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In the art scene of Schwerin their names were as well known as the State Theater, the museum or the castle of that city – Helga Kaffke, painter; Gabriele Berthel, author. That was during the last quarter of the past century. In the cultural news of the current capital of the county their names can’t be found. Both artists haven’t lived in Germany for more than twenty years.
First they looked for the centre of their lives in France – and then found it – since the millennium – on the North-West coast of Ireland, in Mayo. They settled there, got married, worked.
“May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back.” This old Irish blessing didn’t always keep its promise: the wind was often a gale and shook “the old house that rose out of the rocks”. The two artists counteracted this with their passion: for life, for painting, for literature. They had their talents and a backpack full of knowledge and experience, gathered at the colleges in Leipzig – tied forever to their country of birth, from which they had become estranged.
The painter Helga Kaffke died in the winter of 2017. Since her death her spouse Gabriele Berthel shares her life with thousands of pages.
Watercolours, colour on paper, portraits of landscapes, people and animals, in Kaffke-style. Kaffke-style is a mark of quality. Nobody painted watercolours like her: falling lines, sloping verticals, seemingly so chaotic, one already imagines the fall of Carthage – and yet somewhere a glimpse of sky remains. Magnificent. Gabriele Berthel paints with words; equally magnificent and emotional until it hurts. She paints in prose and poetry, mixes fairytale and reality, and covers earthly realism with melancholy.
Thus a book is created, in a remote place of the world where in comparison to sky and sea a person appears to be a dwarf. A book about love and life and the strength to endure it, for every place in world.
“In this place her life was always blowing in the wind –
jacket like trousers between two brittle poles.
And she keeps still, facing the earth – she knows it well –
it was her life worth.”
Helga Kaffke. Gabriele Berthel. For a long time their names had vanished from the cultural news. This is about to change.
In Schwerin and other places.
Über Kaffke, Helga
Helga Kaffke Geboren 1934 in Leipzig. Fotolithografin. Studium und Diplom an der Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig. Malerin, Grafikerin. Seit 1959 freiberuflich tätig, zunächst in Leipzig, später in Schwerin. Studienreisen nach Bulgarien, Frankreich, Irland, Polen, Rumänien, Ungarn. Publikationen: „Atelierbesuch bei Helga Kaffke“ (1987, Aquarelle, Pastelle), “Wer kämmt das Haar in der Suppe?“ (2004, Illustrationen zu Texten von Gabriele Berthel), „Leben, was sonst“ (2010, Porträts mit Texten von Gabriele Berthel), „VALSE MUSETTE. ROUEN en miniature“ (2016, Aquarellminiaturen, mit Texten von Gabriele Berthel). Einzelausstellungen u.a. in Achim, Annaberg, Chemnitz, Clemenswerth, Eupen/Belgien, Flensburg, Geringswalde, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Parchim, Rostock, Schwerin, Sögel, Westport (Co. Mayo, Irland) sowie in verschiedenen Städten Frankreichs (Rouen, Yport, Sassetot le Mauconduit). Ausstellungsbeteiligungen u.a. in Berlin, Bremen, Dresden, Erfurt, Kiel, sowie in Frankreich, Irland, Italien, Polen, Russland, Schweden und der Schweiz. Lebte und arbeitete bis zu ihrem Tode Ende 2017 an der irischen Westküste.
|Abmessungen (BxH):||240 x 240 mm|