Interview with Paule Hammer

Visual artist Paule Hammer, born in Leipzig in 1975, studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig and has himself been a lecturer of drawing and nature studies within the faculty of Book Art & Graphic Design since 2010. He is best known for his combination of images and text on canvas. Often forming the basis of his works are handwritten notes that he has been collecting for years.


In our Motel One Leipzig-Post he takes you on a journey into his dreams - of which he is keeping track in diaries. His oversized work "Map of a Dream World" is displayed at the reception area and underlines our hotel's design theme: communication and postal services. 

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10 questions for... Paule Hammer

Why are so many of your works so gigantic?
They could be even bigger, if you ask me! I enjoy the physical experience, both when I’m making them and when I’m looking at them. And I like the whole rhythm of working that keeps me moving between my desk and the artwork.

How did your cooperation with Motel One come about?
Motel One was looking for a Leipzig-based artist whose work had something to do with the topic of writing and communication. As there is a lot of text in my work, they chose me.

Image or text? 
The combination of image and text has always appealed to me. After the first impression, a picture suddenly evokes a deeper reaction.

How do you set about tackling a Project?
Many of my artworks begin with a certain spark. If the inspiration is strong enough, it soon starts to take form. Sometimes it works the other way around: first the picture and then the text. But that can all take years.

What was it like working with Motel One?
For me it’s a huge privilege to be given such a huge area to work on in this central part of the city. As my brief, I was given room plans and colour samples of the planned interior, as well as the general theme of writing, networking and communication. And much to my delight, my “Map of a Dream World” was approved right away.

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What does this dream world look like?
It’s all there, everything from completely distorted scenarios to humdrum everyday scenes. Only when I looked at the travel dreams did I realise that certain versions  of myself appear in several places.

Who is the person speaking in the texts of your artwork?
The “I” in the texts is actually me. But I appear in different forms each time: sometimes as an old man, sometimes as a seven-year-old girl.

Communication has many facets – which ones do you prefer to use?
Writing is a communicative process. The networking idea is conveyed by the fact that I have visited all the places marked on the world map as a different person in my dreams. And, to match the destination of the picture, I have incorporated stamp visuals from the last two centuries.

Do you write letters?
I haven’t written any letters for a long time now. Something very special would have to happen for me to do that.

Does your hometown of Leipzig have an influence on your work?
Quite a significant one, actually. Everyone is influenced by the specific forms that have surrounded them since childhood. And the world views and political systems I have experienced also influence my work.

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