Interview: Kerstin Koeglmeier
Luca Curci talks with Kerstin Koeglmeier during Venice International Art Fair 2021, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
I love what I do and do what I love! When the sun shines or the rain drums its melody on the roof of my studio this love turns into energy that collects in my upper arms and flows through my beloved blacksmith hammer into the workpiece in my hands. Goes into resonance with the anvil and there arises what wants to arise. Thoughts become shapes feelings lose themselves in fine swings experiences begin to tell their stories. Quiet sometimes loud charming and fill my heart with sunshine. ‘’Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come!’’ This love deepens, during an internship lasting several weeks with the gemstone cutters Bernd, Tom and Jutta Munsteiner in Stipshausen has proven itself at The goldsmiths Thomas Ehehalt and Jutta Haase in Berlin then comes what has to come: The first jump into the cold water along with the backpack through East Africa teaches me to swim in the ocean of life and guides me to the beach and with, it to my classic-traditional training with Gerda Schalke and Stefan Weiss in the renowned goldsmith ‘’Stöckheim Manufaktur’’. I AM A GOLDSMITH WITH A LETTER AND SEAL! My own goldsmith in Munich not anywhere there in NYMPHENBURG! AT THE SAME TIME I can ALSO WORK ‘’temporarily’’ in Italy and on Castello Ginori di Querceto des Marchese Ginori Leschi and present my pieces of jewellery in the summer months in the art and culture foundation ‘’Accademia Libera Natura e Cultura’’ a wonderful and very instructive time follows in my studio in the Botanikum artists’ colony. I get to know and love photographers and the world of fashion fall in love with fashion, shootings, models and flashlights. Dream of a world that I don’t know. Then breathtaking jetlag, Woody Allen’s ‘’Manhattan’’ and a can of Prosecco help me to DREAM ‘’Artist in the Museum of Modern Art in New York (Membership 40966708)’’ various shootings and publications follow. Sometimes beautiful sometimes adventurous sometimes terrible and always breathtaking. I still dream the dream of my life a studio in the country that gives me a wide view and space to be able to stand up to be who I am. THEN THIS DREAM will come true! You can find me since July 18, 2018. PRIVÉE D’ORO PROVOCATEUR and Madame Emilie in beautiful Miesbach in the most beautiful studio of MY own world. Here my hands enchant fine materials and create pieces of jewellery that invite you to dream to wear to admire!
Luca Curci – What are you working on right now?
Kerstin Koeglmeier – I’m currently working on two projects simultaneously. I always have several irons in the fire, otherwise, I’d get bored. The first thing I’m currently working on is a very elaborate one-carat ring in 750/00 yellow and white gold for a customer. The other thing is a new idea that will result in a whole new line of jewellery pieces. I am always interested in developing myself further, learning new things and deepening my previous skills. This time I decided to work with ‘’HEXAGON’’ shapes. Building hexagonal sockets alone is tricky, especially if they have to enclose the precious stones perfectly and look beautiful in doing so. I’m looking forward to presenting these hexagonal jewellery beauties in a wonderful place, somewhere and sometime soon.
LC – How did you come to your current artistic practice?
KK – After a classic apprenticeship as an accountant and subsequent studies (politics/journalism / economics M.A.), I realized that I had to change in order to find the right path for my life. During the following seven years I worked as a self-taught goldsmith. Then I decided to get professional training as a goldsmith with some of the best teachers in Germany: Stephan Weiß and Gerda Schalke from the ‘’Stöckheim Manufaktur’’. I successfully completed my training with a letter and seal. I also made use of additional opportunities to learn from other teachers: Werner Oehlschläger in Lübeck; Jutta Haase & Thomas Ehehalt in Berlin; Bernd, Tom & Jutta Munsteiner in Stipshausen. For several years after that, I used the summer months to do artistic training excursions at Castello Ginori di Querceto in the ‘’Accademia Libera Natura e Cultura’’. During this time, as a scholarship holder at Castello Ginori, I was able to let my creativity run free thanks to the Marchese Ginori Lisci from Florence. Then the time had come for my own studio in Munich-Nymphenburg. Wonderful and successful years followed in one of the most beautiful areas of Munich until I felt the desire for change again and moved to a dreamlike studio in the Botanikum artists’ colony in Munich. My creativity increased in this indescribable place. My studio was a glass greenhouse about a hundred years old with tropical vegetation and fantastic light. Still, even during those days, I felt a desire to move into my own space and to balance work and life more evenly. Luckily, this dream has now become my wonderful reality. In one of the most beautiful areas of Bavaria, between Schliersee and Tegernsee, my studio is now in my own house. Finally, I don’t feel any more limitations and can really live out my true creativity.
LC – Where do you get your inspiration from?
