Home from Home
Irish artists respond to COVID 19 restrictions

Tinka Bechert

Artist Response

Home from home. A still life.
Late April Diary 2020

This little place out west.
And all I have planted.
My boundaries,
trees and berries.    
Forgiving and silent companions,
Now old friends rooted to this very spot.
The worn-down mountains quietly looking on
over the unstoppable floods and winter storms.
Bog blankets clinging to granite,
roots of heather and gorse. 

So much care-taking.
So much growing up and into myself right here.  
Growing at my own strange pace
into what I understand of myself
And my painting this far. 

Missing the beautiful cities and their psychic architectures,
spoiled by twenty years of what we knew as free movement
and a first-world passport. 

I randomly stream gallerists talking to artists live on instagram.
Put on a brave face, outgrown roots and all.
Giddily witnessing new and spontaneous forms of conversation,
feeling uneasy about seeing too much of the lives of others.
“Its in our hands” was one of my recent titles.
Now the government says so on the radio.
I can’t concentrate.
I can’t work like this. 

Loosening the grip on disciplines
that previously kept me sane,
little tantrums for what has been lost,
I potter around the garden half-heartedly. 

Tied to this land like a free-floating astronaut in zero gravity.

Performing our new lives.

Quiet painters talking on phones, uncomfortably,
about their silent, fleshy, sumptuous graft,
removed from its physical body.
Pixels and ghosts.
How will we know another’s painting?

I think of the late Nozkowski
wandering around his garden and smile.
Self-isolated by choice, tending earth and canvas.
Hating it, loving it.
Always weeding out what belongs.
And what doesn’t.
Day by day.

All the underlying conditions.

Unambiguously and unapologetically,
nature puts me in my place.

About the Artist

Born and raised in Berlin, Tinka Bechert has been living in Ireland for over twenty years. The artist’s work is represented in many private and public collections including the Office of Public Works, Ireland, the National Library, Berlin, the Victoria & Albert Museum and Tate Britain, London.

Recent Exhibitions include the Beep Painting Biennal in 2018 in the UK and a major Solo Exhibition with her Berlin Gallery (Galerie Gerken) supported by Culture Ireland. In recent weeks, Tinka Bechert has been awarded the 2020 VAI Paris Centre Culturel Irlandais Residency Award.