SOCKS FOR LIFE charity event

The SOCKS FOR LIFE art activity celebrated the final event at the annual GNPI conference in Stuttgart, Germany May 21 – 22. At a charity event, many pieces found new happy owners. A big thank you to all contributing artists, individuals and organisations who made this great activity possible and to all artists who donated their work. Socks for Life will continue! Watch this Facebook channel for an update on the activity soon. 

The photo shows: Nicole Thiele, Prof. Rolf Maier, Dr. Andreas Flemmer, Lukas Mader, Silke Mader left to right

SOCKS FOR LIFE Exhibition in Munich

The final stop of our SOCKS FOR LIFE exhibition for preterm babies opened its doors at the hospital Dritter Orden in Munich November 17th - just in time for World Prematurity Day! Thank you to Bavarian Minister for Health and Care Melanie Huml, who opened the exhibition. "I am delighted to open the exhibition SOCKS FOR LIFE. Preterm babies must fight their way into life and need special care. The state of Bavaria therefore aims at providing those babies the best start in life“, said Melanie Huml, Bavarian Minister for Health and Care. 

EFCNI launched the activity SOCKS FOR LIFE to raise awareness and to improve the care for preterm babies and their parents. The medical and safety technology company Dräger supported the initiative. More than 40 artworks from all over the world were collected. Artits like René Böll, Ignacio Burgos, Robert Wilson and Elfriede Jelinek followed the call to give preterm babies their voice. The first exhibition took place in April 2014 in the European Parliament, Brussles, Belgium. After that it travelled to Lübeck, Germany.

A big thank you to the artists who joined our initiative and our partners who made this activity possible. Special thanks to the hospital Dritter Orden and Prof. Dr. Jochen Peters as well as Sr. Irmgard Stallhofer.  

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And the winner of the silver price is... SOCKS FOR LIFE!

The art activity was awarded the European Best Event Award (euBea)! A big thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of this project. A special thank you to all the parent organisations, artists and everyone who helped to make this successful Europe-wide campaign!  

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We are really happy to let you know that just in time for World Prematurity Day 2014, November 17th the third and final exhibition will open its doors in Munich. We will keep you updated here and on our social media channels.


SOCKS FOR LIFE exhibition in Lübeck

On Monday 05. May 2014 our SOCKS FOR LIFE exhibition celebrated its second opening at the Dräger headquarter in Lübeck. Employees and guests of the company were able to enjoy the artwork for one week before it travels on to its next stop in Munich. 

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Art exhibition SOCKS FOR LIFE in the European Parliament: a wake-up call to improve the state of maternal and newborn health

SOCKS FOR LIFE exhibition European Parliament Brussels

On Monday, 7 April 2014, more than 100 guests from different professions and countries, Members of the European Parliament and representatives of other European Institutions came together to celebrate the opening of the art exhibition SOCKS FOR LIFE. A truly wonderful experience for all those present. 

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A highlight of the art exhibition in the European Parliament: Stummfilm - Silent Movie by Durs Grünbein

Poem Durs Gruenbein

Durs Grünbein, was born on October 9, 1962 in Dresden, Germany. He is widely considered to be the most important poet to emerge from former East Germany. He has made Berlin his home since 1985, though he is a cosmopolitan in spirit. This duality comes across in his poetry, which betrays a concern for the situation of Germany in the contemporary world while deftly transversing different historical worlds that have perished. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Durs Grünbein became one of the most significant writers, poets, and voices of the reunified Germany.

Claudia Gahrke reads Stummfilm by Durs Grünbein (German)

Claudia Gahrke studied acting in the Master’s class of Actors Studio –founder Robert Lewis and received speech training by Günter Wirth. She was fellowship student of The International Forum of Young Theatre Professionals during the Berlin Theatertreffen. As Merteuil in Heiner Müller’s “Quartett” in London, and Camille Claudel in Nes Ziona (Israel), a child in a play by Samuel Beckett in Berlin under direction of Thomas Ostermeier and Nancy in Ben Beckers “Sid&Nancy” in Düsseldorf, Germany. Gahrke had performances in Brussels, Cambridge, Berlin and at the EXPO2000. Among others Ophelia in “Hamlet machine/Sound-Performance” at the house of the forest lake in Berlin. “Kitty Hawk” in the live-audio play “I am a microbe” for the Fraunhofer-Gala “fest of research” in Dresden. She did recitations and readings, such as “Von den Ewigkeiten zwischen den Vielen und den Wenigen”  Alfred Döblin and Else Lasker-Schüler, a reading with Günter Lamprecht. She had several guest performances with the scenic reading „Leben? Oder Theater?” (live? Or theatre?) by Charlotte Salomon in Vienna, Berlin and in the Tmu-Na-Theatre in Tel Aviv. She had many audio play roles for the public broadcasting institution WDR. In 2011, her CD “die kreisende Weltfabrik” (the rotating of the global factory) with poems, prose and letters of Else Lasker -Schüler was published.
Photo: © Cristian Beier


