top of page
Nachthemden Collage für Website_edited.j

Mutterzelt

art-installation

A work of ritual, remembering and reconnection. 

Mutterzelt is dedicated to femininity, female principles and female ancestors. 

The final object of the installation will be a tent made of old-fashioned night gowns, open to the public.

The majority of the night gowns is made of my own ancestors' old bed sheets. 

The tent will be round - with a diameter of ca. 3 meters. It will be accompanied by an altar-like piece of furniture - an interactive element where people will be invited to leave a note, light a candle etc.

The final act will be the washing of the tent in the Atlantic Ocean after the exhibition.

The making of the installation is being documented through different media.

Photo-, video- and text material will be updated and shared as the making process evolves:

IMG_9230 3_edited.jpg

Sometimes they enter quietly and whisper softly in my ear.

Sometimes they storm in -

 their hearts overflowing, like a herd of free, wild horses -

my female ancestors.

The word Mutterzelt is a German word, made up by me. It consists of the words mother and tent and is a game of words referring to the German word Sternenzelt (tent of stars), meaning starry sky.

Just like star constellations, we as humans are part of a large collective field. We are intertwined with the great web of life, our ancestors and the female collective.

The sewn-together dresses symbolise this connection. They form a hut, a tent, a little sanctuary where people can witness themselves being part of this large fabric of life and turn their attention to female "voices" of the past, present and future.

The exploration of female body wisdom and femininity - as well as the contribution to female empowerment - is playing a central role in my life and has become a strong force in creating this art-work.

The making process includes working with the elements, rituals and a deep connection with nature and the spiritual realm. It is a way to honour femininity, the rhythms and cycles of the earth, as well as to honour the rhythms and cycles of myself and the wisdom and creative forces that speak through me.

My own ancestresses have called me to creating MUTTERZELT and are patrons of this work. 

Mutterzelt_Titelbild_final_Jan 2024-2_ed

Within patriarchal structures of the time, our great-grandmothers etc. had little freedom or opportunity to express themselves freely and be heard. As a result, many words remained unspoken and a lot of potential unrealised.*

Creating space for female qualities and female ancient life force means contributing to bringing the masculine and feminine back into balance – within individuals as well as within the collective.

Even though we've come a long way regarding women's rights and equality, we are still living in systems mostly dominated by patriarchal structures and masculine principles. This is causing a constant imbalance and can be seen as a root problem of a lot of the suffering that is taking place in this world right now.

Female aspects are inherent in everyone and everything, despite gender. MUTTERZELT can be seen as a memorial where people can get in touch with themselves and their personal, ancestral and collective stories regarding femininity.

Many people have lost access to female principles. Modern western society has created a culture in which a lot of repression, rejection, neglecting and shaming is taking place regarding femininity in all its depth.

Luckily the remembering and reclaiming of the full spectrum, worth and potential of the female self has started ...

I see the making of MUTTERZELT as a sacred act - contributing to a much needed transformation in this world.

*This may be true for many of our ancestors, regardless of gender, due to social and cultural contexts.

Some of the nightgowns I am sewing have bloodstains on them. Depending on who will look at the stains, will see something different in them: the traces of giving birth, violence, injuries, sickness, emotional wounds, menstruation ...

 

Among others, for me personally, applying the blood is a deliberate act to bring menstrual blood into the light and visibility. Because unlike what most people have learned in the context of patriarchal structures, there is an immense amount of potential and power inherent in the different phases of the female cycle and in the time of bleeding. 

Bringing awareness to menstrual wisdom in the context of relationships and society enables change. It contributes to a reality in which girls and women can feel more comfortable, whole and safe to be themselves. It adds to the creation of a healthy balance between the cyclical and linear nature of things.

IMG_1852_edited.jpg

The making of the installation goes hand in hand with my own personal confrontation and exploration of the topic.

I am meeting myself, the world and its history, the female collective and my ancestresses in vulnerable ways. I am witnessing all the wounding that has taken place over centuries, as well as all the beauty and inexhaustible life force pulsing through our very existence.

While expressing myself from my own personal point of view, I have a lot of respect and compassion for all the individual intimate stories tied to this topic.

Only a small percentage of the sensations and messages I am receiving and processing wants to be shared through words. The rest of it will speak through the work itself. 

I have a fascination for the way fabrics and clothes speak to me. When I make or wear them they gain meaning and something in them comes to life. They are no longer just "stuff" but a carrier of memories, energies and stories.

When I look at a garment from my childhood, when I hold it in my hands, I see myself as a child and for a moment old surroundings, smells, sensations are brought to life in me.

It's the same with the making of MUTTERZELT - with each stich a puzzle piece of someone's memory is coming to life.

IMG_3467_edited_edited.jpg

Female principles are quickly associated with mothering aspects like gentle and caring behaviour. But the fiery, fierce feminine is just as much part of the spectrum. To get a closer idea, it can be helpful to look into archetypes and mythological figures that embody these various aspects clearly, as well as to look into teachings about masculine and feminine principles.

The awareness of my multidimensional wholeness and the right to own who I truly am, is part of this work.

Generations over generations women and other minorities were forced to keep themselves small, to hold back, to obey. The traces of oppression are deeply engraved in our modern western culture - and the majority of the time it goes unnoticed. Questioning things the way they are and healing individual and cross-generational trauma are forms to build a ground for a truly just co-existence.

Not everyone who hears the words feminism or female empowerment gets happily exited like me ... Some people's reality has been shaped by women who were absent or who acted in dominant, violent or abusive ways. So they might associate negative believes with femininity and women who claim power. MUTTERZELT will serve as a mirror, a storybook, a sanctuary and memorial where individual witnessing, reflexion, inspiration and transformation may take place. 

We can ask ourselves:

"What do I feel when I hear the words femininity, female power, feminism?"

"What are female principles? Are those aspects present in me?"

"In what ways do I feel connected or disconnected to the female cycle and the cycles of nature?"

"What relationship do I have with (mother) earth?"

"What do I feel when I think of the women who came before me?

... and the women I once was - centuries ago?"

"What do I feel when I think about my ancestresses?"

"Who were they?”

“Is there something they are trying to tell me?”

"How much did their reality shape my own life?” 

“What heritage did they pass on to me?”

“In what way did historical events, social structures, my own upbringing, education and culture

form the way I perceive women, the female body, menstruation, femininity, female principles, feminism?”  

"Is there something that wants to be seen, felt, talked about, activated, integrated, transmuted, healed, released?"

As I am sewing the night gowns, as I am diving through this web of ancient and recent experiences, emotions, secrets and sensations, I am uncovering and unleashing what has been there all the time already.

The final act of this work will be the washing of the tent in the Atlantic Ocean.

Water has the capacity to cleanse and transmute. So I will finish this work by releasing the collected stories and energies into this big body of water.

The washing of the tent will be the final transformative act.

Gallerie Mutterzelt

Gallery

Gallerie Mutterzelt
mentrual blood & female power
letter from lua
bottom of page