Waltraud Pospischil is an artist, poet and writer who lives and works in Bristol. Waltraud recently created two new artworks to celebrate individuals who have had a positive effect on her life as an artist. In this blog post she shares those two paintings and describes the events and thought processes that have influenced her work.
My life was literally falling apart a year ago… Long story, but I believe in angels now.
One was my social enterprise adviser Rob, who was the first person who ever took me seriously and really listened to all of my ideas. I wanted to work towards a big art exhibition with the title Breaking out of a Hall of Mirrors which I thought through, created and facilitated.
I told him to imagine being stuck in an old fashioned fairground mirror hall, and imagine being unable to change back from the distorted images to his real self…
I told him about Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis where the character wakes up having changed into some horrible huge vermin or bug…
And I told him that for many people in society, life is simply like being stuck in such a hall with distorting mirrors…
You are never seen for who you really are!
Rob was great – he told me how to work out an enterprise idea with all the important realistic components involved. He never failed to appreciate my ideas, effort and input while making sure I kept both feet on the business enterprise ground. He made sure I was able to take my visions and future into my own hands. (Sadly, the funding for his contract stopped after some months, just as I attempted to stick my head out of a life covered in mud for the first time).
Then there was Outside In and Hannah, who somehow magically appeared when I felt the plug of my universal floating tank had been pulled out, and I was bound to descend into it like through a maelstrom… down to eternal hell and darkness.
I was simply saved by becoming an Outside In artist, rather than disappearing and getting annihilated. What I write might mean a lot to some people, who had difficult experiences themselves. Others might see it as eccentric at best, or as crazy nonsense.
There are fairy stories which tell the most important episodes of our lives, but usually we only notice them occasionally if we go through a crisis; and actually ‘listen’ rather than drown the experience with denial or pills.
I painted Rob and Hannah’s birth charts:
Rob is a Pisces, with more ‘deep water’ stars, also some strong Aquarius and Capricorn. I really wanted to copy him and be like him. I never built up any confidence when I was a young, unwanted and bullied girl. What made the real difference to me, and got me out of a vicious circle of failure, was that I noticed the pain and the struggle that Rob had been through but admired that he was still here and able to advise others.
Hannah is a Gemini, but she has a tremendous amount of strongly placed planets: Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are all in her 12th house and Capricorn. Her moon is conjunct with Pluto in her 10th house and Scorpio. Lucky for her, and all the Outside In artists she works for, that she has Sun, Venus and Mercury in Gemini and her Jupiter in Taurus. It makes her eloquent enough to communicate and make a real life project for us all at Outside In. It is not easy to be creative, listen to all the deep meanings hauntingly glaring out from art and the collective subconscious, but still make a stance in real life and to communicate it to the world with our modern means.
Painting and writing poetry have been lifesaving for me. Poetry is like talking to an imaginary friend, and painting is like an interaction with a space – your blank sheet can suddenly feel as though it talks to you! I never think that I have messed a painting up anymore. Nothing is failure or coincidence. If my strokes of colour don’t appear as I intended I now know it is just the page talking back to me. I noticed that it was not ‘action’ but ‘interaction’ which could describe how I paint. I get deeply absorbed by it and reach some sort of meditative state of mind – OK, I’m also a big joker: “Everything you like in my art is what I did, and everything you don’t like is what the space told me to do!”.
I don’t judge anyone, don’t need to convince anyone, but art and poetry helped me to speak and paint right from my heart. I would not shy away from explaining anything, answering any criticism, even putting ‘reality’ itself into place – I hope it will wake up to my dreams one day!
So please make of it whatever you want, but be assured that I am one of those artists who ‘love every human being in the world’. I came to the conclusion that you can’t be an artist without loving everyone. I don’t mind if you laugh at me, as long as you are in a good mood!