Thursday, 15 May 2014

17# IDa4 MURAL IN EUROPE: World House, Wetten, Germany‎

Wonderful Wetten.

Before we left Cologne to head to the next hostel in the North West of Germany, people were asking us where we were going and we told them Wetten, “Wetten?” They asked quizzically. No one had heard of this village and knew nothing of it. We could already feel that this next job could turn out to be something very interesting…

FYI: Wetten is a small ancient village near the Religious town of Kevelaer which is the best visited Catholic pilgrimage location within north-western Europe, Fact of the day!

When we arrived at the World House, you come off the main road and up a country lane to this stunning location and huge building.  Your first impressions of World House is the lush gardens, beautiful scenery and nice pond to boot. 

The building used to be a monastery ran by the nuns of Wetten, who prayed and lived here for more than 100 years. Now the building has been transformed to it's present function as an international conference centre and hotel.  It has a great modern feel to the place with decorations from all over the world placed around the building.  Each floor has been designated with continents: Ground floor is Europe, first floor is Africa, second is South & Central America and third is Asia themed. 

The transformation and idea for this world house came from the inspirational and amazing owner called Thera. This special person who we were lucky to meet is a specialist in gender equality and is a consultant for many very important clients all around the world.  

Very rarely you get to meet someone who makes real change in the world and even rarer someone who puts into action what they are preaching.  The vision and concept that Thera had about the world house is something very special with facilities for conferences, training, coaching, research and meetings all taking place there, the week before we arrived there was a conference organised by the Peace Revolution.  Have a look on there website for more information 

We also met a Dutch (Frisia) writer called Jurrie  who was in the middle of writing a biography of a famous chemist from the Netherlands.  We also found out that he wrote most of the science text books used in high schools in the Netherlands’ so you got him to thank for passing your exams or likewise blame him if you flunked them. 

The world house mission statement reads “we wish to contribute to a sustainable world with social justice, gender equality and human dignity for all.”   And that is what you get. The feeling of social responsibility goes hand in hand here and actively encouraged.

The whole time we were there we felt that this was somewhere that we could stay for a long time,it is so welcoming, peaceful and fair.   You can stay here for free if contribute to the work on the up keep of the building and grounds.  Matt and Berta are the live in managers for the World house and were so kind and helpful throughout our stay. It’s a great job they do there and if you ever consider moving to pastures new, me and Chris would jump at the chance to take over your responsibilities.  But at the moment they need a good flow of volunteers with the summer coming up.

This is the link to there HelpX page.  I would highly recommend getting on board with this project.  

While you stay at world house the workers and helpers take turns on cooking, this is great idea as it brings people together once a day, a rare thing these days, We were treated to some lovely food and even better conversations.  we even cooked twice, with no fatalities or food poisoning being recorded.

Art time
When the time came to decide what art should be done, we all had a meeting to discuss what we should put on the walls, we all came to the conclusion of an equal mix of famous men and women from South and Central America with quotes from each of them.  The people we decide on were:

Rigoberta Menchu – Nobel Prize for peace – Guatemala


Hay que cuidar y guardar la madre tierra para que nuestros hijos y nuestros nietos sigan percibiendo sus beneficios



Oscar Niemeyer – Architect – Brazil


Form follows beauty


Frida Khalo – Artist – Mexico


Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?

Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Nobel Prize for literature – Columbia 


It is not true that people stop pursuing their dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing their dreams


Mercedes Sosa – Singer – Argentina


Gracias a la vida

Pele – Footballer – Brazil


Success is no accident, it is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing


We set about changing the big hostel room on the second floor, with 6 new IDa4 original stencils.  The use of colour in Frida and Rigoberta were especially pleasing as this was the first time it had been included in a portrait.  Frida by all accounts is up their as one of our favourites, in fact it got the attention of a Stencil and graffiti shop in Cologne who bought two copies of it on canvas.

The room wasn’t the only painting that we did in the world house.  We were eager to help in any which way we could. We cut and sprayed new door numbers and information for the 2nd floor. 

We cut and designed a new Ghandi portrait for the Asian floor coffee room

We sprayed these images of Nelson Mandela and Che Guevara on reclaimed wood found in the World house gardens.

So in conclusion our stay in the world house was exceptional, being in the middle of the beautiful German countryside is a fantastic experience and we never once missed the towns and cities that we are used to on this trip.  With the next big town only ten minutes away and Dusseldorf only 30 minutes down the road and the Netherlands boarder only10km away you’re never too far away from anything anyway.

The people that we meet here had such a good influence on us that we hope to go back for an extended stay and paint a mural on the other floors.  Thank you Thera, Uri, Matt and Berta and good luck -

Video of the Work.

Photos of the finished room