What is Werkstattwoche 2017 in Lüben?
It’s an international art symposium organised by the local community which takes part every two years since 24 years ago. Every two years the local association Kulturverein Wittingen that runs the art symposium invites or selects artists coming from all over the World. They are guested in the local families of the little village of Lüben, in the district of Wittingen, Germany.
The artists are asked to produce their own art pieces with the technique they like during the ten days of the art symposium. All art pieces must be produced on location. At the end of the long week an exhibition follows. It involves all the local inhabitants and people come from all the surrounding neighbourouds and also from far to see what’s going on there.
What did I do in Lüben 2017?
I went to make my own project with black and white photography to be printed on location on salted papers, the technique discovered by Willam Henri Fox-Talbot, the calotype, later on known also as talbotype. During the first days I strolled around with my 5×7” view camera to take pictures here and there. Then I developed them in my own darkroom set up there for the occasion. Last I had to make my salt prints out of the negatives so this was the most committing part out of all. I had to prepare a little exhibition at the end of the working week so I had to rush and work hard to get everything ready at the right time during the whole period of ten days.
I have to say I had a fantastic time with all the wonderful artist there. Such a creative environment is rare and I have to thank the local people which are working hard with effectiveness and friendship to pursuit their goal of attracting artist there. I was guested in the firemen locals for to set up my own darkroom brought from home, where I could develop the large format negatives I was shooting during the day and making the salt paper prints out of them.
Words are not enough to describe the positive mood and the strength such an art symposium can give you back. I’m impressed for the works I could carry out in a such a limited amount of time (shooting large format black and white negatives, developing them, making salt papers on location, contacting and finishing the prints is really committing) indeed I did it.
Exhibition is now over in Lüben but it is going to open soon in Wittingen and in Gifhorn. Lately it will be exposed in a European town outside of Germany.
Thanks again to all Lübener people for this wonderful opportunity and hopefully see you in two years there again.