Der Hirsch im Regenwald und der Tukan auf der Eiche

Sarah Sekles

Juni / June - 2020

Universität der Künste Berlin

Bachelor of Arts


My project "Der Hirsch im Regenwald und der Tukan auf der Eiche" deals with the shaping of my personal memories and interpretations of family histories, the examination of my identity and my past in a crafted manner.

What is the Topic?

The art educator and design theorist Gert Selle describes that there is no greater human need than to know where you come from, where you are going and who you are. I know this need well, and I have therefore made a "journey" to my origins. I have activated my memories, gathered the stories of my family, dealt with certain events of my life, relived different stages and feelings and thought a lot about my origins and identity. An important given of my identity is that I am multicultural because my father is German and my mother is Brazilian. My personality is composed by the way I was raised and the experiences I had from these two cultures. I have memories of a certain otherness to other people because of that. For example, the initial language barriers, different traditions that I learned and a "different" upbringing that I received from home. This difference and my two origins I have worked on intensively and they form the essence and the basis of my work. To be able to activate these memories I spent a lot of time opening and rummaging through several closets, drawers, suitcases and boxes. I found photos, hair braids, collages, teeth, records, books, poetry albums, diaries, letters, movies, slides, etc. It was a very personal research, where my memories merged with the facts I found in the collected materials and they started to develop into images in my mind. Gert Selle also describes that you don't want to participate in the memories only in your imagination, but you want to grasp them and see them in order to understand them and to be able to talk about them. Through the work with my hands, the creative component arose in connection with the work of remembering. In this process, the craft served me as a tool for visualization to translate my thoughts and emotions into a real image. An important characteristic for the work with the hands is the visibility of the traces that are thereby left on the material, just as with the emotions, which are also not always smooth, licked and without scars or cracks. Each result is thus an individual and unique, because it can not be produced exactly repeatable. At the current point of my "memory journey" objects are merged from 5 different perspectives and experiences. The results show my individual emotions and memories about interacting with my two very different, but also closely related, backgrounds.

Why does it look like this?

The appearance of all 5 objects reflect my individual interpretation of my own memories, based on my subjective perception through my identity and through the German and Brazilian half of my personality. The aesthetics result from my emotions.

What is special?

The personal and very individual touch of the project and my own handwriting in it are most important. My project tells my stories and fantasies and makes the images from my head visible to others.

What is new?

New is celebrating and dealing with the past or with one's own past, which results in an artistic and aesthetic work through the subjects, the personal actions and the use of manual processes to visualize the imagination.