It is safe to say that I have become artistically obsessed with sunwheels since quite some time. This goes along nicely with my late obsession for the sun itself. A few years back, this was quite different. I hated summertime and took every chance to lurk around in the shadows, as being exposed to the sun was a complete hell for me. But that changed at some point. Today, for me, there is nothing better than a hot and dry sunny day. After winter, when spring comes with the first sunny days, I feel like a cold-blooded lizard, eagerly waiting to get my body temperature on a functional level by sitting in the sun.
You find representations of the sun in every culture. It is one of the oldest archaic symbols men created. You find it on cave walls, ancient jewellery, architecture and sculptures. Whole cults were dedicated to the sun. Which is highly understandable, given the fact that without the sun we would not even exist. Even plants, that don’t care for radiation levels killing all other life, would not exist without the sun, as their life is based on the process of photosynthesis. Celebrating the solstices is also a very old tradition, and personally one of the ones that I follow myself. While many other traditional celebrations seem odd to me, specially the modern adaptions of them, the summer solstices feel very real. While for example New Year’s Eve means nothing to me at all, the summer solstices truly devide my year in seasonal parts that I can feel and experience.
The first sunwheel I ever created was a digital collage, dating back almost 15 years, when I was actually still prefering to stay out of the sun. Same creation has become my Ateliershop logo last year, with a different color scheme though. A second one followed a few years later, the artwork “Four Kissing Goats“, a mix of photography-based digital collage and overpainting. The artwork was banned from my first exhibition in Berlin in 2009, because the responsible gallerist feared a similarity to a certain forbidden German symbol. I don’t really see the connection. I wear a variation of the same artwork on my back by way, tattooed on my skin.
After those works, I was done with the subject for quite a while. Until 2014, when my obsession for sunwheels and the sun really started. Moving into my old studio in Leipzig (the original Atelier Abraxas) in December 2013, the whole area around it was a strange urban wasteland. Some dead plants caught my attention, because of their roots, and I took them into the studio. They did lounge around for a few month, until I came up with the idea of a sunwheel made of roots. The rootwheel was born. The idea stuck, and I created a few variations of it. After that I lost count. The rootwheel also became a motive for the handpainted shirts of my small label Okkulteur, but that happend quite some time later, somewhen in 2016, during my time in the Thuringian forest. Those rootwheels also became patient zero of a series of sunwheel sculptures made from different materials. At some point I created the “Antler’s Cross” and the “Antler’s Wheels”, followed by the “Wheel of Seven“, a sunwheel made of goat/sheep bones, with ornamental fox teeth and a dolphin vertebrae in the center. My latest sunwheel is the “Wheel of Fire”, made of dried Protea repens and lower jaws of deers. Anyone who visited my last exhibition “KultHaus” might remember it. Sketches and ideas for more sunwheels exist already and the upcoming new collection of handpainted shirts will also feature at least one new version. The worship of the sun will continue!