Helga Kaffke
Walking Talking
On the road in Ireland’s wild west

. Auflage von 2018,
124 S.
ISBN-10: 3-95655-897-9
ISBN-13: 978-3-95655-897-9
€ 14,80
lieferbar seit: 16.07.2018


In the art scene of Schwerin their names were as well known as the State Theater, the museum or the castle of that city – Helga Kaffke, painter; Gabriele Berthel, author. That was during the last quarter of the past century. In the cultural news of the current capital of the county their names can’t be found. Both artists haven’t lived in Germany for more than twenty years. First they looked for the centre of their lives in France – and then found it – since the millennium – on the North-West coast of Ireland, in Mayo. They settled there, got married, worked. “May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back.” This old Irish blessing didn’t always keep its promise: the wind was often a gale and shook “the old house that rose out of the rocks”. The two artists counteracted this with their passion: for life, for painting, for literature. They had their talents and a backpack full of knowledge and experience, gathered at the colleges in Leipzig – tied forever to their country of birth, from which they had become estranged. The painter Helga Kaffke died in the winter of 2017. Since her death her spouse Gabriele Berthel shares her life with thousands of pages. Watercolours, colour on paper, portraits of landscapes, people and animals, in Kaffke-style. Kaffke-style is a mark of quality. Nobody painted watercolours like her: falling lines, sloping verticals, seemingly so chaotic, one already imagines the fall of Carthage – and yet somewhere a glimpse of sky remains. Magnificent. Gabriele Berthel paints with words; equally magnificent and emotional until it hurts. She paints in prose and poetry, mixes fairytale and reality, and covers earthly realism with melancholy. Thus a book is created, in a remote place of the world where in comparison to sky and sea a person appears to be a dwarf. A book about love and life and the strength to endure it, for every place in world. “In this place her life was always blowing in the wind – jacket like trousers between two brittle poles. And she keeps still, facing the earth – she knows it well – it was her life worth.” Helga Kaffke. Gabriele Berthel. For a long time their names had vanished from the cultural news. This is about to change. In Schwerin and other places.




Helga Kaffke Born in 1934 in Leipzig, Germany, Helga first worked as a photo-lithographer. She was awarded a diploma by the University of Graphic Design & Book Art in Leipzig after five years studies. She was a painter and graphic designer, and has worked freelance since 1959. Helga has made academic travels in Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Ireland, Poland and Romania. Her work has been exhibited in many one-woman shows in Germany (including Chemnitz, Flensburg, Leipzig, Rostock Schwerin). She had single exhibitions of her work in France (in Rouen, Sassetot and Yport), in Belgium (Eupen) and in Ireland (Westport, Belmullet). Group shows in Germany include Berlin, Bremen, Dresden, Erfurt, Kiel, and her work has been in group shows in France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland. Books published: „Who brushes the hair in the Soup?“, „Life, what else“, „VALSE MUSETTE – Rouen en miniature“, all books together with the writer Gabriele Berthel. Lived long years until her death in 2017 in an old farmhouse in Ballycroy, Co. Mayo, Ireland.


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