German artist Brigitte Maas

Poem Durs Grünbein

“Painting is just another way of keeping a diary” – this quote by Pablo Picasso is the principle of Brigitte Maas’ work. Art and design have been part of her life for many years. Most of her paintings are done with acryl, but also several oil paintings and other art objects besides belong to her repertoire.


Robert Reschkowski

Robert Reschkowski, famous for his performances that he showed in New York, London, Basel or at the Documenta in Kassel, is a multi-artist. For him, art represents the medium of encounter and conversion.  His projects always have something extraordinary, such as the “Lachsgang” (“walk of salmon”) for the art association in Gütersloh, Germany. The magazine “Kunstforum” has presented about his work more than once. From 1970 to 1977 he studied are at the Academy of Art in Düsseldorf, Germany under Prof. Ruprecht Geiger and Prof. Gotthart Graubner. In 1975, the year he was appointed master-class student, he also received the Ernst Poensgen Prize.  


Traudl Hahn from Germany donates for SOCKSFORLIFE

Artist Waltraud Hahn, born in 1928 in the cultural city of Schwäbisch Hall in Germany, is the oldest artist engaging in SOCKS FOR LIFE. 1975, after raising 5 children, she joined an artist group and has been creating since then numerous sculptures, paintings and drawings. Children are also her focus. She also creates artistically made objects of every-day life, such as bowls or vases.


The German artist, Rolf Jahn, about SOCKS FOR LIFE and his artwork ‘One in Ten’ donated to SOCKS FOR LIFE

“In 1962 my mother was awarded 100 Deutschmarks for having given birth to the tallest baby (me = 62 cm) till then in the German town of Lueneburg. Despite my physical size, I was always a child who struggled through life needing a lot of care. My own very lively world of images helped me in this way a lot. Still being something of a beanpole, it’s a huge pleasure for me to support prematurely born babies who need special care by giving them an artistic voice. My painting, ‘One in Ten’, donated to Fruehstarter Datteln, a German initiative for premature babies in Datteln, reflects the different circumstances under which children are born. Ten birds are sitting on posts of different heights. Some of the birds are larger, some are smaller and among them is a really little bird, tenth in the row. All ten of them need a warm nest to become big and strong personalities, and not only in the form of the socks that they are all wearing. Of all of the ten birds, the smallest one most needs extra protection, extra warmth and additional care. One day all of the birds will glide through the air as a flock of birds with no noticeable difference between them.”


Incubator - Czech painting by Petra Solcova tells about the time in the incubator

Born in 1979, Petra Solcova is mother of three children - Anička 8 years, Šimonek 5 years and Ellinka 1.5 years. She is illustrator of the project “Pohádky pro kulíšky“ (tales for the little owl) and author of poems and fairy tales in the same project.


Sculpturist from Germany, Britta Röll, donates wooden art work

Artist Britta Röll lives as a scultpor in the Taunus in Germany. Her material is wood. She first graves her sculptures with a chain saw and later works on the wood with gouges and mallets. Bitta Röll began to paint parallel to her job as a stewardess at Lufthansa in 1990. Since 2010, she works with the organic material wood. The sculpture that she created for SOCKS FOR LIFE is made out of wood from an appletree.


Cyprus: Nicoletta Papamichael donates a very personal painting

The artist of this beautiful painting is a mother from Cyprus, Nicoletta Papamichael. Her story is very special. Here is what she says about her painting:

"This small artwork I have painted, is inspired from the present and the past.

My art has always been influenced directly from my life and my greatest habit is to travel to the past, find old photos, draw them, compare them to today and even mix them up by making collages. Changes are something that I love but also scare me, I am afraid of missing terribly what I leave behind. With our son now, we have to look only forward and never behind, so my paintings are the only refuge for me to do that!

