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ART

H A B E N S C o n t e m p o r a r y

A r t

R e v i e w

GORDON BEHR MIYOUNG MARGOLIS MICHA WILLE PATRICIA GULYAS MISHA GORODINSKY ANNA ARBITER CHARLOTTE ESPOSITO SOPHIE IREMONGER LEE SYDNEY , Mixed media a work by

ART


ART

H A B E N S C o n t e m p o r a r y

Charlotte Esposito

Micha Wille

Misha Gorodinsky

United Kingdom

Austria

Israel

My works constitute a subjective narrative about the points of contact between emergent phenomena of discourse (e.g., selfiesation of scociety, hyperindividualism, meritocracy, enstrangement, nuveau riche etc.) and the individual. Image contents exemplify various constellations of interaction, ironize and comment from different perspectives.

Art for me is a therapy, a life changing element to improve the quality of life. I see the world as an abstract. However, most of us navigate through life living by the book.

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Working in the abstract opens the channels of endless creativity by going outside the “box�.Art in our world should become the vehicle for change. That is why I love and live art.

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Miyoung Margolis

Gordon Behr

USA

USA

I'm a dancer but also, I'm an artist. I always do painting, drawing and putting something new mixed media as a method of expression. Those have been existed together since the beginning of mankind.

I am driven by an inherent passion to paint, I have had this all my life its only in recent years that I have sought an audience firstle having a place on devient art with a positive responses ,I wish to continue to grow and move forward in other venues for I feel to let this out now is the right time, there is a surreal element in much of my works, I believe the way in which we perceive the real world is filtered through our thoughts emotions.

It's all about communication.Th ose are just human languages as the human mother tongue. If you love dancing and doing art, we are speaking the same language.

Patricia Gulyas France

Basely, influenced by Surrealist European artist like Magritte and Dali, I paint visions that appear through travel, wild life or musical experience.My goal is to pay tribute to Native Art and Spirit and to make alive wild life spirit in my art, mixing mystic, symbolism and culture.Like Emily Carr and Georgia O’Keeffe I need to follow my path regardless of every courant and call human to a peaceful world.


In this issue

Anna Arbiter

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Charlotte Esposito Sophie Iremonger Misha Gorodinsky

Lee Sydney

United Kingdom

In my paintings, I want to capture the fabric of the world I know well. I stay close to home, often drawing on the house I grew up in, as well as the outside world just beyond the doorstep. I also create work in response to the visual culture of my childhood and adolescence: the sentimental films and TV that had such a formative influence on me.For the most part, my work isn’t traditionally representative or realistic.

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Micha Wille Anna Arbiter

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Sophie Iremonger Ireland

1. decentralizing the human: I call this anti-anthropocentrism. 2. exploring social constructions of European naturewhy is it something we 'drive to in a car' and then safely leave behind? 3. creating depictions of apocalyptic and post apocalyptic worlds inhabited by species of past and future. 4. perverting the traditional use of other species as a symbolic lexicon. 5. creating my own lexicon of animal/plant symbolism

Lee Sydney Malaysia

My works are inspired by various things from personal views and experience to real world issues. I seek to express my thoughts in my very own style through different artistic forms. There is so much prejudice to grieve and so much need of justice in this world when every single human being should deserve better, and no one should be judged simply because they make a choice different than most.

Gordon Behr

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Miyoung Margolis Patricia Gulyas

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Special thanks to: Charlotte Seeges, Martin Gantman, Krzysztof Kaczmar, Tracey Snelling, Nicolas Vionnet, Genevieve Favre Petroff, Christopher Marsh, Adam Popli, Marilyn Wylder, Marya Vyrra, Gemma Pepper, Maria Osuna, Hannah Hiaseen and Scarlett Bowman, Yelena York Tonoyan, Edgar Askelovic, Kelsey Sheaffer and Robert Gschwantner.

On the cover:

, a work by


Anna Arbiter Arbiter In my paintings, I want to capture the fabric of the world I know well. I stay close to home, often drawing on the house I grew up in, as well as the outside world just beyond the doorstep. I also create work in response to the visual culture of my childhood and adolescence: the sentimental films and TV that had such a formative influence on me. For the most part, my work isn’t traditionally representative or realistic. I use my subjects as starting points, as a means to express the feelings associated with them. Although the source of my paintings are often highly personal, I always try to produce images that have a generic quality and a universal appeal, images that evoke types of places and objects, rather than specific ones. In a sense, my paintings are like metaphors; they generate meaning through approximation and comparison. Like metaphors, they gesture towards other things, but they can’t be expressed in any other way. Ornament (2015)

Anna Arbiter

Oil and acrylic on board // 24 x 16 cm

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System (2015) Oil on board // 22 x 27 cm

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Anna Arbiter

An interview with An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Katherine C. Wilson, curator arthabens@mail.com

Anna Arbiter's paintings unveil a variety of unexpected relationships between a representative exploration of reality and an insightful process of abstraction and selfreflection. Her works convey symbolic and surrealist elements into a coherent consistency and urges us to explore the liminal area in which emotions blend with a structured gaze on contemporary age. One of the most convincing aspect of Arbiter's approach is the way it condenses the permanent flow of associations in the realm of memory and experience: we are really pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating artistic production. Hello Anna and welcome to ART Habens: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that have particularly influenced your evolution as an artist and that inform the way you conceive your works?

