2023. Documentation, photography, audio, video
Berlin, Germany

Thikwa Werkstatt für Theater und Kunst is an art workshop for the professionalization of artists with intellectual disabilities located in Berlin.

Thikwa is neither a school nor a leisure space for artistic creation. Thikwa is a center where artists with and without intellectual disabilities work professionally on different individual and collective projects in the visual and performing arts. It is a kind of Bauhaus where its artists work 35 hours a week on creation within the visual arts, music, dance, drama or sport.

Outsider Art is a term that describes art created outside the limits of official culture, art market, artistic currents or Academia. It is a term normally used to refer to, among other groups, artists with disabilities, chronic illnesses, deaf and neurodiverse cultural workers.

Outsider artists work creating unprecedented themes and deconstructing technical processes. Some outsider art reflects extreme mental states,  particular idiosyncrasies or elaborate fantasy worlds often captured through repetition and seriation.

However, I don't really like the term Outsider and I prefer to call them Artsiders.

Fabian Bischoff / Artworks

Torsten Holzapfel / Artworks
Created in 1995 the THIKWA WERKSTATT FÜR THEATER UND KUNST (Thikwa Workshop for Theater and Art) is today an art and theater center of international reputation, in which 43 artists currently work with a focus on diverse artistic professionalization.

The Thikwa artists are present at exhibitions in renowned museums, galleries and other exhibition spaces around Europe. However, for some of the Thikwa artists it is difficult to apply for grants, awards or art residencies through open calls due to the non-inclusive format of such applications, usually characterized by a statement, a dossier and a curriculum vitae, sometimes very difficult to fill in for people with intellectual disabilities.  

This is the reason of ARTSIDERS. Through videoportraits, Thikwa artists can show their work and explain it in front of a camera by visiting places that inspire them or have influenced their work. Through photographs they can present themselves. Through documents and dossiers, also created for this project, they can show the development of their work over the years or their curriculum vitae.

Peter Pankow / Artworks

This work was produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union.

Thanks to Nicole Hummel, Nina Ryba and Luisa Walther for their help and to all the participant artists for their collaboration:

Lia Massetti, Addas Ahmad, Louis Edler, Karol Golebiowski, Ingo Joers, Felix Brünig, Fabian Bisschof, Debrecina Arega, Cornelia Glowniewski, Corinna Heidepriem, Lukasz Loska,
Oliver Rincke, Peter Panków, Stephan Sauerbier, Tim Petersen, Torsten Holzapfel, Vincent Martinez, Deniz Doga, Merete Kaatz, Robert Jannin, Anne-Sophie Mosch, Sammy Serag, Rachel Rosen, Mereika Schulz, Hilarius Urban, Laura Rammo and Atalay Dogan.

The THIKWA WERKSTATT FÜR THEATER UND KUNST is operated as a cooperation between the Nordberliner Werkgemeinschaft gGmbH (nbw) and the Theater Thikwa e.V.


Torsten Holzapfel (1965 Berlin) is a visual artist and has been working at THIKWA Werkstatt für Theater und Kunst for more than 25 years.

His artwork reflects his interest in the Berlin subway (U-Bahn), big cities and cartography.
Recently he has made a series of paintings with each of the subway stations of the U8 line in Berlin.
For this series he has been nominated in 2023 for the prestigious "euward9" award, the European art award for painting and graphic arts in the context of mental disability

Torsten Holzapfel / Artworks

Vincent Martinez / Artworks

Felix Brünig / Artworks

Oliver Rincke / Artworks

Lia Massetti (1989 Berlin) is a visual artist and dancer working at Thikwa Werkstatt für Theater und Kunst since 2011.

Her work is characterized by an abstract representation in medium and large format recalling color waves worked mainly on paper and in a chromatic range based on acrylic paint where terracotta tones predominate.

Lia Massetti / Artworks

Karol Golebiowski / Artworks

Anne-Sophie Mosch / Artworks

Robert Janning / Artworks

Tim Petersen (1974 Berlin) is an illustrator and performer working at Thikwa Werkstatt für Theater und Kunst.

Tim usually creates his illustrations in various formats on paper, often with vibrant colors using felt-tip pens. His works, which coincide with some stylistic lines of Psychedelic art, are surrounded by natural motifs, surreal iconographies and texts that usually reflect experiences he had during his years living in Bolivia and which he combines with present dreams and fantasies.

In 2022 Tim was nominated for the Federal Art Prize for People with Disabilities exhibiting his work at Villa Bosch in Radolfzell

Tim Petersen / Artworks

Merete Kaatz / Artworks

Lia Massetti / Artworks

Deniz Dogan / Artworks

Rachel Rosen / Artworks

Cornelia Glowniewski (1958 Himmelsthür) is an artist with a long career who has been working at Thikwa Werkstatt für Theater und Kunst since 1995.

Conny's work has been shown in exhibition spaces such as Kommunale Galerien, Gallery Good, Kunsthaus Kannen or Galerie Art Cru among others and has received nominations and awards such as 22.Bundeskunstpreis für Menschen mit Behinderung or the Lothar Späth Förderpreis.
Conny's work is characterized by the seriality and repetition of motifs, which Conny captures over and over again, always with small compositional changes. She is currently involved in a large project in which she portrays her great idol Bad Spencer in many different facets, sometimes accompanied by Terence Hill. For this project she is using acrylic paint on canvas, with a predominance of terracotta tones, in formats from 40x40 cms to 80x80 cm.

Cornelia Glowniewski / Artworks

Deniz Dogan (1992 Berlin) is a Berlin-based visual artist and performer who has been working at Thikwa Werkstatt für Theater und Kunst since 2016.

Influenced by the stores that are part of her weekly shopping, Deniz started some time ago an artistic series that is now characterized by motifs and logos of large commercial chains such as Aldi, Edeka, McDonald's, Zara, among others, which she usually represents through bas-reliefs in glazed ceramics.

Deniz has shown his work at Gallery Good in Berlin, Kunsthaus Kannen or Galerie Kulturhaus Spandau among others. She also collaborates frequently as a cultural mediator with the Berlin State Museums or INARTdis Project where she gives workshops and guides art projects.

Deniz Dogan / Artworks

Debrecina Arega / Artworks

Corinna Heidepriem / Artworks

Lukasz Loska / Artworks

Corinna Heidepriem (1974 Berlin) is an actress and illustrator working at Thikwa Werkstatt für Theater und Kunst since 1997. Her artwork is characterized by serialization and repetition. For more than ten years she has been using the same size and color of paper as well as markers and pens always of the same brand.

She has made hundreds of works where she repeats motifs such as kites, trees, red and green apples, rooms, meals, Fanta and beer bottles or juices in tetra brick among many others.

His artwork has been exhibited in exhibition spaces such as Caixa Forum in Spain, Tárt Kapu Galéria in Hungary or the Documenta in Kassel, Germany, among others.

Corinna Heidepriem / Artworks