In this painting, I have painted by memory my son Fivos, now 5, in our old flat, the one he lived his first years.  It seams that time has passed so fast and yet I feel that I have got so much older… the big sock of the image-as all his clothing-that I wash today has nothing to do with the tiny ones of his first months…

In the small sock you can see an old image of the first month in the incubator. It’s not a happy image, nor a happy memory. It’s black and white, and almost secret…

Even Fivo’s life is not the easiest one, we are very happy, he is a real sunlight in our lives, and that’s why this painting is characterized by this brightness and carelessness of this special child!"


Liquid Socks by Artist Nikos Gyftakis

Nikos Gyftakis was born in Athens, Greece in 1981. He studied Painting, at the School of Fine Arts at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1999 - 2005) and also Theatrical Stage and Costume Design (2001-2003) at the dpt. of Theatre (S.F.A.). His musical studies (National Conservatory, 1987-2001) constituted a point of reference and inspiration for his artistic quest.

Since 2005 he has been teaching Painting and Costume/Fashion Design in public and private institutions. He has also created the stage-setting and paintings for several movies and theatrical shows and at the same time he has been curating art exhibitions.

He has several successful individual and group exhibitions to his credit, in Greece and abroad. He now lives and works in Athens and Stockholm.


"HOPE" made in Seoul: Andrea K. Schlehwein donates chalk drawing

The chalk drawing with a little sock is entitled with the word HOPE. This work of choreograph, director and visual artist Andrea K. Schlehwein has probably the longest journey behind it: it was made in Seoul, capital of South Korea.  

Eleven years Andrea K. Schlehwein has been close on the side of famous theatremaker and painter Achim Freyer: As solo artist in the Freyer Ensemble, she has created opera productions and stood on stage herself in houses around the world, such as the Los Angeles Opera, Salzburg Festival, German Opera Berlin, Teatr Wielki Warsaw, Theatre Bonn or the Wiesbaden Festival. She presented objects and works on paper in exhibitions in Barcelona and Millstatt, movie- and room installations in various places in Indonesia and in the Platoon Kunsthalle Seoul.

Since 2012, Andrea K. Schlehwein is invited guest professor for choreography and dance creation at Korea National University of Arts. She lives and works both, in Seoul and in Kärnten, Austria.


Swedish artist Sodia Linde

Artist Sofia Linde from Sweden created this drawing with ink and donated it to Riksförbundet Svenska Prematurförbundet for SOCKS FOR LIFE. 

The girl who is sitting on the strawberry is a symbol for a premature born. The girl is tiny, but a child like any other. She is touching her foot and the thrown sock on the rabbit is a symbol for life.


Ignacio "Nacho" Burgos from Spain donates painting "El Chavo"

Niki Marketou small landscape with children

The famous artist Ignacio "Nacho" Burgos about his SOCKS FOR LIFE work El Chavo (The boy):

"As an artist, I am always trying to create beautiful things. But the most beautiful thing that can happen to someone is creating new life.

Grown up with seven siblings, I also know how privileged we all are being healthy, having a close relationship, standing up for each other - no matter where we are.

The more honored I felt being asked by EFCNI to support the SOCKS FOR LIFE initiative. Because creating new life with all its beauty sometimes causes drama, too. To parents as well as to children. If my work could help to fight those dramas a little bit at least, another beautiful thing would have happened to me."


"I LIVE..." from Lithuania: Vilija Kisieliute's painting of a girl

Winners drawing contest SOCKS FOR LIFE Bulgaria

This girl's eyes empower hope to live. This is the message behind the painting named "I live....". Famous international and Lithuanian painter Vilija Kisieliute was born preterm herself, weighing only 1800 grams: "The painting  is for me a form of self expression, one that I took up to test my creative abilities, to challenge my mind and soul."

Kisieliute's paintings range from lyric, feminine and realistic still-lives to the brave abstracts, pulsating with masculine power and bold colours. Thanks to the parent organisation Neišnešiotukas, this painting was donated for SOCKS FOR LIFE. 


"Small landscape with children" by Greek artist Niki Marketou

Niki Marketou small landscape with children

Niki Marketou was born in Greece in 1960. She studied Industrial Design at the ISIA di Roma and Ceramics at the Instituto Ballardini in Faenza, Italy. She lives and works in Athens, Greece.

In her art she chooses to focus on familiar objects, symbols, colours and materials. The folk tradition, embodying a kind of primeval memory, offers her abundant inspiration in creating images and relationships. 

Niki Marketou has kindly offered her work titled “Small landscape with children” to the Greek organization Ilitominon for the SOCKS FOR LIFE campaign, stating that she is charmed by the existence of the small daily miracles of life. 

