Olef Dam - Hellenthal, Germany

Olef Dam

World's largest drawing created using high-pressure cleaners

By carrying out restoration cleaning on buildings and monuments, including the heads of the American presidents sculpted into Mount Rushmore (USA) or the colonnades in St. Peter's Square in Rome, the cleaning machines manufacturer Kärcher is making a global contribution to preventing the deterioration of historic monuments.

In April 2007, as part of its cultural sponsorship programme, Kärcher was involved not just in preserving but in creating a brand-new artwork for the first time: in collaboration with the artist Klaus Dauven, the world's largest drawing was created on the 282-metre-long, 59-metre-high wall of the Olef dam in Hellenthal in Germany's Eifel region. The artwork is unique in its execution: instead of paint, the artist used Kärcher high-pressure cleaners as his medium. The drawing, which measures 8,000 m2, was completed in just two weeks. It is entitled "Wildlife Variations" and depicts larger-than-life-size animal motifs. These were a very deliberate choice of Klaus Dauven: "The interplay between woodland animals and fish is very appropriate for the surrounding national park and lake", said the artist.

After more than a year of extensive planning, the project began on 2 April 2007. First of all, individual points of the motif were projected onto the wall of the dam and marked with modelling clay to create a guide for the artist. Then the high-pressure cleaners came into play: by removing moss, algae and lichen, individual elements of the drawing gradually emerged. Squirrels, deer, pike, buzzards and other wildlife have been impressively depicted in the contrast between the cleaned, light-coloured dam wall and the still dirty, dark surface.

The project unfolded in view of a large number of curious onlookers and tourists, who watched the event with interest. "With this artwork we have gained an attraction", said Mayor Manfred Ernst enthusiastically.

Olef dam
Olef dam
Olef dam