Anna Arbiter

I didn't go to art college, so I suppose you could say I'm 'self-taught', but that doesn't feel accurate. All artists are self-taught to some degree, and I understand that there are few art schools these days - in England at least - that teach painting technique intensively. I studied Art until I left school, and it was in my final years there that I developed a real interest in painting. It was a difficult time in my life - my family and I had been through some very painful experiences - and there was a lot of uncertainty. Looking back, I think it was important to me to have something I felt I could control, something that didn't rely on other people to play their parts.

practice as a painter: the deeply personal, 'firstperson' perspective, the attempt to capture wistfulness and longing, those elusive, adolescent feelings. There's also the mild obsession with American culture that sometimes comes out in my paintings as well as my reading choices; an obsession based more on the TV and films I watched growing up, and the emotions associated with those, than the reality of the country itself. Your paintings reveal an incessant search of an hybrid synergy between memory and imagination: the recurrent reference to an emotional but at the same time universal imagery seems to remove any historic gaze from the reality you refer to, offering to the viewers the chance to perceive it in a more atemporal form. In this sense, I daresay that the semantic juxtaposition between sign and matter that marks out your approach, allows

After school, I went on to study English at Bristol University, and then to Oxford to do a Master's in 20th Century Literature. At Oxford, I wrote about mid-century American prose, particularly coming-of-age stories like J. D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. There are certainly links between my interest in those books and my

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Anna Arbiter

Blanket (2015) Oil on board // 35 x 35 cm

you to go beyond any dichotomy between Tradition and Contemporariness, and that in the interesting Ornament establishes a stimulating osmosis between materials from contingent era and an absolute approach to Art: do you recognize any contrast between Tradition and Contemporariness? And in

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particular, what is the role of memory in your process?

It's interesting that you bring up the relationship between the culturally specific and the atemporal. That's definitely something I consider - if inarticulately - when producing an

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Floor (2015) Oil on board

to the concept of the ideal chair that lives in our minds, the chair that comprises the very essence of chairness. And, for him, the painted image of the chair was even less valuable than the one we sit on - he would have all painters banished from his Republic - because the image, being only a representation, is even further from the ideal. A number of my paintings - Mosaic, System, Living Room - could be said to track an attempt to reverse this order, to render the image closer to the ideal than the object the image is derived from. In these paintings, I'm trying to express something essential about the things we see and experience, to draw out the strange, shared quality of things.

TV (2015) Acrylic on board // 25 x 40 cm

image. Above all, I want the image to resonate. For me, that often means combining contemporary elements with a sense of something more generic. So, in the case of Ornament, the pink and purple forms - which spring from my own, culturally contingent experiences - may tap into something in the collective memory of viewers from my own generation (I think many women my age would recall a childhood punctuated by those colours). Yet, at the same time, the image doesn't refer to a specific object. As you say, it's a signifier that only half-gestures towards a signified.

I would like to invite our readers to visit http://www.annaarbiter.com in order to get a wide idea of your artistic production: in particular, I would like to focus on "Blanket" and "TV", that our readers have already had the chance to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. The way your paintings resist immediate classification in terms of their subject matter reminds me of the idea behind Thomas Demand's works, when he stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological narrative elements within the medium instead". While

When Plato talked about 'ideals', he suggested that the chairs we sit on in this world are second

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Anna Arbiter

Mosaic (2015) Oil on canvas // 75 x 60 cm

conceiving Art could be considered an abstract activity, there is always a way of giving it a permanence that goes beyond the intrinsic ephemeral nature of the concepts you explore. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

permanence that goes beyond the ephemeral relates to what I was saying earlier about Platonic ideals, about the attempt to capture something essential from the subject. As far as personal experience goes, I don't think we can ever get away from it. I believe that all aspects of human behaviour are in some way driven by formative past experiences, which means that that, even if the personal isn't directly legible in the work, all aspects of artistic production can be read as conscious or unconscious expressions of who we are and where we come

This idea about imbuing subjects with a

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The Living Room (2015) Acrylic on board // 20 x 24 cm

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Anna Arbiter

Chippewa Falls (2015) Oil and acrylic on canvas // 133 x 80 cm

gaze that I would define oniric and that has reminded me of De Chiricho's composition, but also evident references to our real world. As Philippe Dagen once established in his Le Silence des peintres, the coming of a straight realism has caused a progressive retenchment of painting from the mere representetive role of reality. With exception

from. In that respect, traces of the personal are present in our very actions and choices as artists: the choice to paint rather than to sculpt; to address the real rather than the imagined; the choice to make art at all. What has immediately caught my eyes of Living Room is the way it conveys an abstract