The work is executed in grès clay, paper, Indian ink and gold in a third firing. 

Winners drawing contest SOCKS FOR LIFE Bulgaria


Young artists from Potsdam Germany donate paintings

Young artists came together and created paintings under supervision of artist Sigrun Antonietti (atelier eigenART), mother of a preterm born daughter, for SOCKS FOR LIFE. The boys and girls approached the topic of preterm birth with much sensitivity and took a lot of effort and time to create their own objects of art expressing their feelings and thoughts towards this topic.


  • Winners of Bulgarian drawing contest SOCKS FOR LIFE


A question of life: "On the edge" by Susanne Kessler

Winners drawing contest SOCKS FOR LIFE Bulgaria

In Susanne Kessler’s diptych „on the edge“, the artist picks the destiny of preterm infants as a central topic. The artist who lives partly in New York, Berlin, Wuppertal and Rome, is famous for her great installations. Her work in ink for SOCKS FOR LIFE is pointing at right and left direction: into a hopeful future or into another way that should not be pushed away. Still, her work is not a bleak picture – Susanne Kessler points her questions with full seriousness. The painting is not about a quick effect but about a question of life.

Susanne Kessler worked last as professor for painting and sculpture at John Jay College / City University in New York, NY, USA.


Bob Wilson's Pinki P. supports the call for improved maternal and newborn health

  • Winners drawing contest SOCKS FOR LIFE Bulgaria

Robert “Bob“ Wilson is one of the few real world class artists. He created his art work for SOCKS FOR LIFE quickly in Paris before heading on to Australia where he will play the figure of Krapp in Becket’s “last tape”.

EFCNI is very proud that the painter, artist, actor, director, designer as well as stage designer who was born in Waco, Texas in 1941, had made the effort to create an own object for SOCKS FOR LIFE.

“Pinki P.” is the name of the object which is a 25 cm long cross between a baby shoe and white plush rabbit. Ears, nose and eyes have red coloured outlines.

In 1976, the year of the big success of Philip Glass’s opera “Einstein on the Beach”, Wilson had his first individual exhibition in the Paula Cooper Gallery in New York. He received the Golden Lion of the Biennale in Venice in 1993 for his installation “Memory/Loss”. In December 2005, he created the permanent exhibition for the year of Mozart 2006 in Mozart’s house of birth in Salzburg, Austria.

Bob Wilson’s foundation, the Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation, works with new approaches of art for young artists. 1992 the Laboratory for Performance was founded. Recent attraction made his electronic slow-motion portraits of Lady Gaga shown at the Louvre. 


Hiroko Nakajima donates painting for SOCKS FOR LIFE

Winners drawing contest SOCKS FOR LIFE Bulgaria

Hiroko’s  art unifies the conflicitive. Her gestic manner of painting is energetic, powerfull and still inhabits a levitating lightness. Enrooted in Japanese traditions and at the same time overcoming these, her paintings show abstract signs that elude norms of convention to follow their own rules.

Her paintings are searching direct communication by expressing the intensity of her expressive art through visual perception and empathy.


From Australia: Yamayna Burarwana - Figures from the mythical Dingo's family

Winners drawing contest SOCKS FOR LIFE Bulgaria

This drawing depicts figures of the myhtical dingo's family - the animal is totemicly associated with Yumayna Burarwana's mother country, in East Arnhem Land, Australia. It is held by present day tribal aboriginies that they originate from their totemic ancestors.

The drawing by Yamayna Burarwana is one of a series commissioned from the artist by Australian writer B. Wongar whose work was translataed into German by Annemarie and Heinrich Böll and published by Lamuc Verlag 1983.

Ms Burarwana is from Gumatj tribe, related to bark painters Mawalan and wondjuk Marik whose works are in the Australian National Gallery. Woman bark painters are not uncommon in East Arnhem Land - often mentored by senior tribal artists. They are free to develop their own designs and like Ms. Burarwana, moce successfully into nontraditional black and white graphic media.

  • Winners drawing contest SOCKS FOR LIFE Bulgaria


Bulgarian drawing contest SOCKS FOR LIFE

The Bulgarian parents association Our Premature Children organized a drawing contest for SOCKS FOR LIFE. And it turned out to be an outstanding success with more than 500 people participating. The diversity, creativity and engagement of the artists deeply touched the members of the jury and they have spent some hard decision-making weeks. The public voted for their winner via social networks.

