White Canvas #10 Ursula Altenbach on «Immersing Yourself into Feelings through Installations, Painting, Sketching and Flowers»


Artist Ursula Altenbach aka Biko on art24 is the curator of the triennial open-air art exhibition «Kunst im Park Gersau» («Art in Park Gersau») for the 3rd time. She shares with us her thoughts about her curatorial work, the choice of themes and the resulting projects for the exhibition.

Many things fascinate me. One of them is working in groups. 

With the many outdoor exhibitions or performances I've been involved in, for example in Denmark, Brazil, India and here in Switzerland, where large installations made of different materials are shown, I thought it would also be nice to exhibit a painting. 

This is how it came about that at the first exhibition in Switzerland as part of the art exhibition «Kunst im Park Gersau» I not only participated in the Bamboo installation (Fig. 1), which I realised as a group project together with the SOGETSU group, but also created the picture «CATFISH» (Fig. 2), which was executed on Alu-Dibond. 

Fig. 1: Bamboo installation by Ursula Altenbuch and the SOGETSU group, ©Ursula Altenbach.
Fig. 2: «CATFISH» by Ursula Altenbach, ©Ursula Altenbach.

As this was well received by the people, I decided to create another painting three years later at the exhibition «Lebenszeichen» in 2021 («Signs of life»). This time the topic was «Art against Violence». 

I got permission from nine other artists from all over the world (India, Brazil, Germany, USA and Switzerland) to use one of their pictures or a part of it as a print. This resulted in an exciting collage (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3: Collage «Art against Violence», ©Ursula Altenbach.

Together with the old people's home, the «Tree of Life» was created from pieces of wool (Fig. 4), which the residents knitted for me and then helped to attach it to the tree.

Fig. 4: Knitting project with the old people's home for the exhibition «Lebenszeichen», ©Ursula Altenbach.

I love working with all ages. Art has no age.

With my colleague Christa Schaffert I also created the work «DNA» (Fig. 5).

Fig. 5: Installation «DNA» by Ursula Altenbach and Christa Schaffert, ©Ursula Altenbach.

Now I am already preparing for the next exhibition «Art in the Park 2024». As curator for the third time.

The theme will be «Roots and Wings».

Fig. 6: Collaborative art project «19 What?», Installation made of 19 coat hangers, ©Ursula Altenbach.
Fig. 7: SOGETSU Ikebana, Art by Ursula Altenbach, ©Ursula Altenbach.



Art in Park Gersau: This exhibition, which takes place every three years in summer and can be visited at any time, is an open-air art exhibition in the Villa Flora Park in Gersau. Since 2018, it has been cultivated as a kind of joint project by artists from Gersau. Ursula Altenbach, who lived abroad for a long time and is recognised for her ikebana installations and her paintings in Brazilian and Japanese styles, is curating the exhibition for the third time. Further information: Kunst im Park: Lebenszeichen – Veranstaltung in Gersau | Localcities.

Sogetsu Ikebana: The Sōgetsu school belongs to the modern Japanese school of Ikebana. Ikebana means the Japanese art of flower arrangement. In the Sōgetsu school, the traditional art of Ikebana was further developed into an avant-garde form. Ursula Altenbach has been practising SOGETSU Ikebana since 1996 and teaching it since 2000. Further information: Ursula Altenbach - Sogetsu - Ikebana International (ikebana-international.ch).


Discover Ursula Altenbach's art on art24.