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recorded - and Pictorialism - something composed, something made - is an important one. For me, that's the beauty of painting: our images can refer to the things we know, love and hate in this world while, at the same time, existing only as themselves - things newcreated, possessing their own, unique reality. Another interesting work of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled "Mosaic": I like the way its inner dynamism stimulates the viewer’s psyche and consequently works on both a subconscious and a conscious level. Do you conceive such composition on an instinctive way or do you rather structure your process in order to reach the right balance? The building in Mosaic is drawn from a building in the area of London where I grew up. That was only a starting point though, and the way I translated it into paint was fairly instinctive, yes. I called the painting Mosaic because the experience of making it somehow reminded me of arranging tiles on a flat surface. Of course, in painting there are infinite possibilities - you're not arranging shapes and forms, you're creating them - but sometimes it helps to imagine that there aren't, that if you trust your unconscious impulses, structure will emerge. While I was painting Mosaic, I kept thinking about Gustav Klimpt's work, though that may not be obvious in the finished piece. The surfaces of his paintings have something so robust about them, so well formed; they're mosaic-like in that sense. For me, a great painting is like a fossil something that looks like it's been dredged-up; something that could exist only in its specific incarnation, no other. I definitively love the way you recontextualize the concept of landscape urges our perception in order to challenge the common way we perceive not only the outside world, but our inner dimension as well. Walking the viewer into a journey into our internal world, "Chippewa Falls" and "Days of Heaven" seem to provide the viewer of an Ariadne's thread that, to quote Simon Sterling's words, force things to relate that would probably otherwise be unrelated. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal

of Hyperrealism movement, Painting is nowadays more and more marked out with a symbolic feature. Do you think that the dichotomy between Representation and Pictorialism is by now irremediable?

This idea of a dichotomy between Representation - something observed and

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Anna Arbiter

Days of Heaven (2015) Oil and acrylic on canvas // 50 x 40 cm

unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

happens, then - something almost alchemical when I come to depict these places that themselves had a hand in influencing how I look at the world.

There's an intimate connection, I think, between landscape - that which we live in - and the mind - that which lives in us. So an abstracted landscape is a special kind of artifact; it tracks the painter's efforts to form that which has formed him. This also relates to my interior paintings - TV, Living Room, Walls - which are all inspired by my own home, the place where I grew up, and which contributed to the formation of my own internal world. Something interesting

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The dialogue established by the nuances of tones you combine is a crucial aspect of your style, that is capable of conveying a variety of thoughts and emotions: in particular, I have really enjoyed the tones of "Summer, 1994", that have provided me of such a tactile sensation. How much does your own psychological make-up determine the perspective composition and the nuances of

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Summer, 1994 (2015) Oil and acrylic on board // 21 x 24 cm

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Anna Arbiter

Walls (2015) Oil on canvas // 60 x 60 cm

tones you decide to use in a piece? In particular, how do you develop your composition?

tactile. More than some of my other paintings, it feels like an artifact - a document of a time and the events and feelings connected with that time. It was actually inspired by a photograph of me, taken by my father when I was about three

I'm glad you experienced Summer, 1994 as

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Alimos, Greece (2015) Oil and acrylic on canvas // 60 x 75 cm

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or four years old, on a beach in the South of England. The painting doesn't refer directly to the scene in the photograph, but it borrows some of the colours and certain compositional elements. It's an attempt to capture some of the emotions associated with the photograph and the experience of looking at it now, in retrospect. I think it also captures something about the era more generally: the quality and status of photography at that time, the way that images were used and thought about. Your works are strictly connected to the chance to establish a deep involvement with the viewers and you seem to aim to delete the frontiers between the artist and people. So before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a question about the nature of the relation with your audience: in particular, do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process in terms of what type of language for a particular context?

In the latter part of the 20th Century, with PostStructuralism, people began to consider the possibility that an artwork doesn’t carry a fixed message. Since then, there's been a fashion for artists demanding that viewers be satisfied with a purely sensory experience of their work, rather than troubling themselves over what the work is 'about'. I'm sympathetic to that view, to a degree. Of course, my paintings wouldn't function without viewers who are willing to take them at face value, just for the way they look, rather than as a code for something else. But when I paint these very personal pictures, I always try to look at and edit them with a more universal eye. I want them to be legible. After all, as I've said, I'm trying to communicate something about the shared nature of experience, about the generality of the things we see and feel. So the viewer has to have something to hold onto - a point of reference whether that’s a recognisable object or a configuration of colours or forms rooted in the familiar (rooted, perhaps, in popular culture, or everyday living, or the art historical canon).

Anna Arbiter, photo by Jos Brient

illusion (the painting as a representation of something else) and object (the painting as the thing itself). I think this might be my favourite thing about painting: it's capacity to act simultaneously as object and message. That's why I find it more exciting then a novel or a piece of sculpture. I want to exploit this capacity in my work. So, even if one of my paintings isn't directly 'representational', I want it to retain this message-carrying function. Certainly the message from the painter arrives with the viewer changed, but it arrives nevertheless. It's like a message in a bottle.

Painting inhabits a strange hinterland between

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Anna Arbiter

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Anna. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

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surface of the work will be physically textured, nor that I'm trying to create the illusion of sculptural form within the image. I suppose the comparison to sculpture is more metaphorical than that. It relates to what I was saying earlier about the relationship between Representation and Pictorialism, and about a good painting being like a fossil. I'm talking about an image that represents something stands in for something - but that also stands alone in the world: an age-old, new-born, independent creature.

