INTONATION Deidesheim - A story of success

2004, in autumn during a convivial evening I had the idea: An own symposium with the focus on clay, in my own premises, compressed and experimental.

The invited artists should have the opportunity to work in my studio for 10 days and bring finished works for exhibiting.

The very next day I extended the first invitations, not knowing how to get the whole issue organized. Four courageous colleagues, Klaus Lehmann, Franz Josef Altenburg, Zsuzsa Fuezesi-Heierli and Hans Fischer immediately confirmed so that in 2005 the first INTONATION was opened.

That is now 15 years ago. A small miracle. 47 artists from 22 countries had been guests in Deidesheim. Big names like Torbjorn Kvasbo and Oyekan Lawson, both of them Grand Prize winners of the Biennale in Korea. A long list of artists who have built up a worldwide reputation.

The idea proved to be successful. High standard artistry encounters people who normally would not enter an art gallery. But where we are there are no thresholds. One can watch the artists while they are working, can talk with them and ask questions. The face-to-face relatedness makes it easier to understand what one sees.

An initiative dedicated to the ceramic art right from the beginning.

And the plan works. After 15 years the INTONATION has become a meeting point for professionals, art collectors and people who came in touch with ceramic art for the first time in Deidesheim and were enthusiastic about its quality.

Right from the start communication has been the strongest incitement for me. In the meantime the concept has been professionalised. Invitations are made internationally, to all generations and covering the range of ways of working as wide as possible. Everybody introduces himself with a presentation so that the audience gets the chance to delve into the opus of the artist.

From time to time the question arises: "Do you want to go on with this? So much work?" I must admit that sometimes, especially shortly before my colleagues arrive, I would like to call everything off. But then there are all those wonderful people, like my assistant who, for the last 10 years, always takes her holidays to help me organize the event. The people in Deidesheim, who cook for us, help us out with a forklift, develop websites, supply the gas for the firing and always help immediately, when they are needed. Companies like Goerg & Schneider sponsor us with clay, Michael Saelzer and Rohde kilns have helped us to acquire a new gas kiln this year. How can one think about quitting under these circumstances?!

On March, 29th it starts again. Invited are Deirdre McLoughlin from Dublin, living in Amsterdam, Jennifer Forsberg from Sweden, Svein Narum from Norway, Michal Puszczynski from Poland József Zakar from Hungary, Kirsten Jaeschke and me from Germany.

Every year it is a great challenge to find artists of the highest level. I think that in 2019 it is again successful. After all 4 of the invitees are among the chosen artists for the online presentation of the Biennale in Korea.

The artistic statements could not be more different. The organic flowing installations from Jennifer Forsberg or from Deirdre McLoughlin the round, sensual sculptures, sometimes reminding of vessels in perfect execution stand in strong contrast to the mighty works from Puszczynski who uses his sculptures as canvas on which he paints impulsively and full of energy.

Kirsten Jaeschke will be in Deidesheim for the second time. Her works made of porcelain are full of poetry. With grates, patterns and perforated with linear elements she plays with the independent existence and emotional quality of porcelain.

József Zakar will be in Deidesheim already for the third time. His squares from the past years, influenced by architecture, have opened. They have become more of lines and circumscriptions.

Svein Narum has turned more and more towards informal painting. With powerful and sensual stoke of the brush he makes his earthen plates to paintings.

The last two years I have a small studio in Sweden, simplest furnishing. Since then I concern myself with landscapes and fjords, inspired by the breathtaking nature of Norway.

So ceramic art will be celebrated in Deidesheim for the 15. time and to thank all supporters we will have a party. We would like to extend an invitation on April, 5th to drink a toast to the INTONATION and all the willing hands.

And to the future of the small miracle in Deidesheim.