselves as they got onto the surface by process, a structure with a authentic roughness of hand worked planks

One side of each structure is hollowed round, inside out so to speak, gives the tree the natural flow back .I visualise the facing Wende inside the two trunks a quarter turn and ordered five sections each behind the other into both logs. By later placing them to channel down the cosmic energies the inspirations, all the su ba ra shi, dobre idea, buno idea, good ideas may pile up at the bottom of the sculpture spill all over town the blessing I received, I say thank you very much, I share my gift and bless you back

When all the sculptors helped me lift up, the now fashioned logs, we where all very lucky that all went well the energy among the group had high sensitivity and power was with us. I also realized how the individual logs worked out and that I had to be careful. Reduce the weight up top was a obvious, the embracement is obsolete and so came a call from the group. Embrace was not in the air politically nor in society. So the Angles outside advised my soul less is more, I surrendered and trusted in a higher vision. I left out the braces.

Seeing it now (then) with it’s round concrete base, it has a beautiful movement. The very slow trance-dance anticipated, I can see it, I can see the tumble and a kiss. Their individualities are intact. Both trees are sculptures now. I love to walk around and take it all in. I made many pictures some along the channel up into the light looking at that wonderful moment I realise, I made great new friends, having the overview now of what have we created together Towers, Stehlen, Land- Marks, Town-Marks, each a temple of wisdom itself they reflect our high creative energy our way of acceptance of each other, of magic beings celebrating our differences at the same time never-ending fun learning. Through out all the domes and churches we visited the wooden sculptures or totems where inside their concrete designed settings. Our sculptures are outside in the world-dome a collective Park for a special types of humans to go to and feel good in a pleasing arranged environment. As totems or Stehlen they are in a different time frame, at the same time liberated from time, timeless for they reflect our very own “Zeitgeist” and so they become authentic not only by the way of tools we use.

The sculptures all have their very own individual appearance and glow with original wooden statement to a time of Totem pole, a place familiar to me, a time of shamanic belief they are made of wood they seem vulnerable like us in amongst the concrete, car, high tech world and it’s people and somehow we are all still kicking in the magic of active creating our own path of time within.