I started travelling to the forests of Thuringen in 2001. I became obsessed by the glass things produced there, the history of this production, of the region, of the people. I made drawings and jewellery, cement sculpture and installation in a series of exhibitions from then until the present, including the Sentimental Journey exhibitions with my friend and colleague Felix Lindner. Documentation of my visits to the region are included in Hunter From Elselwhere by Elena Alvarez
I wrote this text in 2013 when I still used to travel there by train:
Imagine this. You catch a train, change trains, change again, and once more change into a very small train with a single carriage. The train rolls on and upwards, ever-darker forests, striped of all deciduous trees so the fast growing pines can fire the furnaces. The valleys are steeper, darker, even the houses are black and shiny in their snake like slate skins. You are now deep in the middle mountains of Germany. Freezing, isolated, mysterious, unheimlich. Here they make glass: glass animals, glass decorations for trees, glass eyes. In this place there is a mixture of a natural and constructed environment so intimately entwined that there is no possibility to discern any seams between the two. This counts not only for the things that are made here, but also for the forest itself.
Draw the animals, draw the atmosphere, draw the devils into the rings with a graver, set their eyes with precious stones. Have the horse made and the wolf, the raven and the bird, set them too with diamonds and send them galloping back into the world. House/universe, Heimlich/Unheimlich, territory/ deteritorialization, the small and the large refrain. It’s all contained within.