On 4 April 2023, DHPS Grade 11 learners visited Dörte Berner’s art farm Peperkorrel. In the morning, the learners of the art and music courses, accompanied by their teachers Ms Blickheuser, Ms Krauss and Ms Berner set off by bus to Peperkorrel, which is just outside Windhoek. Our teacher, Ms Berner, made this experience possible for us, since the farm belongs to Ms Berner's grandmother.
Dörte Berner is a successful sculpture artist, which we noticed as soon as we arrived. Fascinating sculptures were everywhere, and Ms D. Berner told us amazing background stories about them. Unfortunately, only a few of her more than 400 works were on display. Divided into class groups, she led us on a short and informative tour of the courtyard, past the numerous sculptures.
In the meanwhile, the other learners occupied themselves with choosing a sculpture and sketching it from different perspectives. For many this was quite a challenge, but a good exercise for the topic of our upcoming art lessons: designing our own sculptures. This was a great opportunity to get advice and inspiration from an experienced artist. We were occupied for quite a while, before we headed back.
We were pretty exhausted when we arrived back at school, but we were grateful for the hands-on help for our future art lessons. The entire excursion was an experience unknown to us before and very educational.
(Raica Coelho & Sandra Steinkopff)
We would like to thank the DHPS Alumni Association for the financial support that made the art excursion to Dörte Berner's "House of Sculpture" possible.
The next assignment for the grade 11 DIA art classes was to design their own plaster sculpture over the coming few weeks. To give the learners a clear picture of what is expected from them, they visited the Peperkorrell farm on 4 April 2023, where Dörte Berner guided them through her art sculptures. The aim of the excursion was to improve spatial awareness, so the learners used charcoal to copy the sculptures onto paper.
On the specific Tuesday, the learners left at nine in the morning and returned in the afternoon at three o’clock. During their time on the farm, they observed the artwork down to the smallest detail.
Namibian artist Dörte Berner is a sculptor, draughtswoman and graphic artist. The topic of her sculptures mainly entails the linking of the past and the present. She creates them from marble, soapstone, serpentine and other materials.
During the tour, the learners realised how long it takes to create a sculpture. We also learned that sculptures can not only express emotions, but also tell stories. The narratives of the sculptures, especially those dealing with the Second World War, death and other atrocities, amazed the learners.
Each sculpture conveys an important and special message, and many learners became aware of the well-conceived and multi-faceted nature of the sculptures.
For me personally, the tour was very educational and I admire Dörte Berner for her creativity. “I particularly liked her sketches”, says learner Annica Theissen.
Using Berner's sketching tips for the sculptures, the learners put their own ideas on paper with charcoal. They recognised the creative freedom and implemented it themselves, just as Dörte Berner does in her sculptures.
“It was an inspiring excursion that broadened my view for art. The sculptor is very talented. I would definitely recommend future grades do the same excursion”, said Tavio of class 11c.
(Anandi Grellmann, Svea Rohlf & Lea Junkers)