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LIA ANNA HENNIG | 'HIMMELBETT' (EAT YOUR MATTRESS)

May 11th 2017
In 2013 Eyestorm released a limited edition screenprint by German artist Lia Anna Hennig as part of a specially curated project by art critic, author and filmmaker Ben Lewis. Read more about the work below.

Lia Anna Hennig’s drawings are like something from a fairytale or a vivid dream, drawing you in with surreal imagery and intriguing narratives. There’s often a focus on the natural world; animals and plant-life feature heavily, as does food. A piece called ‘Fish Soup’, for example, features various sea creatures swimming around inside the large open mouth of a vicious-looking fish, its bloody teeth framing what appears to be a party of crabs, eels and sea spiders going on inside. Other works have included leopards and crocodiles in extravagant dresses made of leaves and a bowl of spaghetti with a life of its own.

Hennig’s print for Eyestorm, titled Himmelbett (Eat Your Mattress), is a fantastic example of this skilled draftswoman’s talents. Featuring a large four-poster bed - which in German is ‘himmelbett’, hence the title of the work - dreamlike patterns and surrealist doodles take you on an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ style journey into the realms of Hennig’s subconscious.

Every little detail has been carefully thought out with a continued reference to nature such as spider webs on pillows and animal print on drapes. Literally translated, ‘himmelbett’ means ‘sky bed’, which perhaps explains the strong connection with the weather. A smiling, yet rather sinister-looking sun sits at the top of the bed, with its spotted tongue coming through a sharp-toothed open mouth. Then come the stars, and underneath those, swirly clouds with raindrops and lightning bolt arrows pointing downwards towards the striped bedspread below.

With its purposefully wrong perspective adding to the surreal nature, the bed itself at first looks like a table with a banquet of plates and food laid out - or maybe this is a subconscious assumption on the viewer’s part due to the bracketed part of the work’s title. At closer inspection however, we can see what appears to be a reference to a game of snakes and ladders, with added hypnagogic depictions such as a pair of breasts and single hands and feet popping upwards like periscopes. The little windows at the base of the bed suggest there’s another world going on inside the mattress. Despite its floating nature, the base of the bed appears to be growing roots; perhaps ready to embed and settle once it finally ‘lands’.

The colour palette is often very simple with Hennig’s works, despite the complex nature of the drawing itself. Only ochre and crimson - the latter a signature hue for the artist - accompany the black line work in the print, complementing each other perfectly and providing more than enough to bring this piece to life.

Quirky and inventive, Himmelbett (Eat Your Mattress) is an accessible print for art lovers and collectors who like to stretch their imagination beyond the usual realm and are willing to embrace the creative talents of a young emerging artist.

A beautifully crafted screenprint with hand-torn edges in an edition of 50, the piece is available at £420.00. See it in more detail and read more about the artist on her artist’s page Lia Anna Hennig.
ANGIE DAVEY
Creative Director
LIA ANNA HENNIG
Himmelbett (Eat Your Mattress)
 
 
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