‘It’s our basic need to give creative meaning to our life stories’
Meike Ziegler – the Creative Alchemist
In a period where we see the declining influence of traditional institutions, we see a need for new meaning and new rituals. Meike Ziegler is the founder and the creator of the phenomenon Creatuals. She has created dozens, each one tailor-made, for numerous different situations both at home and abroad.
As a child, Meike Ziegler lived in an ever-changing world, from which she created her own, equally changing world. Her life was one long lesson in wonderment, which she took with her into her work. Meike the Creative alchemist wrong-foots us in a gentle and poetic way. Her creatuals have an essential beauty, which take us by the hand and encourage us to explore to deeper levels; levels rooted in people’s lives, and in the history of art around us.
Background – Growing up in a world of rituals
Meike Ziegler was schooled in Florence, London and Utrecht. She went on to work in Amsterdam, London, Barcelona, New York and Berlin. She was born in London and moved to Australia for her father’s work as city planner. Another move to Egypt brought her in contact with children from all walks of life. She feasted her eyes on a colourful palette of people, clothing, cuisine and lifestyles. Her education at American schools introduced her to children of over 100 different nationalities.
“My playground was a mixture of both rich and poor. For a child of seven, things are what they are. And that is the basis from which I am fortunate to be able to work, day in, day out. I find it easy to make friends and learned very early on about the concept of farewells. From a very young age I learned that a goodbye is an opportunity for a new start, and for growth. Children growing up in one place are less open to the traditions and rituals of others. And everyone in the world needs rituals. They bond, they bring good. And that’s what new rituals can do too.”
Surprise with intent
Meike brings about symbolic destruction, from which something new can emerge: “It’s my aim to invite people out of their patterns of expectation, to create space and lend new meaning to known objects and particular moments. I dare to break a pearl necklace of great sentimental value and then have those involved create a new necklace, recharged with all the significance of the old…and more. The shock tactic brings heightened involvement, enables people to reshape their patterns of interaction with one another.
Let me take you by the hand… meet my old Grandmother>