We have the honour to present all winners in the different categories:

Winners in the category under 13
Kaloyan Karapanchev
Elitsa Ganeva
Ivaila Krasimirova

Winners in the category over 13
Maria Minkova
Anka Ilieva
Monika Balkandzhieva

Winner elected through social networks
Maria Slavova

  • Winners of Bulgarian drawing contest SOCKS FOR LIFE


Ceramic baby shoes by Paolo Staccioli for SOCKS FOR LIFE

baby shoes sculpture by Paolo Staccioli for VIVERE and PICCINO PICCIO

Paolo Staccioli born in Florence in 1943, started painting as a teenager, and presented his first solo exhibition in 1973. Subsequently to his experience in ceramics and terracotta bas-reliefs, which dates back to the end of the 80’s, he began to experiment with glazes using the technique of oxygen reduction firing. Continuing his research on ceramic-based artwork, Staccioli decided to give up painting altogether, and transferred his subjects to vases and other ceramic objects.

Joining in the art initiative SOCKS FOR LIFE, he created a pair of golden baby shoes for the parents associations VIVERE ONLUS and PICCINO PICCIO ONLUS.


Baby tights by fashion designer Roberto Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli designs baby tights for SOCKS FOR LIFE

Roberto Cavalli, a famous Italian fashion designer from Florence is known for exotic prints and for creating the sand-blasted look for jeans. For SOCKS FOR LIFE, he specially designed this very nice pair of tights for babies.

We are grateful for this beautifully designed artwork with which Cavalli shows his support for improvements in maternal and newborn health and warmly thank the Italian parents associations VIVERE ONLUS and PICCINO PICCIO, to whom this artwork has been donated. 


Winners of the Italian SOCKS FOR LIFE photo contest

Winner of SOCKS FOR LIFE photo contest by VIVERE and PICCINO PICCIO

A SOCKS FOR LIFE photo contest was held in Italy on the occasion of World Prematurity Day, 17 November 2013. Many people joined in the callfor photos  by VIVERE ONLUS and PICCINO PICCIO. The selection of the winner photos was a very difficult task for the jury because of all the beautiful, creative photos handed in.

The winners are: 1)Teresa Sirianni    
2)Rous Ostex ex aequo 2)Margherita e Monica 3)Sara Della Giacoma

Congratulations to the winners and wamest thanks to all participants of the contest!


"Blue Sock", symbol of starting life, donated by Jens Thiele

Jens Thiele, "Blue Sock"

The collage moves the central motif, the children sock into the center. The sock is a symbol of the starting life. While working on the collage, Thiele discovered that the sock had received a face that was originally not planned. However, he likes the idea that the little blue sock unexpectedly has a life of its own and is looking at the world with certain astonishment.

So finally, the sock and life, both are united in one.



Mecky Mattern creates sculpture "Die Hoffnung/ The Hope" for SOCKS FOR LIFE

Mecky Mattern from Meppen, Germany, is a contemporary representational artist. Together with her husband she desgins sculptures made ​​of fiberglass. Her works have already garnered much attention at home and abroad and are represented in numerous galleries.
Her work centres on women who radiate pure joy with all their femininity and colorful splendour. Mattern termed these women “Vollwaiber”.  However, she is not interested in the apparent beauty or age but plainly in the woman herself, the woman in her everyday life.

The same applies to the present artwork  entitled "The Hope", which shows the pride of the expectant mother. At peace with herself and the world, this "Vollwaib" simply sits and joyfully awaits the arrival of a new family member.

The Matterns can confirm that life planning is not always according to our desires.

Mecky Mattern, "Die Hoffnung"


SOCKS FOR LIFE artwork made by artist Carmen Demuynck and preemies for World Prematurity Day

The artwork was created by the ex-preterm children and their siblings at the Family Day of the Vlaamse Vereniging voor Ouders van Couveusekinderen (VVOC) on World Prematurity Day, November 17, 2013. The basis is formed by a drawing made by the artist Carmen Demuynck on a triptych canvas. This drawing is colored with acrylic paint. Children cut out socks from wallpaper and decorated these with pencil, child-friendly paints and stamps. The canvas was further decorated by the children and finished with their socks and hand- and footprints. VVOC would like to thank Carmen Demuynck and Funny Events for their help in the creation of this beautiful artwork."


