On the road in Ireland's wild west

von Gabriele Berthel

Illustriert von: Helga Kaffke
124 Seiten
2018 EDITION digital
ISBN 978-3-95655-898-6

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Kurztext / Annotation
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.

Helga Kaffke Born in 1934 in Leipzig, Germany, Helga first worked as a photo-lithographer. She was awarded a diploma by the University of Graphic Design & Book Art in Leipzig after five years studies. She was a painter and graphic designer, and has worked freelance since 1959. Helga has made academic travels in Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Ireland, Poland and Romania. Her work has been exhibited in many one-woman shows in Germany (including Chemnitz, Flensburg, Leipzig, Rostock Schwerin). She had single exhibitions of her work in France (in Rouen, Sassetot and Yport), in Belgium (Eupen) and in Ireland (Westport, Belmullet). Group shows in Germany include Berlin, Bremen, Dresden, Erfurt, Kiel, and her work has been in group shows in France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland. Books published: 'Who brushes the hair in the Soup?', 'Life, what else', 'VALSE MUSETTE - Rouen en miniature', all books together with the writer Gabriele Berthel. Lived long years until her death in 2017 in an old farmhouse in Ballycroy, Co. Mayo, Ireland. Gabriele Berthel Born in 1948 in Schmölln, Germany. Five years studies at the Technical University in Chemnitz. Graduated Engineer. Three years open university course at the Literary Institute in Leipzig. Writer, Collagist. Books published: 'Short and mature' (edition), 'Departureof truth' (Texts and Collages), 'The deviltry reaches further than you believe' (Collages to Proverbs of Klaus Bernhardt), 'Who brushes the hair in the soup?' (together with the illustrator Helga Kaffke), 'VALSE MUSETTE - Rouen en miniature' (stories to water colour miniatures of Helga Kaffke). Single exhibitions in Germany include Chemnitz, Dresden, Erfurt, Gera, Hamburg ... Single Exhibition in

WALKING TALKING Everything depends on balance. Just another five steps, six, after that the road descends steeply into the hollow. You have to keep an eye on it. You have to focus firmly on the crest. If you are too fast, you are down straight away. It really knocks you sideways. In the hollow the damp lingers longest. Because the wind only whistles over it, and the sun doesn't bother appearing at all, or only very briefly, only to let it be known that she is not going to turn up at all. There, below, at the bottom, the road remains as it always was. With large potholes from the rain, with deep mud-holes. It is a difficult stretch. You can only put one foot in front of the other. You have to know the trick. It's best to walk exactly in the middle, because the road is staggering a little. The muck in the drain is not painful. It only takes a while to get up again. The Stout is twittering in Paddy's brain. Paddy can hear it clearly, he knows every note, he can tell them apart exactly. He went to wet his throat a little, in Snoopy's Bar, but he holds himself as upright as he can, you have to be able for that, to finish off all the drink and walk in a straight line afterwards, everything depends on balance, you have to manage that. You have to know the trick, then it is as easy as putting one foot in front of the other, slowly, no need to be in such a rush. If Paddy is honest, he must admit: his boots would not tolerate more speed anyway. Not that they are falling apart, leather, as Paddy knows, is durable, is tough. But the laces, they are gone, that sort of stuff perishes quickly, at the end barely fit for a knot, Paddy couldn't do it. Of course he could buy new ones, he could afford them, just doesn't bother, the boots are a bit loose, but it will do, it works, relax, to panic would be no use. Also because of the drain. It doesn't hurt Paddy, but Martha, Martha would notice straight away if he had been lying in the muck. Martha sees everything. Then the nagging would start all over again. The whole lament. Or possibly not. Because Martha is gone as well. Not tough enough. Not tough. Martha can't stand Snoopy. Because he can't find an end, when Paddy doesn't know one, when he pours too much oil on his lamp, but what else can he do, he's only doing it so that the music returns, the twittering, that takes time. Snoopy's Stout is good for music. You have to drink it in small sips, in very small ones, nearly like tea, that takes time, you have to be able to wait. Anyway, Paddy is always the last one at the counter to be served, the very last one, that takes time, Paddy can wait endlessly. The smaller the sips, the later the tingling arrives in the stomach. The later the tingling arrives in the stomach, the better the music in the head. That is simple. Like putting one foot in front of the other, slowly, Paddy knows how. Shut up, Martha, Paddy says, as a precaution, so that it doesn't start all over again, and that is a reprimand, but he says some more things, nothing special, just stuff, for Martha, she'll have an ear for it, Martha always listened carefully. The road from Snoopy's counter to Paddy's bunk plods along, Paddy talks walking and walks talking, and he doesn't seem to be surprised that a conversation just hangs in the air like that. He remembers how to do that, to grab the word as it passes. The road plogs along, staggers, but is safe, Paddy really knows another kind of staggering, long ago, long gone, but nothing is lost, Paddy knows every note, every call, he can tell them apart exactly - whereafter all everything depended on it at that time; whether the fish landed in the boat or the boat with the fish, and of course the box of mackerel from the catch for Paddy the handyman, the helper, Paddy was good at that, he could do it, a life can pass over this, just don't rush it. Paddy won't have any large catches anymore, he did what he could do, it wa

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