If I start this blog post with such a title … I need to start with a huge apologize to all my friends, from people who are writing letters to people behind prison bars – to the people behind bars, from family members of a convicted family member – to the convicted family member, from lawyers of a locked up human being – to the locked up human being … (the list goes on)
To all who are supportive to my work ART THROUGH PRISON BARS projects… I apologize! Please do not walk away because of the awful headline. Maybe you can even help me to find the monsters!
THE ARTIST AND THE MONSTERS would had make a good headline in a gossip media who does not report about any facts but creates and spreads wild stories. This phrase was often used in connection to me during the last years.
To the person who posted dozens of postings about me before my first exhibition with art from prison and art about prison with the headline “The Artist And The Monsters” in 2014 … I hope you do not mind that I am using your headline without tagging you as an author. I am happy you are here to read my words! Welcome to my blog!
You know … all this hateful actions against me without even knowing what I am doing exactly, who I am, what kind of projects I have made before this chapter and with whom I work (beside some prisoners who do not use a pseudonym) and why I am doing this …
Instead of asking questions – just sending anger messages. Instead of accepting and ignoring – threatening me. Instead of talking and trying to understand – spreading lies and rumours.
I mean … the first exhibition was not even opened and I already knew something big is going to happen. Never before had I gotten such high spirit comments about my art exhibition BEFORE it even took place.
But let us not waste time by going too deep into it!
Let us go on with having a look about what we are talking.This art work above was part of the first exhibition. I always take it as a reminder to myself that I choosed my way LOVE, FORGIVENESS, LIFE before I had come under fire by some people and got called “The Artist And The Monsters”. And I allow myself to ask: When I am the artist within this phrase – who are the monsters?
“All Human Beings Are Born Free And Equal In Dignitiy And Rights” is written with wooden game letters on a golden framed mirror within this art piece of me. To understand how this art work was displayed within the exhibition I add another photo for you.
The photo above is the detail of the mirror how it was displayed within the first exhibition with art from prison and art about prison. The next photo shows the collaborative art piece I made together with Travis Runnels who lives on Texas Death Row and which gets reflected in the mirror. Mirrors flip everything horizontal and so you had to look at the collaborative piece itself to be able to read the speech bubble.
“They locked up my body on death row – but my mind and my soul and my heart are free” is a quote of Travis Runnels which he wrote in a letter to me in response to my question “How can you survive solitary confinement on Texas death row without getting insane?” To the quote which I used within this art work above he added: “I live through my friends. They are sending me letters and photos and invite me to participate in their lifes. They teached me in many different topics. Would I have met such people before – maybe I would not had entered prison in a very young age.”
Yes. I know about the criminal record of Travis Runnels. I know why he is on death row in Texas. I also got to know some of his friends from free world who are writing and visiting him since many years. A group of wonderful, intelligent, educated and carrying people from all over the world who reached out to him and tried to make a difference. It is my honest thinking that he has learned a lot and continues to grow. He works with university professors and schools to educate young people that they will not hurt anyone and end up in prison. He works with several authors and artists from different countries to bring attention to capital punishment, the death penalty and to stand up against racism. He does learn from all of us and we all are learning from him.
I work with him since a couple of years now. I consider him a friend. We are not always having the same opinions on all topics which has to do with our different lifes. I grew up in Germany. He grew up in Texas.
Before my blog post “The Artist And The Monsters” is coming to a close I ask again “Who are the monsters?”. Because all artists and writers (from prison) who participated in one of my projects and/or are still co-working with me on several actual and upcoming projects treated me with equality, dignity and respect. Whenever we have different opinions where to go with any project, we are able to have a conversation about it and we are successful in figuring out how it works for both.
Please forgive me if my following words are hurting you but in my eyes those who treated me as they would be monsters had been those who sent me messages which would had easily let them enter prison themselves if I would had printed those messages and send them to police.
Everybody is welcome to comment on this blog. As long as you are able to write your opinion respectful I am happy to reply to your questions and feedback! If you cannot treat others with respect, I ask for your understanding that you get removed from this blog.
Have a good day everybody. I will work hard to get all photos sorted to be able to invite you to see more chapters of the journey of an ARTIST AND HER FELLOW ARTISTS BEHIND PRISON BARS.