More and more, I'm interested in the surfaces that surround us in our everyday lives - the wallpapers, the pebble dash - and how to rerepresent and re-enliven them. I hope to achieve an almost sculptural quality in my new paintings, which is just starting to happen with works like Walls. By sculptural, I don't mean to say that the

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Charlotte Esposito Esposito British visual artist Charlotte Esposito produces mixed media€ works that€express both€her€own life journey as well as common major themes€that affect us all. Esposito paints, sculpts and manipulates the surface of€her canvasses using not only brushes but screws, credit cards and other useful implements as her tools.€ Often using her design based past to create a compelling narrative Esposito conveys a particular€time€or€emotion through her art.€Her work develops from memories and experiences and the ideas for each painting emerge months or even years before she begins to paint.€Subject matter is wide ranging and touches upon themes such as love and human connection, identity, femininity, the natural world, health, politics and spirituality.€ She has a major body of work that links to her own experiences€of infertility and her material led abstract works skim across€the boundaries of art, design, textiles and sculpture. After studying Design in the UK Esposito graduated with a Bachelor of Arts honors degree from Lincoln University during which time she was producing large scale sculpture. She is a qualified teacher€and was€previously a member of the Audi Design Foundations' 'New Talent Group', now the James Dyson Foundations'€'Innovation Group’ consisting of a small number of educators displaying exceptional talent in terms of both teaching ability and subject knowledge. In 2007 she developed a teaching resource for schools in association with Wayne Hemmingway of 'Hemmingway Design'; later working for Dyson. She has written several published articles related to€education and was a contributing author for the most recent GCSE 'Product Design Workbook' published by CPG books.€

€ In September 2012 Esposito was taken on by€renowned West London gallery€Debut Contemporary. Her work€has featured in 'The Grove Resident' Magazine, London, and she was also selected by 'Stylist' Magazine to take part in their 'Women in Making' competition in association with 'Triumph UK'. In 2012 ‘Infertility Network UK’ published an article about her life and art. She€has sold woks in to major private collections and has had solo showcase's€at the€'Kleinwort Benson' HQ's€and the€'Saatchi and Saatchi' private pub in London.€€She has most recently exhibited with Le Dame Art Gallery at€The Melia White House Hotel, Regents Park, London.

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Ephemeral Body, 2013. Framed Mixed Media on Canvas

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An interview with

Charlotte Esposito

An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator with the collaboration of Catherine C. Williams arthabens@mail.com

Ranging in a wide range of subjects, Charlotte Esposito's work creates a compelling narrative that pervades her investigation about natural world, politics and spirituality: incorporating together traditional materials with unconventional techniques, she accomplishes a refined investigation about the point of convergence between a representative exploration and an insightful gaze on our inner dimension. In her work entitled Landscape of a Woman she does not simply create a window into an imagined dimension, but an environment, that gently invites us to explore the concept of identity in the contemporary age. I am very pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Hello Charlotte, and welcome to ART Habens: to start this interview, would you like to tell our readers something about your background? You have a solid formal training and after your studies in Design you graduated with a Bachelor of Arts honors degree from Lincoln University. How have these experiences influenced your evolution as an artist and how do they impact on the way you currently conceive and produce your works? I began expressing myself creatively at a very early age and when I was young I would make entire replica miniature worlds from wood and found materials, I was proficient at really intricate embroidery, I loved painting and drawing and Art & Design was always my best subject at school. I have a creative mind and that forces itself upon me in a multitude of ways, by that I mean that I cannot think about the world in any other way. I studied Art & Design at Brighton College and I found myself torn between Fine Art and 3D Design. I chose to study Design & the Built Environment at Leeds Metropolitan University, primarily because people kept advising me to do something that would make money. The course in Leeds was preparing us for a career as commercial designers and I enjoyed the learning experience but I in almost all cases my projects naturally led to a fine art outcome. I would paint on to my design sheets and my furniture morphed itself in to sculpture. I’ve always had one foot in both subjects and that made it hard for me to choose what to do.

Charlotte Esposito

At the end of my second year of University I swapped to a course in Lincoln which I felt had a wider spectrum in terms of realising a final outcome. There was no stipulation on my ideas having to be functional and we could use a huge range of materials. We had access to stone carving equipment, wood working work-shops, glass making, printing and so on and at that time I began making both large and small scale sculpture. In my private life I continued to make and paint at home and to work on projects that were separate to my formal studies. It is twenty years since I began my initial university course and my journey to become an independent Fine Artist has been an intricate evolution of both psyche and skill.

