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Hannah Philomena Scheiber

"The mountains are not a backdrop, but a motif"

How artist Hannah Philomena Scheiber finds inspiration in the Ötztal Alps.


Hannah Philomena Scheiber, 29, comes from Obergurgl. She studied in Vienna, Florence and New York before she found inspiration in the local mountains and started to paint independ-ent pictures that oscillate between representational and abstraction. Her undisputed goal is to secure and increase the cultural capital of Ötztal.

"At first glance my pictures may appear figurative. But only if you look at them from a certain distance. If you stand right in front of them, you will probably lose yourself in almost abstract spots and surfaces. The respective motif is only revealed as a whole.

I knew very early that I wanted to be an artist. I passed the admission exam at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna even before I finished school. I studied conceptual art with Johanna Kandl and Matteo Thun, then I moved to New York and studied “Design for Social Innovation” with Stefan Sagmeister and Jerry Saltz at the SVA.

It was a fairly stark contrast to return from New York to Obergurgl. It was here that I gave birth to my son and started working as a freelance artist. Since then I have seen the valley with different eyes. I simply enjoy life in the course of the seasons - and the people who live their down-to-earth attitude.


But I also see that we are facing a change of paradigm. We have to understand and secure our cultural capital. I wish people in the valley could see themselves more as a single part of the big picture. That we all approach the problems that will occupy us in the future with a certain humility.

For example, I support a profound discussion about climate change. Coupled with a much greater focus on regional food and careful use of our resources and the unique nature. Together with my friends, I ask myself the questions about the value of growth: When is enough really enough?

Artist Hannah Philomena Scheiber - Painting
Artist Hannah Philomena Scheiber - Painting
Artist Hannah Philomena Scheiber - Plates
Artist Hannah Philomena Scheiber - Plates
Artist Hannah Philomena Scheiber - Painting
Artist Hannah Philomena Scheiber - Painting
Artist Hannah Philomena Scheiber - Plates
Artist Hannah Philomena Scheiber - Plates
Artist Hannah Philomena Scheiber - Painting

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We locals should not only be here for the guests, but also for each other. Art and culture should be recognized also in the valley and, above all, integrated into everyday life. There are superb artists in Ötztal. Jessie Pitt and Alexander Maria Lohmann in Obergurgl are close friends of mine, and I'm happy to have such impressive colleagues such as Nino Malfatti or Christopher Grüner who work in other parts of the valley.

In my ceramic projects, I ironically approach certain problems of time. During the corona crisis, I decorated classic South Tyrolean aprons with resistant sayings. Humor is an essential part of my job. Even more: For me, humor is the highest form of knowledge."

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