Living art, modern culture. Removed from the city, embedded in nature: enlarged, enriched, condensed.
The opening of the Woods Art Institute as a constant place of cultural interaction gives rise to new possibilities to create, collect, educate and experience art close to Hamburg’s city limits. Not as an antithesis to nature, but as its living complement.
‘What does a cultural institution stand for today?’ This is an important, pivotal question in the digitalised 21st century. A fundamental belief of the Woods Art Institute is that culture is not only attractive and engaging, but also profoundly useful and meaningful. Culture is not a mere ornament of our daily life, but an existential part of the further development and understanding of our transformation as human beings. This assumption is essential for the work of the Woods Art Institute and guides its path into the future.
The WAI’s main interest lies in the idea. Above all, however, the diverse ways in which humanity has expressed it: literature, films, music, philosophy, art and science. These disciplines not only find their home, but also a fertile ground in the extensive park and forest area as well as the buildings of the institute. While the Reinking Collection is displayed in the central exhibition building, a steadily growing sculpture garden and the historical arboretum complement the collection of contemporary art and artefacts outside. At the WAI, artists’ studios, workshops, a library and seminar rooms, a boarding house and a café are being developed. These are places of coming together, exchanging ideas and productivity: At the WAI, interdisciplinary work means unexpected resonances and the cultural permeation of nature, man and art.
Art is the main tool for working and learning at the WAI. It forms its own space of free thought and creation, in which both established positions in art history and new approaches are welcome. The Reinking Collection, which mainly encompasses works from the 20th and 21st centuries as well as numerous international indigenous artefacts, is another central instrument of the WAI. The collection is seen as a source of energy in this context. The Woods Art Institute regularly invites persons engaged in culture to find new interpretations and aspects of this energy and to continually expand its ideas.