Ok…confession time. I didn’t get much crafting done in Hamburg, what with all the partying there was to do! Also, in my defence, this was the shortest stint of my trip, as I arrived late on Thursday and left early on Sunday, and during that time I didn’t actually spot any craft shops on during my wanderings. Having said that, I still saw a lot of inspiring art and design whilst I was there!
What I didn’t know about Hamburg before I arrived was what a focal point of art and design it was. Hamburg has the Kunstmeile, which is a collection of 5 top class museums, galleries and exhibition halls within a square mile within the city. I had the time to visit 2 of the sites, but if you are interested, you can buy a Kunstmeilenpass for 29 Euros, which gives you access to all 5. If you have a Hamburg card, it’s even cheaper!
In a stroke of good fortune, and simply because I had a free afternoon near Aussenalster, I decided to spend a few hours in Hamburger Kunsthalle. Had I known how many fantastic pieces I would see in there, I would have made it my top priority upon arriving! The Kunsthalle had a huge selection of collections, including old masters, 19th Century and modern art. I fell in love with Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, by Caspar David Freidrich (above), and saw fantastic works by Max Beckmann, Munch and Degas.
I also made an immediate attachment to Picasso’s Owl. What a character!
The Kunsthalle also has a Media Collection in the basement, which was one of the largest collections of video installations I have seen. There was an exhibition taking place called Fail Better. Moving Images, referring to a Samuel Beckett quote which reads “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
The exhibition kept me enthralled for hours – in particular, Steve McQueen’s work, Deadpan.
I also had the time to make a flying visit to the Bucerius Kunst Forum, another of the Kunstmeile 5. There was an exhibition taking place about Alexander Rodtschenko called Eine Neue Zeit (A new era) covering his early work, his advertising work and his photography.
If I had spent longer in Hamburg, I would not have hesitated to get the full pass to visit all 5 venues – a Pixar exhibition had just ended at another of the sites, I was disappointed to discover I was a month too late!
Anyway, I didn’t spend all of my partying time neglecting my crafts. There are countless wonderful beers and ciders in Germany, and I did my best not to have the same one twice all trip. I was somewhat successful at this, although I now have my favourites! Wherever possible I tried to soak the labels from the beers, so that I can incorporate them into a piece of artwork now that I am home. Perhaps a decoupage item like my Venice souvenir – Any ideas, readers?