Wilderness DiaryDiary of a Wilderness Volunteer

The WILDArt Exhibition

Biff Houlston

Within my first few weeks at the European Wilderness Society we displayed some of the artwork produced during last year’s WILDArt project in Synevyr Wilderness in Ukraine.

Together with the team we had a short time to frame and hang up what felt like hundreds of prints, pictures and paintings. But with the whole team pitching in, from framers to carriers shuttling it all to the Rathaus and a few long nights behind us we got it all set up and ready with a day to spare. With everything nearly ready for the big night, the team went home to don our swanky orange shirts and camo trousers and assembled in the Rathaus. We all quickly prepared the last touches, straightening a painting here and there, but mainly buttering bread in the traditional Lungau style. Which, according to Verena the only true Lungauer in the team, should be lathered on so thick that you can see your teeth marks in the butter.

Before we knew it the people started to arrive and the once roomy space of the Rathaus became occupied from locals from all over the Lungau. With anticipation in the air we were all waiting for the appearance of the Burgermister to start the ceremony.

Something that I find particularly odd here in Austria is the thanks. Everyone and anyone involved in the event, including the giddy aunt, are thanked. One of these odd but fun quirks that are different of our cultures, for example in England we give thanks to the key members and catering etc. but the list isn’t all that long. In the closing thanking, two of the artists from WILDArt, which came to the opening of the exhibition, presented the Burgermister with a painting each one had made while here in Tamsweg, as thanks…

With the party well underway and the glasses of fizz being handed around everyone started to enjoy the atmosphere amongst the art.

Finally, we had a group photo for the local newspaper so you can all see the orange avengers.

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