Monday, March 3, 2008

Inspiration on the road...

In 2005-2006 I had the coolest job: I got to go to various cities in Germany (Dresden, Leipzig, Hamburg, Hannover)several times to teach workshops for the Deutsche Bahn (German Railway.) They were preparing for the Soccer World Cup, which was hosted in Berlin, and they wanted to make sure (or at least be able to brag on paper) that their service employees and train announcers could speak passable English. I was sent to each of these cities 3 or 4 times to teach relatively well-paid 3 day workshops and also had my hotel and train expenses covered. The teaching itself was rather tedious. The students all worked at low level service jobs, were mostly middle aged and, although friendly for the most part, were not at all interested in learning English (only a few of them could really speak it passably.) Sometimes it felt more like highly paid babysitting for people thrilled to gossip and take lots of smoke breaks because they weren't technically at work. Still, I got through the days fairly easily and had so much fun in the evenings, roaming the streets of the various cities alone, armed with curiosity and a camera. It's funny how seldom we just wander for hours in the places we live. I remember getting visitors when I lived in the S.F. Bay Area and doing things with them that I simply had never done before: it was always there. I could go tomorrow if I felt like it. And yet, I never really did. Being in another city on business alone is the perfect opportunity for exploration because you have nothing else to do and NOTHING is more boring than sitting in the mid-range hotel room all by your lonesome....Anyway, I took a lot of great photos and am planning on using them for various art projects: collages, digitally enhanced/altered photographs and series of magnets. I already have some of them on offer in Etsy shop and am working on a couple of others. Here is a slide show of the photographs I know I want to do something with at some point. (I have already worked with and altered some which I have on offer in my shop Schaufenster, but the photographs shown here are the originals.) By the way, Hamburg was by far my most favorite of the cities. A big city (at least a million), it has a cool vibe and is really ethnically mixed and of course has its seedy edges with the Reeperbahn, the famous sailor red-light district where the Beatles got there start. Hannover is the least interesting (a city without a face, my husband says)but there was amazing stormy weather one of the times that I was there and the light just blew me away. That's when I took the series of Light and Longing self portraits (see blog below). Leipzig and Dresden are both cool, smaller cities but, except for one self-portrait in Leipzig, they proved uninspiring....Or maybe I forgot my camera when I went to Dresden. I don't remember anymore. Anyway, enjoy the show!

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