Here teachers and parents jointly develop practices that increase the consciousness of the humane potential in this school. For only as far as we honour and cultivate humaneness can we help it unfold - and grow. With the Warmth Sculpture Workshop, George Steinmann´s concept of growing sculpture relates to the concept of social sculpture.
Wing II is conceived and realised by Hildegard Kurt.
The Warmth Sculpture Workshop
For our globalised world to become sustainable the same resources and facilities are required as in good schools: open-mindedness, creativity, self-confidence, respect and compassion.
Yet all too often our society only values such assets when they are lacking or no longer exist.
Not even the school provides enough space to properly care for and nurture these precious resources. But what if these were the most important forms of renewable energy?
The two wings of the Growing Sculpture Heiligengeist School Lüneburg work with the interrelations of outer and inner, of visible and invisible space.
The invisible space is our inner territory, source of our attention and actions in the world: a place of images, of questions, of memories, of fears and doubts, of dreams, of longings and of premonitions from which our ideas, values and aims spring.
This is the space from which we jointly want to develop new "cultural techniques" in the Warmth Sculpture Workshop: practices, rituals and structures that help to make the mentioned elementary, future-generating energies grow - in the children, in the school, in the city of Lüneburg and in ourselves. And thus we will, hopefully, generate innovative, sustainable solutions for conflicts and problems.
Key questions in the warmth sculpture workshop are: what are - in myself, in the children, in the school - seeds for a desirable growth? In what sense are we as parents and teachers artists? And: could it be that the looming chaos contains beginnings?
We work closely with the specific needs of the Heiligengeist School.
But, ideally, the results can become exemplary for other schools.
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At the beginning of the workshop all participants received a workbook. It is a kind of medium that connects us all during the whole process.
On its first pages, the workbook describes the key ideas of the art project. Many empty pages for personal notes follow. Scattered here and there are some inspiring quotes by artists and thinkers. And each of these workbooks contains a "Mindmap" by George Steinmann, made from the juice of wild blueberries. This underlines how much the workshop process is an artistic process and an integral part of the Growing Sculpture Heiligengeist School Lüneburg.
A sculptural process?
The workshop process is sculptural in so far as it does not primarily operate on the basis of intellectual discussions or debating or the exchange of opinions. Instead we are exploring methods and strategies which could help us gain access to our own creativty, and to become active from a deeper level of ourselves.
The primary tools of this sculptural work are our thoughts, conversations, our hearing, and listening. And, last but not least, silence.
As Paul Klee might have put it: We want to, whenever possible, avoid working at the "form ends", where phenomena seem to be finished, fixed, and separate from each other.
Can we instead succeed in getting close to the "formative forces"? Can we practice forms of perception, thinking and exchange, which allow us to see ourselves, the children and the school with new eyes? Because it seems, that at present our whole world is calling upon us to see it anew. To rethink it. To think empathically. And to contribute so to the necessary change.
The Warmth Sculpture Workshop works on the basis of a radically expanded understanding of art, as thinkers like Wilhelm von Humboldt already explored: to practice art means to freely and creatively unfold our humaneness. For this Joseph Beuys later coined the phrase: every human being is an artist.
The more we learn to work in all fields as artists in this sense, the more sustainable we can become.
Today´s children will be all the more confronted with this need in our increasingly changing world.
A "Warmth Sculpture"?
In nature optimal growth prefers a climate between too hot and too cold. With the healthy development of children, with our inner growth and with the healthy development of a social organism it seems to be quite similar.
However, in our society all too often children - as adults too - are confronted with coldness: with lacking empathy and the predominance of an all dissecting and disconnecting mindset. The world of the children, in fact the whole world, suffers an overdose of rational, instrumental thinking, of reducing phenomena to objects and things.
But is every kind of warmth beneficial to healthy growth? Aren´t there also restricting, backwards oriented, regressive kinds of warmth?
The warmth we are seeking in the Warmth Sculpture Workshop springs from a lively, enlivened thinking. It is "healing spirit" (Heiligengeist School means School of the Holy Spirit!) -creativity, nourished by empathy.
Such warmth is not regressive, but fosters evolution. It sets in motion. It opens, moves and transforms. The increasing suffering of children urgently calls for bringing forth this quality of warmth. But isn´t the whole world waiting for it?
Transforming the globalised cold thinking into evolutive warmth energy is certainly not a specific task for schools. It needs to be done in all areas of work: in science, in the economy, in the whole field of the social, in politics ...
Climate change provides a good climate for such change.
The term "Warmth Sculpture" was first used by Joseph Beuys.
As a synonym for Social Sculpture.
Wing I and Wing II work with the interconnection of outer and inner space. Of visible and invisible place.
photo: Jenny Janßen
Since medieval times Lüneburg owes its wealth and influence to its salt mines. Salt also plays a key role in the Warmth Sculpture Workshop.
photo: Jenny Janßen
Wild blueberries are characteristic of the landscape around Lüneburg.
George Steinmann, Mindmap.
The Warmth Sculpture Workshop is based on an understanding of sculpture that can be traced back to the ancient Greek plastike techne. With Joseph Beuys this became the so-called "Plastic Theory". It has become the basis of the expanded concept of art: Every human being is an artist.
photo: Jenny Janßen
Honeycomb: the critical condition of bees is exemplary for the consequences of the pathological, false understanding of growth - the dogma of economic growth. Bees are acutely endangered by agricultural industry and gene technology. The bee is a warmth being. In the beehive we find the same temperature as in our human organis +/- 36 degrees Celsius.
photo: Jenny Janßen