From Heidi Trautman…
Dear family, dear friends,
Not much has changed since I wrote my Christmas/End-of-year letter of last year, our situation today is rather alarming and can easily develop into a ‘wildfire’ the size of which we cannot yet assess.
The last two years have had a lasting impact on all of our areas of life, on society in general but also on the individual citizen. We have also realized that we are dependent on each other, we need communication, we need the exchange and interaction.
I want to dedicate this year’s letter to a certain group of professionals who were hit particularly hard: The artists – theatre and opera, musicians and visual artists; not so badly affected were writers and poets, who had plenty of time forced upon them to capture their fantasy, their rich world of words on paper between two covers, they communicate without the immediate necessity of an audience which is of great importance to theatre people and musicians, but they do also need communication and interchange as pieces of experience for their work.
What is art? Art is a language, a means, a tool to capture, to record situations, happenings and bring them on display and to the attention of the public, to beautify our life, to bring to the surface wrongdoings…. Art an important but for many a dangerous tool. Art as a chronicler, as historiographer…. But let us start with the cave dwellers: we found drawings on cave walls done by talented ones among them, recordings done with coal, stone, with natural colours from plants or rocks, recordings of hunt scenes, important events and devotional images of their nature gods. There were those who started decorating vessels made from soil because their sense for beauty had developed.
Events used to be interpreted also by dance and music; education and disciplinary actions were being done in open plays in the centre of the village of indigenous people to show misdeeds and the consequences openly and to be discussed by all. I have myself witnessed this tradition in the middle of last century in Africa.
Artists who went along with armies, with conquerors, with explorers and researchers, and brought back to us drawings, recordings of cruelty and abuse, of new cultures and traditions, of new food and habits. However, art was also abused for the intimidation of the masses, as we can still see today.
What is an artist, what makes an artist, artists of all disciplines…
The mind of artists never rests, with eyes and ars always open for reception and all doors of their system is wide open to allow impressions in. They have a good-sized battery to store what they learn, experience, impressions, questions and answers.Everything is being judged for later use, especially new ways are welcome which inspires them to experiment. How do artists get to this point?
Every human being is born with genetic predispositions which may go back many generations but it is said that they come to the surface again in third generations.
In some cases, such predispositions may have accumulated further, inherited from one ancestor way back in time.
For example, as I have experienced at several occasions with highly talented children. The boy had to be lifted onto the piano stool and the moment he touched the keys this kid became another being, as if led by a ghost of the past and I believe that the is an ‘old soul’.
There is an urge already in early childhood to bring what is inside to the outside, the wish to translate and interpret it, and it cannot be suppressed, how fortunate a child is when the parents understand and support the child’s feelings. On the other hand overeager parents who wish to force onto children education in the arts where there is no such urge, are well advised to get an early teacher’s advice to save themselves and the children disappointments in later life.
Artists need freedom, room for their hunger to further develop on the road to their vision. Recently I talked to an artist friend of mine who explained it to me: ‚there is something in me, another being pushing me to get up and continue working, to try something new, a new technique, a new theme; it does not stop, once you are inside the wheel, it keeps on turning.’
It is really not easy to live with an artist, the requests of the creative urge are priority. Art comes first. Artists have something to say and one should listen to them, their senses are highly developed and their experience in fields of life are manifold and great. The road of an artist passes through deep valleys of hurts and disappointments to high peaks of experience and concentration of energy. Pain and ecstasy are the most vital pushing agents which is valid for all fields of the arts and creativity.
Art is Culture. Artists are the better diplomats, they are used to think before they act.
Art is a primal instinct.
However, artists need us, need the live audience, need he feedback as a response to their work, especially the artists from the theatre and music scene depend on the immediate communication, the resonance, which is normal and understandable because they work, act and play for us, they have something to tell us, want to entertain us but also provoke us tothink.
May all the deities of the antiquity and today protect the artists and their creativity. Art is as old as humanity.
With these words I conclude my letter for this year, may they make you think about it when you go to a concert, to the theatre or an exhibition or even just to a handicraft market, whatever, because we need the arts and the artists, our artists.
My thoughts will be with you….