"Remember these days" by Dikla Stern wants to remind people about preterm infants

Dikla Stern - SOCKS FOR LIFE

Dikla Stern is an artist and designer. She lives and works in Berlin. Her works are places at collectors, private persons, companies and galleries in Germany, Israel, Luxembourg, Switzerland, France and the U.S. Her SOCKS FOR LIFE artwork is named "Remember these days" and shows a coin-operated children's machine where visitors can receive a ball after inserting a one Euro coin. The ball can be opened and it includes a printed sock with partial sections of some art works. By actively encouraging visitors to get a ball, it aims to revoke childhood memories and to remind of the joy of using a coin-operated children’s machine. At the same time, the sock is a symbol to remind the visitors to give preterm born children a chance to also be able to use an automat to receive a ball and experience joy. 


“Hilfsmittel” (“utilities”) by Anita Fried for SOCKS FOR LIFE

Anita Fried - SOCKS FOR LIFE

Anita Fried is a member of several art associations. Her work is mostly done with acrylic paint on canvas but she experiments with different materials such as charcoal and collage elements. She had several exhibitions in Germany and abroad. Her SOCKS FOR LIFE artwork is titled “Hilfsmittel” (“utilities”) and is a material collage. The artwork shows little wool socks which aim to warm, protect and help to “gain a foothold” in life, even under difficult circumstances (depicted by the rough and scratchy wire wool). We are grateful for this wonderful depiction of preterm birth.


Achim and Helgard Kühn - endless possibilities

  • SOCKS FOR LIFE Ignacio Burgos El Chavó numero 10

Achim and Helgard Kühn have been leading an atelier workshop for about 50 years. Already in third generation, the family Kühn has been actively involved in shaping the art scene in Eastern Germany. In the capital Berlin, scultpures, city furniture and other objects decorate streets and places. 

For SOCKS FOR LIFE, they donated several artistic objects using partly natural material and taking preterm birth as the central topic.


Chinese artist Gu Gan participates in SOCKS FOR LIFE


Gu Gan was born in Hunan Province in China in 1942. He studied traditional Chinese painting at the Central Fine Arts Institute, Beijing, China. During the Cultural Revolution, he was forced to work as a labourer in the printing industry for ten years until the death of Mao. He soon returned back to being an artist and has since exhibited his artwork globally in many museums both in China and the West, including the British Museum and the Museum for Far-Eastern Art in Cologne.  Gu Gan is regarded not only as a master but also a leading theorist of Chinese calligraphy. His SOCKS FOR LIFE artwork is painted in oracle bone script of the Shang Dynasty and shows the Chinese Word for premature birth. We are extremely honoured having Gu Gan participate in the cause for preterm infants.


“Am seidenen Faden” (“hanging by a thread”) by Ramona Müller-Hamleh

  • Ramona Müller-Hamleh - SOCKS FOR LIFE

Artist Ramona Müller-Hamleh is an  awarded stone sculptor who has been internationally displayed in various exhibitions. She produced her artwork “Am seidenen Faden” (“hanging by a thread”) for "Das Frühchen" e.V. Heidelberg to display at their SOCK FOR LIFE event at the Heidelberg Castle (“Heidelberger Schloss ”) in Germany at November 17 for World Prematurity Day. 

The object is a steel pillar proving to be as robust and strong as the foundation walls of a hospital. It appears that even though the monument is under preassure, it is not interested in the personal stories and destinies happening inside. “Am seidenen Faden” reflects the situation exposed to by the preterm born child and its family. The life of a preterm baby hangs on a thread, not only days, but weeks and months. The delicate socks made of thin wire behind glass seems to be within grasp but seems also so far away at the same time.

The child inside the incubator, wired and plugged in – hanging by a thread. Children react to every movement around them due to their natural curiosity wanting to learn from their environment. The mouth-blown glass pillar represents that by reflecting the unevenness of its environment. 


Rolf Hamleh sculpture "Werden" for SOCKS FOR LIFE

Rolf Hamleh - SOCKS FOR LIFE

Sculptor Rolf Hamleh is an award winning artist who has exhibited his art around the world. His SOCKS FOR LIFE artwork named “Werden” (“becoming”) is a combination of rusty and oily iron with an additional stainless steel pellet, leaving us in the dark.

The artists poses the following questions about his artwork: “What is going to “happen”….

…with the egg cell's settling?

…with the child, born by its mother?

…with the preterm baby, whose life depends on doctors and nurses?

…with the child, being guided by the protective hands of the parents?

…with the view of the beholder?” 

Rolf Hamleh produced his artwork for "Das Frühchen" e.V. Heidelberg to display at their SOCK FOR LIFE event at the Heidelberg Castle (“Heidelberger Schloss ”) at November 17 for World Prematurity Day. 


