Spinnerei or Spinning mills were set up and that brought skilled workers to this area and the area became a living community around these spinning mills. Gradually it became a complete ecosystem with schools and entertainment facilities. However, by the end of 20th CE, the mills closed down and the huge buildings with large rooms lied empty. This is when they were converted into a cultural space by offering it to artists to use them as their studio’s cum residences. Today it is a vibrant cultural space that has many resident artists. That includes painters, fashion designers, sculpture artists, lithographers, potters, architects, porcelain manufacturers, filmmakers, and goldsmiths.
Spinnerei – Cotton to Culture – Things to do in Leipzig
In the small time that I could spend here, we met a painter Rayk Goetze who has been a resident artist here since 2007. We reached his studio on the first floor through narrow stairs that have all the signs of being a crazy creative place. As many painters had left their marks on the walls through a collage of wall paintings and graffiti. The first room in the studio served as his kitchen and living space. And the second room his studio with paints and brushes scattered all over. Some finished and some unfinished paintings graced the walls. We started looking for the dominant themes in the works and portraits appeared to be his forte. He showed around his area talking a bit about his work and more than that posing for us with his work.
We then visited a lithography workshop where an artist was making lithographs on the glass plates. Some of her completed works were on the wall. It was interesting to see the prints being made on the glass and then being transferred to other mediums. The film club that has the facility to screen films had a funky look. And served the local version of lemonade called Bio made in various colors and flavors. In the main building, there is a small museum that celebrates the original profession of this place. With old photographs and spinning equipment including neatly arranged spindles. These spaces need a free movement of artists across borders. As an Indian Passport holder when people say terms like Visum USA I wonder if they realize what it means to have an Indian passport. Be limited by the persistent need for visa stampings to travel around.
A modern art sculpture in black that almost covered the whole room was the most stunning piece of art that we saw during this Spinnerei visit. I also loved a subtle white wall with names of artists written in pale blue interspersed with tiles having their work. There is apparently a railway platform also a part of the premises. There were many other galleries and artists that one can visit if you have ample time.
Only one red-bricked chimney has been preserved of the many that existed. Apparently, it is not very easy to maintain these old style chimneys. The neat box-style buildings in red bricks with symmetrical windows create a picture perfect look for the camera. They give you a feeling of being in a place that is half-baked. That is work in progress and a place where the creations are being given birth.
A beautiful example of creatively reusing old spaces….. Add it to your list of Things to do in Leipzig, Germany Tourist Attractions.
Recommend you to read following Travel Blog on Germany Tourist Attractions.