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After University I trained to be a teacher because I wanted a solid wage alongside the Art. I had little to no financial assistance throughout my entire education and so every course, every bit of equipment and every scrap of material had to be paid for by me. Producing Art can be very expensive in terms of both time and materials and in the early days it was difficult for me to do this without a job. During a trip to Brazil in 2000 I took on a post as a Special Needs Assistant at The British School in Rio Di Janerio, initially just to fund my travels and gain experience but whilst I was there I discovered that I had a skill for working with children so when I returned to the UK, & after finishing University, I completed a PGCE and spent the next eight years teaching. I taught both Art & Design and Design & Technology and became a subject leader for D&T. I dropped my hours down to four days a week and began trying to make my own work at home. I loved teaching but I had a huge work load and I found it increasingly difficult to juggle that with my desire to produce my own work. I dropped my hours down to four days but still, I was not doing enough to satisfy my own cravings. Eventually I decided to come out of work and in 2010 I went self-employed.

traditional techniques and unconventional materials: before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for producing your works? In particular, have you ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts? I have a love for materials, for example I love the feeling and texture of clay and of moulding that, I am fascinated by the texture and smell of materials, I enjoy the effects of mixing paint but also of adding unusual things in to it. I like to pour paint, to feel it in my hands, to mould it on to the surface but at other times I also like to paint traditionally with a brush. Each medium offers a different effect and creates a different layer or section and I am keen on the interplay between the materials and how they complement each-other. I have the idea for a technique that I want to use for a particular painting long before I start it, so for example when I was preparing to paint Division I did four preparatory works so that I could test cutting into the canvas because I knew that I wanted to take away from the surface of it for that particular piece, as a pose to adding to it, I wanted to play with the canvas itself before I painted it. When I cut in to the canvasses they echo back to my love of embroidery; I enjoyed holding and pressing fabric between the circular wooden embroidery frame and intricately sewing, in my work I like to add to the thread by painting it white so that the technique becomes open, modern and simplified. Often I will think about techniques that I want to use years before I actually produce a piece. So I have things rattling around my head that I thought about twenty or so years ago that I still haven’t realised but I know that when the time is right that those ideas will manifest themselves. Sometimes it is just about not having the space, the right materials or the correct equipment, I will work with what I have until a time when I have the resources to produce more. There are some effects that can only be created by adding three dimensional objects and layers to a painting.

Those educational and working experiences, coupled with the things that were happening in my private life have intricately weaved themselves together to prepare me for a life as a Fine Artist and the sometimes challenging issues associated with that. In my current practise I work on two dimensional canvasses but I would say that my work is enhanced by my design skills. I sketch out the concept for my paintings almost as if they are designs in themselves, I draw on to the canvasses before I begin to apply the foundation layers and I sculpt the surface of the canvasses using layers of paint or sculpture paste. I like to feel the materials and I will sometimes cut in to the canvasses, paint with my hands and sew sections (which comes directly from my love of sewing when I was young) and I find myself using unusual tools such as credit cards, needle heads, screws, sand paper, card, bits of metal and so on. I want to mould the surface without taking away from the two dimensional origins. After I have painted the surface of the canvas I then approach the final image and sketch in to and over the top of it using pencils, pastels, crayon and Graphite.

Particularly in my Canvas Sculpture pieces the end result would only be possible through the utilisation of different disciplines. I cut in to the pieces with a Stanley knife, I sew in to them, I sculpt the surfaces and add layers of plaster bandage and I place the occasional feather or metal button, or break up the canvas with an eyelet. I wouldn’t

Multidisciplinarity is a crucial feature of your work that reveals an incessant search of an organic, almost intimate symbiosis between

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have a three dimensional surface if I were only panting. In other works my manipulation of materials is more subtle so in Landscape of a Woman the layers are soft sculpture paste and paint only but when I was thinking about the work I had the idea to separate the pieces in to four. I wanted each piece to be a piece of work in itself and I liked the idea of the possibility of four collectors buying a section each and the pieces going out in to the world separately and then coming back together one day. In reality I think that a buyer would want to take this work in one piece but that was part of the original though process. The white sections at the base of the paintings are left almost untouched to reveal more of the sculptural layers. I like some exposed parts of my canvasses to look almost like plaster or bronze, again, I think I am sculpting with the materials and with the paint and I’d like to cast some of the figures in my images in bronze one day.

ART Habens

the body in the physical sense and also in the fact that the body and sometimes parts of the mind deteriorate, disintegrate and eventually disappear. The black indicates the erosion and like a piece of fruit our body ages on a biological level, whether naturally or due to disease. We are ephemeral and to us the process is slow but against the wider sphere of time in its entirety we are each a tiny blip on the blueprint of the universe. Life as we know it (to be alive) ends when the heart stops beating and I am fascinated by the notion that we each have a finite number of beats. The wings (which I have also painted on the female in The Offering), symbolise flight; these women are not angels but physical beings, ever evolving, always moving forward. Flight for me means a movement to another place, be it physically, psychologically or spiritually. The gold leaf pieces falling near her head are an indication of her unknown destination, a new phase, a new space, a spiritual evolution, a movement forward. The body is ephemeral, a temporary vehicle in which we travel in order to evolve ourselves. My initial inspiration for this project was World Aids Day and the work was produced for a specific exhibition at The Dome in Brighton. All the works produced for the exhibition were related to the same theme but really what I was presenting here was a depiction of our temporary physical state and a snap shot of what I see when I consider the higher meaning of life beyond our physical state, Ephemeral Body sold to a collector via Saatchi this year.

