In her blog, Gerda-Marie Adenau describes very personal encounters with artwork by the sculptor Hendrik Hackl who is based in Mannheim/Germany. Through her eyes – in her words – with her enthusiasm.
People have always been fascinated by fossils, those – often strange-looking – prehistoric artifacts which are witnesses of a time long gone. We collect them, turn them into jewelry, use them for decoration, or look at them in museums dedicated to the primeval world. Personally, fossils did not interest me in the slightest - until the moment I met Hendrik Hackl and his many ammonites. Today, works by him decorate the wall in my living room.
First experiences with art
I grew up in Vlatten, a village of 1,000 souls in the Rur-Eifel region in western Germany. My idea of visual art was primarily shaped by the Sunday services in the village church; what has remained with me is a preference for cardinal red.
I remember my first conscious encounter with art very well. It was in fourth grade of elementary school when we learned about Paul Klee and his cubist paintings. We were supposed to either re-paint one of his pieces or write an evaluation. Since I was completely untalented in drawing but liked to write, I naturally decided to do the review. I looked at the painting for a long time and began to describe it in detail. Then came the magical moment when the painting began to speak to me. I filled page after page with my impressions and observations. I received an A for my homework – and I took away as a learning experience: paintings can speak; I can understand their language and resonate with them; I am able to put this process into words.
The opening of the visible
Since my elementary school days, I have visited countless museums, viewed artwork, and joined guided tours. During my studies I worked as a museum attendant; later in life I organized guided tours for my friends and took courses to acquire the theoretical knowledge behind 'seeing'. The magic of my first evaluation has lasted. I look at paintings, and suddenly the objects 'look' back at me. They open themselves up to me, and I become the recipient, picking up their vibrations and resonating.
A fossil as an art object?
I was quite surprised when I realized that this phenomenon also manifests itself in encounters with fossils and ammonites. For me personally, however, this requires added artistic creation.
In 2015, I bought my first piece: "Come Together". What fascinates me most about Hackl's work to this day is his talent to be aesthetically creative. He arranges his objects in a very unique way and works on them only very sparingly. In this way, he leaves enough room for the million-year-old materials to tell their own stories.
When he told me about his new website, I offered to write a testimonial. I sat down, just like I did back in elementary school, and, just like then, a space of dialogue and inspiration opened up. The idea of a web log was born. My stories about encounters with fossils, ammonites, and the artist invite you to resonate with the artwork yourself.
About my person
I live near Munich. Besides my job as a communicator in a corporation, I study philosophy at the Jesuit University. I regularly travel to the Eifel region and almost always end up with Hackl in Mannheim on my way .
In social media you’ll find me here:
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is my professional platform. Here I publish stories inspired by my everyday life in the company.
The Silver Magazine: here I write about my life under the hashtag #50plus. In German only.