The visual concept for the wall design along the cycle path in Partschins is a tribute to the figure of Peter Mitterhofer.
A creative person with a wealth of ideas and an inventive spirit who liked to swim against the tide and break with conventions. Emphasis was placed on the emotional aspect by focusing on his rational and ingenious, but at the same time sensitive and introspective personality.
The project is based on a double perspective and always contains two sides - the applied design styles and the sides of Peter Mitterhofer's character. The visual metaphor created on a stylistic level is also ambiguous. The contrast between the colourful, geometric elements and the images creates a change of perspective and creates a play of contrasts that portrays the profile of a complex personality with many different facets. The aim was to recreate something fluid, as if we were inside the protagonist's head while he is in the process of artistic creation. The ingenious inventive spirit stands in direct comparison to the artistic creation of something new.
The reference to nature and man meets with elements from the world of technology, with strong allusions to gears and typewriters, which in turn mix with more figurative and expressive signs that skilfully give expression to the double narrative.
The whole thing is like diving into Peter Mitterhofer's mind.
The chosen colour palette underlines the values that are to be conveyed and blends harmoniously with the colours of the landscape in the changing seasons. The blue of the ink runs fluidly along the wall and forms a contrasting contrast to the warm yellow and orange.
Symbols and Colours
Like every work of art, the mural in honour of Peter Mitterhofer is intended to be experienced and interpreted. It provides an insight into the inventor’s world of ideas, refers to his career and reveals characteristics and features of his inimitable personality. And naturally, it also tells us about the environment and historical context in which it is integrated. Sometimes it is very apparent, but here and there it is a little more subtle and requires a second, closer look. After all, just like with a work of art, much lies in the eye of the beholder. And that is precisely why the image analysis remarks here do not claim to be exhaustive, but instead leave plenty of room for individual interpretations and further thoughts...
Blue, like the ink-soaked ribbon on the typewriter. Blue like the sky above us and the water in the river flowing past. Blue, the colour of thinkers, represents vision, the dream-like, introversion and melancholy. Moods that trigger a variety of feelings in Peter Mitterhofer’s mind.
Warm yellow and cheerful orange act as a direct counterbalance to the cool blue. Orange represents life, curiosity and creativity, which help inventiveness to take flight. At the same time, orange also symbolises individuality and unconventionality. Characteristics that are typical of the man behind the inventor.
Yellow, the brightest of all the primary colours, symbolises a keen mind and knowledge. As the colour of the sun and of light, it conveys energy and optimism. The kind of optimism that Mitterhofer needed to twice make a pilgrimage to Vienna on foot to present his invention to the Emperor. Historically, yellow is also the colour of ostracism, marginalisation and insanity.
White represents purity and truth, creates order, fosters concentration and brings clarity.
The wheel: The wheel is one of the most significant inventions of our time. A milestone in technology and an allegory of life that allows the world to turn on its own axis. As a symbol of dynamism and mobility, the wheel stands for the beginning and ending, for fate and time, for defeat and success. In other words everything that an eventful inventor's existence comprises.
The hand: The hand is the symbol of humanity in its development and history and stands for Peter Mitterhofer’s life story. Its finger prints and palm lines make it a distinguishing feature that unmistakeably identifies the inventor as a person. Furthermore, as a skilled joiner and carpenter, Peter Mitterhofer was a craftsman, and as such his hand was his most important tool. His typewriters were also produced with painstaking manual work.
The ears of grain: The ears stand for the fruitful earth of our homeland – perhaps also for the not quite so fruitful ground on which Mitterhofer’s ideas fell during his lifetime...
The trees: The trees symbolise growth and development and establish a clear link to the surrounding nature and its forests. With regard to nature, which is depicted here as the seasons pass by, the stark branches represent winter.
The water: The water and stylised waves stand for movement, for the constant state of flux, for drive and transformation. The link to the environment too is unmistakeable: to the water of the river Etsch, which flows by us inexorably; to the water-powered sawmill that stood not far from here in the house where Peter was born. And, of course, the water also stands for the irrepressible flow of ideas of the tireless inventor.
The flowers: The flowers, which, upon closer inspection are revealed to be the keys of the typewriter, sprout powerfully upwards towards the sun and symbolise hope and a spring-like vitality.