In The Offering I have left parts of the female wings unpainted to expose the plaster work and this is also evident in other sections of this painting. What I wanted to do here is to reveal the sculptural sections almost like removing parts of the skin of the painting to reveal their true nature. I couldn’t achieve this effect if I didn’t combine the sculptural element in to the flat works, this just wouldn’t work with paint, it needs to be more raised and I need it to look like plaster. When I was younger I enjoyed making industrial plaster moulds and pouring in to these and I like the raw colour of the material in its natural state before it is painted, that is why I have left some sections void of paint.

Throughout my life I have suffered with multiple women’s health issues and at some point in the past I began producing work that I used almost as a tool to deal with my own reflections on this. I discovered at an early age that I was infertile and when I was teaching I went through multiple infertility investigations to try to diagnose this. Following a series of operations I had my fallopian tubes removed and for a period of time my work reflected this journey and this can be linked to earlier works like The Kerb, Assisted Conception, In Time’ and Lost Connection but within those works I found myself expanding those themes to communicate about wider issues on an emotional level. When we pass through events in our lives we all experience the same set of feelings but these feelings link to whatever solid event has presented itself to us. I genuinely believe that life throws particular issues or events our way in order for our own personal development. If we didn’t go through things in life we wouldn’t expand or grow. When I exhibit my work I can tell this story of myself but

Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from your Ephemeral Body, an interesting work that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit http://whiteorchidarts.jimdo.com in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production... In the meanwhile, would you like to tell us something about the genesis of this interesting project? What was your initial inspiration? This work depicts the image of a woman with wings sitting on the edge of a built up structure. She is statuesque yet feminine and the black marks that appear on her skin indicate the ephemeral nature of the human body. I am interested in

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Division, 100x100 x3 cm, Mixed Media on Canvas , 2013.

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what I feel is that the paintings have taken on a life of their own and given a visual narrative that suggests the way that life can affect us psychologically.

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should be. I don’t always want to conform to a conventional way of doing things. I do not want to be confined by the limited views of others and I gave up a high level job to dedicate myself to the Art that I knew I should be making. The Escape shows a woman pushing against the confines of society, shattering through the boundaries, keeping strong despite the best efforts of others to box her in. Sometimes we must knock down the walls around us in order to truly be the person that we can be. The Escape depicts a woman in the process of leaving behind and beginning something new.

Moving away from my infertility journey the works that began to evolve from my initial collection touched upon other universal concepts. ‘In My Mind’ which is a fairly recent work considers how the experiences that we live change and shape us. We leave a part of our former self in every experience that we have and move forward changed. The Offering is about shifting relationships and human connection and the invisible link between each of us and the people that we care about in our lives. It is about changes in relationships and the importance of letting go of people for our own growth, even if we love them. In this work the female is making an offering to the male, he is only listening with one ear. The egg is a metaphor for infertility but it is also representative of the wider need to let go of our expectations when we realise that a relationship is coming to an end. Sometimes what we want in life is not what life provides us with, sometimes there is a different plan that we are not aware of.

When I first happened to get to know Division I tried to relate all the visual information and the reference to simple geometric patterns to a single meaning. But I soon realized that I had to fit into the visual rhythm suggested by the work, forgetting my need for a univocal understanding of its content: in your videos, rather than a conceptual interiority, I can recognize the desire to enable us to establish direct relations... Would you say that it's more of an intuitive or a systematic process? Division is in part a reference to biological cell division. It fascinates me that we were once all one cell at one time in our lives. Tiny and yet full of everything required to produce the complex and detailed human beings that we become. Each circle in this painting contains a new cell division. The larger circles represent infinity and the concept that all cells relate and connect to the same path and origins. Where I place geometric patterning in semi abstract works it is an intuitive approach and the shapes are reproducing and placing them-selves in line with an innate desire to create pattern as it should be and as it is often found in nature.

‘The Escape’ is about pushing through the boundaries that we set for ourselves (whether consciously or sub-consciously), and those which others impose on us. As a woman in Art I feel the boundaries of the industry, I am aware of them through my entire contact with other artists and the way that this limits me. It makes me want to escape (sometimes it makes me want to scream), to push the boundaries and to prove that I can achieve just as much as any male artist through my own work and in my own style and my own way. I have met women who shy away from feminine art because they think that showing their real expression will mean that their work will be looked down on and they worry that the work needs to be more masculine in nature. My work is feminine in many ways because I am a woman, I am not frightened of that and I never make a choice of media or subject matter based upon avoiding my own expression of femininity. I want to be accepted as an artist for everything that I am and escape those chains.

The space around the circles allow the cells to ‘breath’ but this space in the painting is as important as the tight geometric circles that make up the vertical centre line of the composition. I wanted the viewer to be drawn to the importance of the cells and when I was sketching out this painting I just kept drawing vertically. The piece just didn’t look right in a horizontal alignment or without the space around the shapes. The sculptural shapes that float around the middle section (the white-sea) are an illustration of random floating matter. The circles that make up the division in the painting are purposefully minutely off mathematically as I wanted to illustrate the imperfections in natural geometry. There are always flaws, always imperfections and it is the imperfections that make life beautiful. We don’t know why

In my own personal journey I have also had to address many personal boundaries imposed upon me but I am a fighter by nature and I don't want anyone telling me how I should live or what I

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Landscape of a Woman, x4 sections of 20 x 20 x4 cm, 2014.

ideas behind Thomas Demand's works, when he stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological narrative elements within the medium instead". While conceiving Art could be considered an abstract activity, there is always a way of giving it a permanence that goes beyond the intrinsic ephemeral nature of the concepts you explore. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

certain things happen in life but we can be certain that random things happen for a reason. When I was creating sculpture at University I found myself integrating circles in to my work often and this can be seen in my piece The Protected Self where the circles indicates a curled up human and the need for us to protect ourselves emotionally. On reflection this piece was linked to the feeling that I had in my teens and early twenties of having to protect and look after myself and of not feeling safe. In Division the outer circles protect the inner cells and in biological and literal terms that little cell became my daughter. Circles are infinity and reoccur time and time again in nature, I am certain that more will reappear in my future works.

