About my work, Skadi Engeln
Landscape dissolves into light, water, weather and through people. Thanks to its gravity it recomposes time and time again. In its transitions landscape reveals its essence, its transcendence and its beauty. Like landscape, painting knows how to dissolve what is specific, solid, visible and familiar to us. Thus it traces the invisible without ever recognizing it completely.
Landscape as a synonym for the world reflects underlying realities and truths, encrypts them, makes them show through and discloses them only as approximations. The horizon as the central focus of my artistic works separates and connects what is above and what is underneath, what is obvious and what is hidden. When landscape filters what is underneath, the observer’s view is influenced, shaped, blocked. It is not my aim to decode what is above or underneath. The secret should be kept – and the beauty which perhaps lies in the encrypted, in the mysterious.
Since 2001 I have been especially interested in abstract landscape painting. In my current work landscapes appear as if hidden by a curtain or a veil, disturbed, interwoven with lines or stripes. They create a distance between landscape and observer. They could be landscapes as seen from a train, with mirror images in the windows – scratched, and with masts and transmitters rhythmically interrupting the view. They could be like curtains that separate and protect from the world or like technical defects of electronic screens that present landscape scenes. They could be music, thoughts, conversations that a walker is occupied with and become interwoven in his perception and memory of the landscape he/she is walking through.
The serial separation of one motive onto several canvasses alludes to photo sequences that document a journey. It is about the human, observing view and how it is processed, and it is about the interdependence between landscape and observer. Hence it is also about the influence of the observer, of humans on landscapes.
In the spring of 2011 I started to “disturb” my paintings. Just as the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant happened, my artistic perspective changed. The lines and stripes I put above and below my pictures and interwove with my motives at first made me think of a radioactively contaminated landscapes. The beauty of the landscapes that inspire my paintings - the Berry in France, the Uckermark in eastern Germany, the sea and others – has not suffered. But in my paintings they have since been inscribed with a rhythm and a conflict. Man has integrated himself into my landscapes vertically, as an observer and as an agent.