Client and Context

Publication Design | Visual Communication Design

Stein Ist Stille – Beyond the Silence celebrates the work of sculptor Dörte Berner. This hardcover coffee-table book documents her creative journey as a child refugee from the Second World War in Europe, to an established artist and adopted daughter of African soil – a continent that has provided her with inspiration, peace, and space. 

Expertise and Solution

The catalogue design

Featuring 158 pages, the book is thoughtfully curated and designed into structured sections allowing the reader to navigate a lifetime’s worth of work based on specific themes. The first part of the book focuses on Berner’s life, creative process, and seminal works in full colour with the last part dedicated to a chronological black and white catalogue.

Typography and Colour

A combination of Guida, Brandon and scans of Berner’s own handwriting was used throughout the catalogue and communication design material for the exhibition. Guida lends an optical but charming idiosyncratic sensibility to the sculpture forms while Berner’s handwriting speaks for itself. Stone-like colours were sampled from the images to either highlight or offset the work that beautifully translates to the bond-like textured paper on which the catalogue was printed. 

500 copies of Stein Ist Stille / Beyond the Silence were launched amongst family and friends at a special exhibition of the same name at The Project Room, 20 November 2020.

About Dörte Berner


Dörte Berner (b. 1942, Posen, Germany) studied sculpture at the University of Fine Arts in Nürnberg, Germany. After getting married in 1966 the couple emigrated to live on a farm in Namibia. First on Farm Dorka and later on the Farm Peperkorrel Berner created over 350 sculptures since. The expressive power of her sculptures gained widespread international recognition and acclaim early in her career. Many of the sculptures impress with the sheer size of the stones. Some weigh more than 500 kilograms. Yet the works speak with the subtleties of their forms, textures, and juxtapositions. Ultimately they touch us because they are able to express our fundamental emotions, our struggles, and our resilience. Since 2011 Berner's works can be visited at Home of Sculpture, a permanent exhibition space on the Farm Peperkorrel, showing a great collection of her works from Latitudes.

Excerpt from ‘Note of Thanks’

“This book would not have been written without the active help of many people. I would especially like to thank Frieda Lühl, Andrea Behnsen, and Phillip Lühl for their tireless efforts. Thanks also to Helge Denker and Patrick Dutoit. The Turipamwe team in Windhoek also gave invaluable advice, showed great personal interest, and made creative contributions; I thank them for that.”

This portfolio makes use of a selection of pages taken from the book.

Exhibition opening 

Excerpt from
‘A Life of Form in a World of Stone’
by Helge Denker

“In our digital reality, flooded daily with countless visuals that hold our attention for only seconds at a time, Dörte continues to shape stone through slow, meticulous physical labour. She produces a tangible permanence, which takes on a new significance.
It is the antithesis of our modern, fleeting virtual reality.
It draws us back into a physical, earthly realm – and here confronts us with the fundamental condition of being human.”

Exert from
‘What moves Dörte Berner’
by Dörte Berner

“For me art is a form of freedom and therefore the highest expression of hope. Especially in Africa I sense the strong force of the earth, of the creatures and the cosmos. Africa provides me the opportunity to be creative. From that,
I draw the energy to make sculptures.

It is a give-and-take.

I am grateful for this.”

Project Credits

Client / Publisher: Dörte Berner

Introductory Text: Helge Denker
Content Production:  Andrea Behnsen | Frieda Lühl | Phillip Lühl

Sketches: Dörte Berner

Project Managements: Andrea Behnsen | Frieda Lühl, The Project Room

English Sub Editor: Gretha du Plessis

Photography: Patrick Dutoir, Volker Berner, Elrico Gawanab, Katinka Bester, Helge Denker, Gerd Kending, Helga Kohl

Art Direction / Graphic Design: Laschandré Coetzee

Exhibition Location: The Project Room

Production Management: Turipamwe 

Book printing: Novus Print, Cape Town

Event photography: Jean-Claude Tjitamunisa

Portfolio and Mockups: Jean-Claude Tjitamunisa | Candice Mouton