SOCKS FOR LIFE artwork by Uta Clemens

Uta Clemens - SOCKS FOR LIFE

We are thankful for the thoughtful artworks by artist Uta Clemens who donated two wonderful pieces of art to SOCKS FOR LIFE. Uta Clemens is a member of the "Deutscher Künstlerbund" and exhibited her art not only in Germany but worldwide. The first drawing, named “Passend” (“Fitting”) shows two socks. A sock’s function is normally to be a protective cover. For a preterm baby, the protective cover cannot be big enough, and the bigger the protection, the more “fitting” it is.  The second drawing, named “Passage” (“Passage”), shows three socks which aren’t yet unfolded, similar to a human being born too early. The socks are in stage of passage which most human beings experience inside the womb. 



Barbara Ihme - SOCKS FOR LIFE

The artist and therapist Barbara Ihme paints light, moving and profound watercolors, which spread a stimulating and good humor needed by everyone born and in development. Love, life and joy are the three wishes and gifts she wants to give to every human being and every newborn. She believes that those three are the drivers of trust, essentials and the matrix of bonding and closeness. We are thankful for her donation of this joy and confidence promoting artwork for SOCKS FOR LIFE. 


“la roue du bonheur” by Manfred Panzer for SOCKS FOR LIFE

“la roue du bonheur” by Manfred Panzer for SOCKS FOR LIFE

Artist Manfred Panzer' love for painting developed in his youth. However, he did not have the option to study art and completed an apprenticeship as a gilder instead. He developed his art by starting with portraits before moving on to landscapes and abstract art. His oil and acrylic paintings are linked to the tradition of abstract and expressive painting. His SOCKS FOR LIFE artwork named “la roue du bonheur” (“the wheel of luck”) was inspired by the fact that in India, the wheel used to be the symbol of the Creation and its preservation as well as continuous transformation. Due to him having a wheel in his garden, where plants grow upon, he wanted to create something along those lines, with baby socks. The wheel as a symbol for life together with the baby socks as a symbol for preterm babies make his painting what it is – a wheel of luck. He further states that there is nothing more precious than living one’s dreams and one’s life in dignity. We are very grateful for Manfred Panzer’s contribution to SOCKS FOR LIFE.


The sheltering heat overcomes the cold death - Nikolaus Mohr

"trendybaby" - SOCKS FOR LIFE

Living in Ostrach, award-winning artist Nikolaus Mohr is known for numerous solo exhibitions and group exhibitions in Germany and abroad. Nikolaus Mohr was born in in 1954 in Lindau, Germany. From 1976-81 he studied “Fine Arts” at the Staatliche Akademie Stuttgart under Prof. Moritz Curcio. His SOCKS FOR LIFE artwork is called “trendybaby” after the name of the brand of baby socks which envelope this toy tank. The fabric spans the war machine and put it out of action. The sheltering heat overcomes the cold death. We are grateful to have received this wonderful donation. 


"United colors of Benetton" - painting by Alice Neave

"United colors of Benetton" - SOCKS FOR LIFE

The painter Alice Neave was born in 1988 and studied art in Leeds. In 2010 she moved to London to focus on portrait- and abstract painting. In addition to many international exhibitions she has one of her pictures represented at the Saatchi Online Collection. She painted a picture for SOCKS FOR LIFE that is abstract, pasty as well as expressive. She says „After receiving the SOCKS FOR LIFE brief and wanting to contribute to the charity in any way I painted a bold painting, with childlike influences, such as using bold brushstrokes and evoking naivety compositionally. I hope that the buyer/winner of this painting will enjoy it as much as I enjoying creating it.” This oil painting is titled "United colors of Benetton" in its color variety it is similar to the diversity of Europe. Nevertheless, all the surfaces are connected. A commonality, which is also reflected by the European parents of preemies.


Enchanted artwork by Daniela Baumann for SOCKS FOR LIFE

  • Daniela Baumann

The artist Daniela Baumann contributes a literally big artwork to SOCKS FOR LIFE. A dress dances above a pair of golden socks. The artist printed with ink on a large piece of paper. The print in turn was applied to a raw canvas. Baumann studied painting in Würzburg and Salzburg. She sees her artwork which is called “bezaubernd” (“enchanting/adorable”) as a kind of dance towards a positive life. She interprets it as "a warming, warm story".