I think that all artists work differently and that in my case I cannot separate myself, my personal experiences and my desire to share how I feel about life and its many facets, from the art that I produce. Some artists say that they are purely led by the materials and that they let the work develop in the instant and I think that there is just as much merit in this. What I do think though is that in either case you are still expressing your response to the world and you are still showing the

Your hybrid approach is intrinsically connected to the chance of creating an area of intellectual interplay with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from the condition of a merely passive audience. In particular, when referring both to your own life journey as well as common major themes that affect us all, your approach has reminded me of the

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audience the world through your eyes. If you start a sculpture out of clay but you let your hands guide you, you are still influenced by the thoughts in your head that have collected from conscious or sub conscious experience over a life time, even when thinking about simple colour or shape choice.

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Lucas or Pipilotti Rist used to convey in an explicit way their messages, your works seek to maintain a more neutral approach: rather, and you seem to invite the viewers to a personal investigation about the relationships between body and the depersonalization in the contemporary age Maybe the following assumption is stretching the point a little bit, but I think that The Kerb an in The Escape reveals the connection between different cultural spheres which describes such a realtime aesthetic ethnography: you seem to be drawn to the structured worlds we inhabit and how they produce a self-defining context for our lives and experience... do you agree with this analysis? Moreover, what could be in your opinion the role that Art could play in socio-political questions?

When we consider the production of a piece of art (and unless it is a purposefully ephemeral piece which could still be photographed and become permanent in that sense) we essentially produce objects that will outlive us and it is the same when someone writes a book, takes a photograph, writes a play, or produces a piece of music, and so on. We have a need as humans to express ourselves and although our bodies are ephemeral the things that we do with our time contribute to the overall development and expansion of society.

I like my work to come out exactly as I feel it should be and what you are pointing out is that my visual representation of ‘woman hood’ is there in the work but that clearly it is a more subtle depiction than in the work of say Lucas or Rist. I think that this is most likely down to personality and a

The theme of femininity is very recurrent in your artistic production and I couldn't do without mentioning Landscape of a Woman, that I have to admit is one of my favourite works of yours. While artists such as Sarah

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desire in those women at a particular time in history to produce work of that ilk. I hugely admire the tenacity and determination of artists that chose to make hard hitting work and I think that there is a place for that which will pave the way for other female artists to present themselves openly. As I mentioned earlier in the interview I am acutely aware of the fact that I am a female fine artist and that this in itself is a challenge but what I want to do is produce work that comes naturally to me, not work as a response to that. I don’t think consciously about whether what I paint is too feminine, and I don’t purposefully create it so that it is. The women in my works are of course representative of me but at the same time I like to abstract the bodies and make them more universal, I want them to connect to all women, and in turn all men.

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Landscape of a Woman was an extension of The Kerb. In the first painting the woman is laid bare in the city but in Landscape of a Woman she undulates within the environment, becoming it and returning to her natural state. Her body becomes part of all that is around her, on a cellular level I believe that we are connected to everything around us and as women I think that we would live more peaceful lives if we were able to somehow return to a time when we were more in touch with the land, sea and sky. I honestly do not know what the solution to that would be but I know that it is an issue. Your aesthetic style is marked out by the convergence of a figurative approach with an expressionist one and I have appreciated the way In My Mind questions the ephemeral nature of perception that raises a question on the role of the viewers' viewpoint. This gently invites us to going beyond the common way we perceive not only the outside world, but our inner dimension... I'm personally convinced that some information is hidden, or even "encrypted" in the society we inhabit, so we need to decipher them. Maybe one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

When thinking about the way that humans inhabit the built up world and different cultural spheres we could certainly look at The Kerb, as well as Lost Connection. In The Kerb the woman is literally lying flat on the kerb, her head is in the dirt of the road and the city is behind her. I used a print making roller to make the paint in this image look like the dirt tracks of tires. The architectural representation does give rise to the fact that she is physically exposed in a built up environment suggesting her vulnerability. There is definitely a connection here between the body and the fact that our environments can limit and confine us, and I think that many of us have lost a connection with our natural selves. In this painting I have brought the city sky line in to the back ground of the image and the painting does lead us to consider the impact of this upon our psyche.

