Henrike Altes

SENSING HOPE

I developed these pieces after a workshop by HELEN CLARA HEMSLEY which was held at Maastricht Institute of Arts in November 2022. We discussed, explored, sketched and brainstormed the notion of hope in terms of the five senses. What does hope smell like, taste like, look like, feel like and sound like?

We investigated how hope, fear, longing and love (for example) can take on physical qualities or sensory associations. How feelings can be linked to physical states, colours, tastes and smells. How acoustics and sounds can make patterns in your heart cells (heart cell cymatics).

A remembered smell, taste, touch, sound, sight and the associations it congers up.
Or how memories have a sensory ‘partner’, almost like a soundtrack or a snippet one can fetch every time the memory is triggered or a sensory action that triggers a memory.

It was a heart-warming and intimate experience and became much more than just having to make 5 body-related works. The SENSING HOPE workshop united a group of people in an enriching encounter, in which each participant contributed to an investigation of what hope smells like, tastes like, looks like, feels like and sounds like.

Group Hug
necklace/shoulder piece
material: yarn, fabric, lavender filling
year: 2023
photography: Claudia Fahlbusch

A group hug feels like hope for me. This piece is filled with lavender to give you a smell of hope and embrace you with its comforting fabric.
Orange Juice in the Morning
necklace
material: embroidery thread, fabric, gold-plated brass, cotton cord
year: 2023
photography: Claudia Fahlbusch

The freshness of a new day gives me hope and tastes like orange juice in the morning.

Hopefuls
earrings
material: silver
year: 2023
photography: Claudia Fahlbusch

I consider these original signs as talismans.
Bearers of hope.

Sounding wind
necklace
material: embroidery thread, fabric, silver and blackened silver, cotton cord
year: 2023
photography: Claudia Fahlbusch

When the wind makes something sound softly,
it sounds like there is hope.
Green Cross
necklace
material: embroidery thread, fabric
year: 2023
photography: Claudia Fahlbusch

This necklace captures colors of nature.
Believing in the power of nature gives us hope.
Beacon
brooches
material: reflective textile, yarn, silver, silicon clasp
year: 2023
photography: Claudia Fahlbusch

Inspired by the song “Feuerlicht” by Herbert Grönemeyer I came up with the image of a lighthouse and its beacon as a sign of hope.

“Hilf mir, dass mein Sturm sich legt
Dass meine Flucht endet und weicht
Leih mir einen Mantel, einen Weg
Dass mir eine Richtung bleibt
Und halt mich warm
Mit deinem Feuerlicht
Und halt mich warm
Und vergiss mich nicht”
(Song “Feuerlicht” Herbert Grönemeyer)