Oil painting on wood by Daric Gill

“Absolute: Elevation” Finds Reverence In Shared Reflections From Germany

“Absolute: Elevation” Finds Reverence In Shared Reflections From Germany

by Daric Gill

{Feature Video of Painting Process Above}

 

Oil painting on wood by Daric Gill
“Absolute: Elevation”: Oil paint on reclaimed oak. 8 3/4” x 9 7/8”. 7.30.19.

If you spend any time near a lake or river you’ll see people stooping down to pick up rocks and chucking them into the water. There appears to be something timeless and wholesome about digging in the dirt to find that perfect stone and casting it into the mirrored surface. And let’s not forget about that satisfying ‘kuthwunk’ sound as it plunges deep into the water. Parents have taught their children the art the stone toss across the globe, skipping the rocks across the smooth surface.  We universally love the game of counting skips and challenging ourselves to outdo the last throw. There’s something so primal yet sophisticated about this self-grounded relaxation. Absolute: Elevation finds reverence in these shared reflections. Read on below for the full article and image gallery.

{ Click To Skip Article & Go To Image Gallery }

My apartment in Dresden is only a few blocks from the river’s edge. In fact, the old city and the new city are bifurcated by the curvy river. Both are flanked with smooth gravel, possibly brought in from outside sources. Most nights I take a ride on my bike and join the typical Dresdner past-time of river watching. Each night I skip stones to relax and each night I’m equally satisfied.

Frauenkirche
The Frauenkirche

Dresden was bombed quite heavily during WWII, leveling most of the baroque buildings in the old city (the Altstadt) to rubble. In fact, I’ve been told that my apartment stands on a bombed location. After the reunification of Germany in 1989, the city has done a great job rebuilding the splendorous churches, palaces, and museums. As a result, much of the architecture here is a combination of old masonry and new. You can see this in the peppered look of the Frauenkirche. During the last 20 or so years, it has been up to rubble sorting parties to make sense of the post-war debris, with some of the repairs still ongoing. It stands to reason that some of the old city is still under our very feet. After all, Dresden is over 800 years old. Like any old city, I am standing on centuries of ancient architecture. Is it possible that there’s a former baroque cornerstone, rounded over from years of water, being skipped across the river?

Porcelain works at the Zwinger Porzellansammlung collection.

Over the past month, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in the art museums and collections here. In particular, the state-owned art collections (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden) which showcase millions of artworks in a vast network of palaces and historic buildings around greater Saxony. Much of the artwork reflects the grandiose architecture and equally indulges in gold leaf and gilded accents. Religious artifacts, antique porcelain sets, precision mathematical tools, and even historical objects of war, all drip of gold. Sometimes an exercise in wealth; other times a measure of reverence for the occasion.

As I tossed stones into the River Elbe,  I can’t help but notice a parallel. Maybe our collective draw to the river’s edge is a moment of pure spiritual gold. As I look over to my right, I see a father teaching his daughter how to skip stones, or as they say in Germany “butterbemme” (butter bread). Eight skips, can I get nine?


{Image Gallery}

 

Special thanks to:

Special Thanks to Greater Columbus Arts CouncilGalerie Raskolnikow, Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen

KDFs logo

 

"About the Greater Columbus Arts Council: Through vision and leadership, advocacy and collaboration, the Greater Columbus Arts Council supports art and advances the culture of the region. A catalyst for excellence and innovation, the Arts Council funds exemplary artists and arts organizations and provides programs, events and services of public value that educate and engage all audiences in our community. The Arts Council thanks the City of Columbus and the Ohio Arts Council for their continued support. www.gcac.org"
"About Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen: The foundation initiates, realizes and supports projects. It awards scholarships and buys works by visual artists. Their goals are the development of new forms of artistic expression and the sustainable transmission of contemporary art and culture. The maintenance of cultural heritage and the promotion of young artists are also part of their tasks. It supports projects of national or national importance and contributions to international cultural exchange. With its own projects, the Cultural Foundation is responding to social and cultural change in Saxony and neighboring European countries. It develops programs to support cultural dialogue with European neighbors in Central and Eastern Europe, but also in North America and East Asia. For additional information, visit kdfs.de.

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