KK – On the one hand there are so many pictures. I think in pictures, always in me. I can draw from those, as if from an abundance of ideas. On the other hand, in everything that I see, smell, taste, feel experience. I discover something that I store in myself. It is as if I have a huge archive of possibilities, images and feelings within me that I can access at any time. That keeps providing me with new ideas. But I don’t consciously call up the suggestions in this archive it is rather that I hold a beautiful, noble stone in my hands or a shell that I found on a particularly beautiful beach then I look at the noble metal with which I am allowed to work and start without really having laid out a plan beforehand. I start and let it happen, let myself and my skills drift …come to rest and immerse myself in a FLOW, let myself be surprised, by what wants to be created by my fingers.
LC – What is it like to be an artist these days?
KK – The decision for an artistic life must be a free, personal and very conscious decision. The aspect of wanting to let your own creativity run free must be the primary drive. Monetary aspects shouldn’t be disregarded, but also should never overshadow your main drive. Because only if there is a desire to live in creativity that outshines everything else, will you have the necessary strength to actually be able to walk this path. To be able to defy storms and setbacks and to follow your own path unswervingly. Few people can understand that I always made a conscious decision in favour of this path with all the consequences that resulted from it. I always knew that there could only be this one way for me and I let myself be guided and drawn by a feeling of success that I cannot put into words but which always gave me the intuition for the next step. And I trust that!
LC – Do you use art to express something special? Is it your means of expression?
KK – There is no doubt that art has become another means of expression for me. For a long time, it was language and the written word in particular. I’ve always written to express my thoughts. Writing has always been an opportunity for me to gain clarity. Then it happened I got the chance to build a piece of jewellery in a playful way and without any knowledge. That opened my mind to a whole new experience. I plunged in and forgot time and space. I forgot myself and became one with something that I still can’t really name. But it doesn’t matter the feeling is what matters to me. The feeling of inner calm and clarity. Then came a moment that cut into my life a true catharsis in the form of a serious illness. I knew instinctively that I could only find the healing in myself and that all the necessary answers were already there. I instinctively knew right away that there would only be one way to find these answers by acting out my creativity. So I sat down at my work table and began to build a piece of jewellery which I then took with me on the operating table I even managed to convince the doctors of this necessity and the exclusion of any septic thoughts. This ‘’goddess’’ made of pure silver then lay next to me on the bare steel. During the period of convalescence that followed, when I couldn’t sit at the workbench and make jewellery, I wrote on my knees with my laptop. Stories, just for me. I pictured beautiful summer days on the most beautiful beaches in the world and put them into words for hours I was immersed in other worlds. While the doctors had to do with my body what had to be done to save my life I gave my soul the freedom to experience relaxation and beauty in my fantasies of these moments, detached from my body. I have experienced this so consistently that I sometimes had to go back and once again forgot the time and space of the supposed reality. I chose my reality and brought it to life. From this knowledge, my pieces of jewellery are now also created.
LC – What is the message associated with the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it related to the theme of the festival?
KK – I have decided on a selection of pieces of jewellery that are emblematic for me and embody the feeling of Venice. Venice has always been a place of longing full of feelings and thoughts for me. I was able to get lost in Thomas Mann’s words in ‘’Death in Venice’’ and always instinctively recognized the femininity, but also the fragile transience in this city. So it was obvious that the selection of my jewellery should share the feeling of femininity and a pronounced metamorphosis. I always tell stories in everything I do. Each of my pieces of jewellery is a story that in itself consequently belong to a higher-level, larger story. Starting with the ring study which bears the name ‘’NEW YORK’’, the story of the metamorphosis emerges. He is like a caterpillar that waits a long time in its cocoon for the moment of awakening. Not knowing when that moment will be pausing waiting in patient impatience but awake every second so as not to miss that blink of an eye in which the future is revealed. After convalescence, I followed my intuition to New York followed my beating heart there and found myself as an artist in the Museum of Modern Art (Membership 40966708) the hard shell of the cocoon cracked the time had come. Wings could unfold the dance of life began in a new guise. Connections became visible and courage allowed me to be in the face of life. A constant transformation just like how I experience Venice that’s how I feel the successful look and face of this fantastic exhibition whose guest I am allowed to be!
LC – What do you think of the organization of our event?
KK – In the past few years I have participated in various exhibitions of all kinds. I am overwhelmed by the organization of this event. From the first minute on, an impressive network is on hand to provide help and advice. No question is considered superfluous and answered with the greatest care and friendliness. Excellent support in handling the necessary formalities and accompanying help of all kinds. A very special and amiable greeting awaited me on site. Support and wonderful feedback. It was definitely not the last exhibition in any of the possible galleries I plan to exhibit at. I am more than enthusiastic and can only recommend this organization to every artist. It is a fantastic and promising concept! Thank you very much for this wonderful exhibition in the heart of Venice!