On the Oregon Trail 2004
The 2004 Birthday-Edition came together through a few circumstances. First of all our summer vacation went towards the east of the USA, casually on the trails of Lewis and Clark, the discoverer and explorer of the West. Our way led us through Washington, Idaho, Montana up to North Dakota. On the way back to Oregon thru Wyoming, Utah and Idaho, we learned a lot about the Oregon-Trail, Mormons and California-Trail.
„Dead Tires“ is my way to describe the lost rubber pieces of trucks and passenger cars that were lining the road shoulders. One piece or another found its place in the lower storage space of the RV, with at that point an unknown purpose. The long drive between sightseeing locations was sometimes boring, and so my sketchbook became a welcome companion.
Because of the shaking motions while driving by loosely hand-held pencil drew bizarre landscapes over the pages. As much as the landscape we passed true, today on Highways, but mostly vast swathes of the country like more than 150 years ago. The effect of the pencil lines on my paper sheet grew up to the idea, to create a new print, but somehow missing a major element to develop my image.
Later, back home I found the right addition to my print. An age-old wild scribbling from boring school lessons, breaks and bus rides home suddenly completed the imaginary picture.
Under this circumstances the old idea of a dark, broken off-road found its way into the light of a Lithograph print. And also one of the earlier collected tire pieces became sense and reason for existence.
More than 30 years are between the doodling in school and the trip through the USA, but grew together into one. Even the past from more than over hundred years ago reflecting in the lines of the hills and mountains. The tire, representing technical abilities and modernism, the landscape standing for nature and being are presented in my print side by side, but also intertwined at the same time. The break line in the road has to be interpreted by individuals themselves. It seems to be illogical, wrong for one, for the other as a matter of course.
I think our generation is to conflict with nature and technical development, and those topics confronting us over and over again no matter how old we get. Remember, the idea has its roots in the old sketch from my childhood school days. More than ever both are necessary for our environment and have reached a need of existence. We don’t want to change that, or even cannot change it easily at all. Even though we become more aware and sensitive, more now than a few years ago. All technology, fast progress and development don’t cut it, when obstacles slow down our path – the connection between nature and technology is going to be disrupted.
What is so much different between the old Oregon-Trail and modern Highways? There were streets as well, and will exist in the future, and if it is only the one leading through our existence. No matter of broken wheel spokes or blown up tires, always something that slows us down on our street of live! But nevertheless time will go on. In the end the globe will continue to turn with or without the man-made streets and tracks. Nature is going to bushwhacking back, without mankind.
Think about it – consider and respect that!