Swiss artist Pia Huber tells about her experiences at Höfgen Denkmalschmiede situated in Grimma, Germany.
''For a long time my paintings and drawings were mainly inspired by structures, patterns and stains which I observed in my closer surroundings, mostly the urban environment. My attention was focussed on the amazing rhythms and lines of façades of houses, especially with scaffolds. Lights and shadows on the scaffolding by day or by night are fascinating. Tramway lines are like drawing lines to me.
As an artist-in-residence high up in the Swiss Alps, at N.A.I.R.S. residential center in Scuol in 2003, I discovered mountain walking and became interested in structures in nature. Since then I walk a lot, in the mountains as well as in other landscapes, as an inspiration for my work. My eyes focus, for example, on distant mountain slopes, meadows, plain landscapes of stones, the entanglement of branches and twigs in a forest. I extract details. By taking them out of their context an image of patterns and abstract rhythmes, some kind of 'writing', comes into being. In this process the landscape itself looses importance. My drawings and paintings reflect an atmosphere of detached calm and timelessness.To develop this further my latest residency at Höfgen Denkmalschmiede proved to be perfect. I sent in an application after I heard about the place from other artists who had been in residence there. The center came up for board and lodging. What I had to cover myself was the journey, insurances, material. I was lucky to receive money from two foundations from my home town in Switzerland, for which I had to send a portfolio and a description of my plans.
Höfgen is a very tiny village, situated between Leipzig and Dresden. Only a few houses next to the studios and the gallery. And one restaurant, where we took our meals. The spot is not far away from the pretty little town Grimma. There is hardly any public transport. You'll need a car, or at least ride a bike. Public transport means about 4 bustrips a day to and from Höfgen, no trip during weekends! However, the footpath to Grimma, about fifty minutes along the river Mulde, is very nice. This was just what I needed. The peaceful loneliness inspired me during the 4 months I stayed there during winter 2004. Therefore Höfgen is a very good working place: no distraction at all. Although there are always some other artists around with whom good and rich exchanges are possible, any visiting artist should keep in mind that this residence is for people who like the silence and who like to work on their own intensively.''