Kanella Tragousti adds triptych to SOCKS FOR LIFE artwork collection

The painter and photographer Kanella (Nelly) Tragousti added a triptych to our SOCKS FOR LIFE artwork collection. The pictures are named “Wartend…” ( “Waiting…” ), “…tiefe Wurzeln…” ( “… deep roots…” ) and “… schnelle Raupen” ( “…fast caterpillars” ). The artist connects three different emotions with those pictures and the artwork has been specifically produced for SOCKS FOR LIFE. Kanella Tragousti, who lives alternately in Berlin or Greece, was originally a painter but has since made a name for herself as photographer. In 2008, she was choosen to work as a still photographer for the film "The dust of time" by the great Greek director Theo Angelopoulos. Her artwork has been exhibited in Germany, Triest and Greece. 

Kanella (Nelly) Tragousti


Artists and musician Edgar Bühler donated the newest SOCKS FOR LIFE artwork

Edgar Bühler

Edgar Bühler says about his artwork that a child arriving early to the world needs support in the form of medical expertise, human love, and at last but not least technology. The technology involved looks awkward in that moment. It penetrates the small body of a human and stands as a rather imperfect counterpart contrived by humans. However, it serves a purpose in the interplay of all factors. Edgar Bühler feels the technology involved as brittle and strange in that moment but he realises that it also beneficial and therefore wonderful. Edgar Bühlers work can be seen at various national and international exhibitions.


Markus Brenner donates “Fisch Riot 1”

Markus Brenner - "Fisch Riot 1"

Why do fish swim naked? There could be many answers. Artist Markus Brenner addresses such questions by taking pictures of fish in bathing suits. He experiences his work process as if swinging between contradictions of live, beauty and awfulness, the conflict of life and death. “Fische im Badeanzug” (‘Fishes in Bathing Suits’) are paradoxical metaphors of the topic ‘identity’ and ‘appearances and reality’. They are the trade mark of Markus Brenner and are represented in numerous multifarious productions (e.g. “” / ‘Politcal Fish Party’). They have been reported in various media outlets such as “Kunstforum International”, “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”, “Financial Times Deutschland”, “Art-online”, “Spiegel-Online” amongst others. Markus Brenner donated us this artwork called “Fisch Riot 1” from the series "Fische im Badeanzug" which we are very grateful for. 


Ruprecht von Kaufmann donates “Merkury's Wings, 2013”

Merkury's Wings, 2013 - Ruprecht von Kaufmann

Mercury is a Roman god, he is mostly known as messenger god – hence he had wings at his helmet and sandals. Painter Ruprecht von Kaufmann donated us this wonderful artwork named “Merkury's Wings, 2013”. It’s gouache on paper and shows a tiny sock with wings. 


Irish supporters: Please sign the petition to save the Children's Graveyards (Cillini)

Our Irish readers are warmly invited to support a petition to save the Children's Graveyards (Cillini) in Ireland. The SOCKS FOR LIFE key visual originating from the the oil painting "cillin" by René Böll was inspired by the Children's Graveyards at the Achill Island, in the deep west of Ireland, babies, who died unbaptised, were also buried. Those graveyards alongside Poor Ground, Institutional Cemeteries, Workhouse and hospital cemeteries and Institutional Schools (Magdaline Laundries and care homes etc.) need to be protected by a new legislation. We would be also grateful if you are Irish, can sign the petition and get as many people as possible to do the same.


SOCKS FOR LIFE artwork by Elfriede Jelinek

Elfriede Jelinek Sock Art

“Very small and made entirely of wool” – that’s what Elfriede Jelinek has written on her piece of sock art. The winner of the ‘Nobel Prize in Literature’ donated this wonderful artwork to our SOCKS FOR LIFE campaign.


EFCNI received the first artwork for SOCKS FOR LIFE

SOCKS FOR LIFE, the European art campaign for premature babies launched this Wednesday in Cologne. EFCNI chairman and chief executive Silke Mader received the oil painting "cillin" from the hands of the painter René Böll at his artist workshop. The picture is in French format (114 x 146 cm) and depicts one of the secret cemeteries at the Achill Island, in the deep west of Ireland, where preterm babies, who died unbaptised, were also buried. The picture is painted in many layers in a style similar to the technique of Baroque art. The emphasis of the artwork is put towards the many shades of the color green. The picture will go on tour in late autumn 2013. There are exhibitions planned in Brussels, Munich and Lübeck. René Böll is the first artist who donated his art work for our initiative to raise awareness about prematurity in Europe. Ten other well-known artists have already announced that they will donate their art towards our cause. Silke Mader thanked René Böll for his great commitment by giving him one of the EFCNI care-pins. 

René Böll and Silke Mader

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