Freital: The trio from the Semperoper performs at the Weißeritztalklinik – with great success

The Semperoper trio exhibits at the Weißeritztalklinik – with great success

Two craftsmen and a dancer create art with heart. Her photos and curves are so popular that the phone in the hospital in Freital is lit.

Helge Krause likes to paint landscapes such as the “oak at the foothills”.
© Egbert Kamprath

A tree, lonely in the meadow, but growing all the more evenly. He stands there covered in snow, the sun slowly sinking behind the edge of the forest in the background, leaving a pale yellow trail behind it. Art or kitsch?

Visitors to the Weißeritztal Clinic in Freitaler have long since made up their minds. “Since the exhibition has been hanging in our foyer, the phones have been ringing,” a clinic spokeswoman said.

The painting with a tree in a winter landscape was painted by Helge Krause. Trained as a carpenter, he works as a stage technician at the Semperoper. “Setting the stage, setting it up, caring for it, operating it” is how he describes his job. To compensate for this and he just enjoys it, he paints. Landscapes above all, for example in winter or before a storm. Clouds, nature, atmosphere – that’s what it’s all about. “I paint when I feel like it and when the time is right.”

Pleasure and fun are also keywords for Jens Bleul. He trained as a carpenter for stage construction at the State Theater in Dresden and also works at the Semperoper as a stage technician.

Airbrush and chess

Very tedious work, as he put it. “You have to talk a lot, deal with a lot of things, run back and forth a lot.” That’s why he likes to go down to his basement after work and stand by his lathe or easel. “For me, it’s deep relaxation.”

Jens Bleul also paints pictures, he started with an airbrush. Decorating cars with motifs, including medical kits, says that it inspires him. “But it was always the same wishes: naked women, skulls and the like. At one point, I wanted something else.”

Bleul began painting chess pieces. Why exactly chess, can not exactly explain. He’s a pathetic chess player, says the 60-year-old.

“Human intelligence” is what Jens Bleul calls his photo, holding one of his funny chess smokers in his right hand.
© Egbert Kamprath

But as varied as chess is, Bleul is just as creative when it comes to pieces. He painted chess, rolls or sculpts them, wood is his favorite material anyway. He even makes incense sticks out of chess pieces, he designed his own design for them and had them secured in the meantime.

He studied the art of painting outside the university

Jens Bleul uses a special technique to make the chess pieces not just look like chess pieces: he saws the pieces horizontally, polishes them and reassembles the individual levels. It gives them curves and shapes, suddenly they seem alive and much more dynamic.

“The game of chess and the whole scene is actually a very serious thing. All very clever minds who play in focus without changing their expressions. And then I come around the corner with my funny figures,” says Jens Bleul and laughs.

Helge Krause and Jens Bleul are artists who have learned a lot. They both started painting as children. Krause attended a painting course at Dresden’s Pioneer Palace as a high school student during the GDR era.

“As an artist who hasn’t studied, you always have to explain yourself and it’s hard to get into the gallery,” reports Krause. The chances of presenting his paintings to a wide audience are therefore not too great. After all, neither he nor his colleague Bleul have to live off their art as employed craftsmen.

Zarina Stahnke's drawings are more abstract than those of her colleagues.

Zarina Stahnke’s drawings are more abstract than those of her colleagues. “Morning Dance” is the name of this painting, painted with Chinese ink.
© Egbert Kamprath

Zarina Stahnke also works at the Semperoper and now exhibits her drawings in Chinese ink in the foyer of the clinic. Born in America, she studied painting, sculpture and drawing in New York. She came to Dresden in 2011 – as a dancer she belongs to the Semperoper ballet.

The clinic receives inquiries about purchases all the time. These will be transferred to the relevant artists, provided that the exhibits are still available.

  • The exhibition of the three artists can be seen in the foyer of the Weißeritztal Clinic in Freital until March 2023. In particular, you can also buy wooden figures by Jens Bleul, other commissioned works.

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