Approved: 17.07.2020

Stefan J Schaffeld

Art therapist, Artist, Curator

Approved: 17.07.2020

Dwelling - affective concentration
My approach in exploring and making art relates to methods of concentration and meditation. It 
is a silent absorption in a process that doesn’t claim to be pretentious or representational. The 
objects created are not precious though the process and experience are.

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  • Location: Ostrhauderfehn, Europe

Artist Statement

Dwelling - affective concentration
My approach in exploring and making art relates to methods of concentration and meditation. It 
is a silent absorption in a process that doesn’t claim to be pretentious or representational. The 
objects created are not precious though the process and experience are.

My fingers are moving and rotating across a surface. I want to touch - to get close and to become one with the immediate space around me. Paper as my preferred material supports a responsive directness onto which I and my collaborators, the pen or charcoal stick, can experience the ‘touch-ness’. We are taking a walk to explore the surfaces that are offered to us. It is a relational, a social process of attuned movements of my body with materials that bring forth interwoven lines and images. It is also a process that requires my attention and a heightened sensitivity to my body movement. A conversation between my moving acts and the material’s responsiveness evolves where I am co-responsible for the walk we take. It is a process of intensity, and through my durational efforts, I become aware of my feelings and the physicality of the materials and my body. The making is often a workout demanding the need for negotiation for a resolution. At times, things stand in the way; something cannot be done as intended or planned. Moments of disruption or failure may lead to frustration or dignity. These are magic encounters of wonder and moments of aesthetic experience and empathic correspondence. 

In my practice, I am exploring the dynamic field of vibrating encounters. Through my acting and 
making, I cross and blur boundaries where things and I join in negotiating the in-between-ness. 
Here, a potential space opens up when I feel attuned to my environment and its materials. In that space, an exchange of affect and effect may occur, informing my making and works. Making is a constant dialogue with materiality and moments of serendipity. Touching the immediacy of materials and touching the ground that supports me is a visceral and kinaesthetic experience of making sense of the environment in a non-verbal way.

I am throwing myself into the making, the evolving picture as a process of becoming through 
creation. Throwing myself means to shift my perception and to experience the otherness of 
myself. I reach out and touch the limits of materials and space. 

CV & Education



2021: BA Fine Art, University for the Creative Arts (UCA)

2020 Diploma Expressive Art Therapy (Kunsttherapeut IHK), Institut für Humanistische Kunsttherapie (IHK), Switzerland

Professional Development

2021 – present   Lecturer and artist at art schools (Kunstschulen Niedersachsen)

2019 – 2021        Editor of student led online zine edge-zine, UK

2019 – 2021        Founding member of the UCA/OCA Regional Group Europe, Switzerland



2021                    ‘Dwelling & Tarrying - a moving artistic practice’, BA action-research thesis, unpublished

2021                    ‘Sowohl, als auch - unterwegs’, printed documentation of artistic project, Kunstschule Zinnober Papenburg, Germany (together with Editha Janson)

2020                    Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2020, London, Shortlisted Artists, p.49-50

2020                    Art Eindhoven, Catalogue 12-13 September 2020, p.47

2020                    Failure, edge-zine, issue 10, Sep 2020

2020                    ‘Ein gemeinsames Kreativ-Projekt’ in: Das Buch vom Wasser (Book about Water)’, Rhauderfehn: co-buch, 2020. pp.188-197 (with Viola Tallowitz-Scharf)

2020                    On Collaboration, werareoca blog, The Open College of the Arts, Aug 2020

2020                    On Self-Care - Creative learning in an online world, werareoca blog, The Open College of the Arts, Aug 2020

2020                    Geologic Sensibility, Art calendar August 2020, Kulturring and Kunstkreis Rhauderfehn, Germany

2019                    Ambiguity, the disembodied Self, and the Performative - How medical imaging techniques inform embodied artwork, essay, Sep 2019,

2019                    Underground Poetry, edge-zine, issue 8, Sep 2019: 46-47

2019                    Water, edge-zine, issue 7, Jul 2019: 14-17


Collaborative Projects 

2021                    Inhabiting Space – Becoming Space, a collaborative and intra-active project, artist in residency at Kunstschule Zinnober Papenburg, Germany

2021                    Transformation, art-based action research, aesthetic encounters and social practice, together with Kunstschule Zinnober Papenburg and Kunstschule Lingen, Germany.

2021                    Sowohl, als auch - unterwegs, an artistic postcard project with Editha Janson, Kunstschule Zinnober Papenburg, and many people from the region, Germany

2019                    Mindful Resonance Interaction (MRI), audio-video installation, Toynbee Studios, London, UK (in collaboration with Vicki Downey)

Awards and Grants

2020                    Shortlisted for the Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2020, UK


2021                    Sowohl, als auch - unterwegs, together with Editha Janson, Kunstschule Zinnober, and many participants, Städtische Galerie Papenburg, 27- 29 Aug 2021, Germany

2021                    Inhabiting Space – Becoming Space, closing event 23 Jul 2021, Städtische Galerie Papenburg, Germany

2020                    Art Eindhoven, 12-13 Sep 2020, The Netherlands

2020                    Wasser (Water), Volksbank Rhauderfehn, Sep 2020 – Jan 2021, Germany

2020                    Werden – Vergehen / Becoming – Passing, Aug 2020 - Mar 2021, Rigi Hotel Weggis, Switzerland (with Marion Gregor)

2020                    Raum – Ort - Begegnung, a site-specific projectAug-approx. Sep 2020, in and around Kunstgalerie des Müllerhauses, Rhauderfehn, Germany

2020                    Shortlist Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2020 Exhibition, Jul – Sep 2020, Ashurst, London, UK 

2019                    Material Transformation (solo exhibition), Nov - Dec 2019, Museum Gut Altenkamp, Germany

2019                    250th anniversary exhibition, Mar - Dec 2019, Fehn- und Moormuseum Rhauderfehn, Germany

2018, 2019          Annual Exhibition, curated by Kulturring und Kunstkreis Rhauderfehn e.V., Rhauderfehn, Germany

2018                    Showcase with OCA, @oxowharf, Jul 2018, London, UK 


Media and Bibliography

2021                    ‘Sowohl, als auch - unterwegs’: 
- Newspaper Ems-Zeitung 01 Sep 2021, Lingen, Germany
- TV Ems-Vechte-Welle 23 Mar and 26 Aug 2021, Lingen, Germany

2020                    Hungerford, Peter ‘Study event review: OCA Europe’, weareoca blog. The Open College of the Arts, 17 Mar 2020 

2020                    Schneider-Berents, Christine ‘Oft hinterm Ohr: Der Bleistift feiert Geburtstag’, General-Anzeiger, 07 Jan 2020, Leer, Germany

2019                    Wright, Caroline ‘Study event review: Virtual studio day’, weareoca blog. The Open College of the Arts, Oct 2019 

2018                    one drawing from the series ‘Absence & Presence’ featured in social media channels and college website, The Open College of the Arts, UK, Nov 2020 

2017                    featured in printed materials of The Open College of the Arts, UK

2015                    Interview, radio-nordseewelle. Leer, Germany, 07 Jun 2015