“From the center to the edge and back” 2023

Olaf Hoppe “From the center, to the edge and back” 2023
Acrylic on canvas 120cm x 200cm

Work description

“Out of the Center, to the Edge and Back” is a work of art that shows the world as a system of constant change and inescapable contradictions. The basic graphic forms, details, partial deviations and superimpositions refer directly to the metastability and fragility of human life. The forms evolve steadily, embodying the state of being between chaos and order on a seemingly hermetic surface.
The title of the work, “From the center, to the edge and back,” refers to the 5th German-Bulgarian Artists’ Meeting of 2015, in which I participated. It was an artistic exchange that focused on culture and social aspects of the host country. The symposium was held in Plovdiv, a European border city with a history of over 7000 years.
During the meeting, we got to know the Jewish and Armenian communities and participated in a commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, one of the first systematic genocides of the 20th century, in which over 1.5 million people lost their lives. In addition, we met ethnic minorities such as Sinti, Roma and Syrian civil war refugees – an encounter that revealed both light and shadow of human existence.
With the children accommodated in the refugee camp we organized a workshop in which they could express their feelings, dreams and wishes for the future. Their artworks reflected the trauma of being marginalized from the center of society and, at the same time, the hope of one day returning to their homeland.
Thus, “From the Center, to the Edge, and Back” forms not only an abstract representation of the human experience, but also a tribute to the power of cohesion, togetherness, and hope. In a world full of impermanence and fragility, we will always come up against boundaries – be they geographical, cultural or emotional. But ultimately, it is these boundaries that inspire us to build bridges and grow beyond ourselves as a community. And so the artwork rises as a shining symbol of humanity’s journey – from the depths of pain and despair to the triumphant return to the center, where cohesion and love reign.