Heide Schimke

Seeing and observing, tolerating that which is, following paths - those of nature, one’s own and those of others - discovering, unearthing and getting lost, taking one’s leave and going on. Can there be anything more in motion than that?

Heide Schimke


Shaped by her travels and inspired by the multitude and tension of erosive formations in nature, Heide Schimke’s work is focussed on seeing structures and uncovering that which lies under the surface.

Change reveals itself not just in shapes, but also in rhythms, tempi, movements, and vibrations, which the artist captures using a wide range of media. The embodied reproduction of the experience of nature and the process of doing is at the center of her work, where processes, layers, and overlapping structures form a kind of stored experience and the sum of all memory for the artist. Colour thus enters into a sensitive dialogue incorporating the motion and structure of the surface.

The artist invites you to follow the interplay of micro- and macrocosm and the freedom of one’s own process of discovery around this world of images. Wonder and discovery, she believes, are fundamental to accepting that our model of reality is limited.

— Art historian Eva Pieper-Rapp-Frick


1961Born in Hagen
until 1987Studied psychology in Braunschweig
1985Start of artistic work, influenced by meeting the painter Wolfgang Isle (1945-1996)
until 1989University position as a psychologist, in cooperation with the HBK Braunschweig
1989Member of the International Society for Art, Design and Therapy (Internationale Gesellschaft für Kunst, Gestaltung und Therapie), Monte Verita, Ascona/ Schweiz
until 1993Psychotherapist in a psychiatric institution, Hagen
from 1993Work as free artist and independent psychotherapist
2001Member of the women’s art forum South Westphalia (FrauenKunstForum Südwestfalen) supported by the Kulturamt Hagen and the Gleichstellungsstellen of South Westphalia
from 2003Travels to Africa, South America, New Zealand, Australia, Iceland and Asia
from 2006Intensive travel and research visits, as well as projects and exhibitions in Australia
from 2013Start of Landart projects in Australia and Iceland
from 2014First Videos and film documentaries


S = solo,     G = group
2020Kunsthalle Zürich: Project „Make your own exhibition“ (G)
2020Städtische Galerie Alte Lederfabrik Halle: NOW and the VASTNESS beyond, with Margret Schopka (G)
2019Art Exhibition The Factory 2019, Djupavik/Island (G)
2018Frauenmuseum Bonn: Freundinnen — vom romantischen Salon zu Netzwerken heute, Bonn (G)
2017Kunst im ROTEN HAUS: Heide Schimke - a part of a way, Hagen (S)
Galerie und Kunstwerkstatt Gessner: Legends and Lines, Hagen (S)
20164. Art Symposium on Island/ Stiflisdahl Lake, invited by the artist and curator Margret Schopka; landart projects
„silhquai55“ i n s p a c e visarte zürich (art club) „…hörst du den Brachvogel“ (G)
Kölner Liste fair for contemporary art
2015Hervey Bay Regional Gallery, Queensland/Australien (S) → Video (5.22 min)
Künstlerforum-Bonn, „Hörst Du den Brachvogel“ Presentation of the projects of the Art Symposium at Stiflisdal lake/Iceland, Bonn (G)
2014Neues Kunstforum Gelstern, Lüdenscheid (S)
2013Project „birds“ vegetabile Objekte, Dunduran Beach, Hervey Bay/ Australien
20122. Art Symposium, selected artists curated by Margret Schopka, Stiflisdal lake/Iceland, landart project „Erdtafeln“
Kunst im Karree „playing memory“ with homonymous documentary film from director Sebastian Jobst, Sparkasse Hagen (S) → Trailer PLAYING MEMORY 2012
2011Osthaus Museum „Hagener Künstlerinnen und Künstler“, Hagen (G)
21. Kunstmesse, Frauenmuseum Bonn mit dem Frauenkunstforum, Südwestfalen (G)
2005Osthaus Museum „Hagener Künstlerinnen und Künstler“, Hagen (G)
2004Schloß Landsberg, „Klangfarbe“, Westfälische Förderakademie für Kunst und Musik, Ruhr e.V., Erwitte (G)
2003Osthaus Museum „Hagener Künstlerinnen und Künstler“, Hagen (G)
Preisträgerin KEUCO, „50 Jahre KEUCO und Design“, Hemer (G)
„werkstatt 64“ in Zusammenarbeit mit Maler und Architekt Herbert Schmahl , Hagen (G)
2002Osthaus Museum, Hagener Künstlerinnen und Künstler“, Hagen (G)
2001Theater Hagen, „Soroptimist gegen Gewalt“, Hagen (S)
2000NRW Kulturstiftung, Kunstspuren durch Südwestfalen, Liebe an Unorten, Projekt „be in touch“, Hagen (G)
Blesel Fine Art Förderpreis, „Rost, Ruinen und Romantik“, Hagen (S)
Kulturstiftung Stade, Schloss Agathenburg, Stade (G)
VHS Essen, „Sinn und Sinnlichkeit“, Eröffnungsausstellung, Essen (S)
1999Blesel Fine Art Förderpreis „Erotik Art“, Hagen (G)
Kulturförderung der Sparkasse Hagen (S)
1998Gallery K-135, Novatis Pharma AG, Basel / Schweiz (S)
1997Gallery Hubuch, Basel/Schweiz (S)
Gallery Appelt, Gevelsberg (G)
Dresdner Bank, München (S)
1990Stiftsherrenhäuser der Stadt Braunschweig (S)
Gallery „Der kleine Kunstbahnhof“, Eschenau (S)
Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Braunschweig (S)
1989Galerie Nova, Hagen (S)
Galerie Günther, Hamburg (S)

Studio & Gallery

In the press

“Heide Schimke’s art breathes, with a breath that mimics nature itself.”
Westfälische Rundschau
„Schimke's works gave a new perspective on nature“
— Hervey Bay Regional Gallery cultural officer Vanida Petts
“Heide Schimke portrays the paths, trails and lines that humans have left behind in a multitude of ways.”
“Heide Schimke’s art is marked by extreme experiences of nature that she has undergone during numerous visits to the red continent. The geological and geohistorical importance of the Australian landscapes, with their strong erosion, prompted the artist to explore the structures, vibrations, layers, courses and forms of nature. In these abstractions, the fluidity and spirit of the different places she stayed shines through.”
“...pictorially impressively applied research on the topic of erosion”
Generalanzeiger Bonn
“In a diptych by Heide Schimke, a bright, wide sky vaults almost renaissance-like above the Earth.”
— Art historian Heidrun Wirth
“Schimke’s paintings are sensual. One doesn’t just want to look at them, but to make contact; touch to experience the bark, the sand, the water. Those are formulas of nature, vibrations of surfaces, groundedness in the real sense.”
— Composer Martin Gerigk