The woman in In My Mind is leaving behind pieces of herself. When we go through experiences we grow and change and sometimes when we walk away from something we also walk away from the person that we were in that moment and at that very time, and we can never be that person again. We are many different versions of ourselves in a life time and sometimes we miss the person that we were, and sometimes we don’t. Essentially though we leave tiny parts of ourselves in every experience that we have and we move forward as different and adjusted people. . I have an extremely analytical nature and I have a very acute sense of perception, sometimes it can feel like a burden. Sometimes I think that if I could feel less then I would be less concerned or connected to the feelings that I get from others and that this would make life easier for me. I paint about the things that I feel and observe and the visual tells the story in a more complete way than I can tell it with words. I think that as a person who is an artist who can only paint this way, at this time in my life, that I am fulfilling a need (a role) in

In Lost Connection the link is more literal; the woman is literally weeping in relation to her disconnection to the natural world. In this painting I hoped to convey the message that women are forgetting their natural selves and that the further that we move away from this the more problems that we have in terms of fertility and hormones and our reproductive systems. In The Escape the woman is confined by her own limitations and those imposed on her by others. She is escaping those limitations and she is in a transitional phase. The box around her suggests a three dimensional architectural element and again there is a link here to the idea of feeling boxed in by the structured world that we have created for ourselves.

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myself which could potentially reveal unexpected sides of our inner nature to the viewers, with the possibility of this having more of an effect on those who are receptive to and open to those understandings. I think that there are many examples of artists throughout history who have used their Art as a channel to present their view of the world to others and that this has had great effect on humanity. This is one of the reasons that Art is so important in our society, not forgetting the aesthetics and the emotional response. If we are talking about representational or photo realistic Art, or even abstract Art then we could say that that type of Art has a different role to play but this vastly depends on the artist producing the work and whether they decide to put deeper meanings in to their work, many do. As far as I am concerned there is merit in all styles of art work and each plays its role in society, it’s like music in that there are multiple genres and this is the very beauty of it.

side of an old debit or credit card or with my hands. Sometimes I use pieces of torn up cardboard or the edge of a piece of wood. I scratch in to the paste using the head of screws, needles, pins, combs or any other implement that is to hand that I feel with give me the right effect. Some parts are applied thickly and in some cases I use a brush for a soft layer, if I have gone too thick then I will sand paper back a layer or so. On top of that I will apply other materials if I feel they are right for the work, for example I will use bandage and then paint in to it. In Division I have cut in to the work with a stanley blade and sewn / embroidered across the gap, then I have worked in to this in varrying ways. Once I have created what I call my foundation layer (which is almost like a designerly sculpture in 2D) I then find myself drawn to white, this is the opaque light that you mentioned. I apply white over large sections of the first layer and this forms the basis of many of my current works, the colours that I choose to use after that create the final image layers and bring forward the original drawing.

I use figures in many of my current works and of course this is a literal representation of a human but I like to abstract the figures, to manipulate and elongate the forms. I want to depersonalise them and to remove some, if not all, of the facial features (although in Lost Connection I have left these in) because this is in part a self-portrait of kinds. In all of my works there are many ‘hidden meanings’ and these are either planned or sub conscious but integral and imperative to the work that I am compelled to create.

People often tell me that they want to touch my canvasss and I used to get the same comments when I was making sculpture. I touch the work alot myself so maybe this is why. When I am woking I am not detached from the work in the sense that I am not behind the brush for the whole of the process, I am connected physically. The pallette choice in my work is an interesting one. I paint what I feel but it wasn’t until I started exhibting whole bodies of work that I really understood that my paintings created a sense of feeling that was less clear to me than some of the more obvious choices that I have made. People started to say to me that the work gave them a calming feel and began telling me that paintings were full of hope and light. In some of my pieces I am working through difficult feelings or depicting moments in life that are emotionally complicated but in many of the works the colours convey hope and positive change. In some works, such as Ephemeral Body or Assisted Conception and also in Lost Connection there is reference to the darker sides of experienece through the use of black or blue and in Lost Connection it is in fact night time but on the whole may of my paintings are white + pale hues and soft golds. Where I want thefigures to be more majestic I will use a darker gold or enamel so that the image becomes more sculptural. In In my Mind the pallette selection has adjusted slightly and I have introduced a more vibrant mix

In relation to your perception of ‘hidden meanings’ in life I believe that you are probably right, I think that it is important for us to trust our intuition and the signs that life gives us. I would define In Time a dynamic painting: the soft nuances works as a springboard to the opaque light that burst out of the canvas... such nuance of red that has suggested me such a tactile sensation, a feature that I can recognize in Lost Connection as well... to by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time? For the last few years I have begun by painting with a layer of sculture paste, this way I can feel the painting as it emerges. I have drawn out the subject matter and then with the paste I can begin to let the painting develop. When I start to use the paste I am sculpting on the surface, often with the

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onetwo, from the series inside/out

In Time Mixed Media on Canvas, 90 x 90 (x3), 2012.

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The Escape Mixed Media on Board Canvas, 40 x 40 x3 cm, 2015.

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our readers had the chance to admire in these pages, you are particularly involved in teaching and you developed a teaching resource for schools in association with Wayne Hemmingway: have you ever happened to draw inspiration from the works of your students? By the way, I sometimes I wonder if a certain kind of formal training could even stifle a young artist's creativity... what's your point? Throughout University I was dealing with a lot of personal issues, both family wise and with my health. I felt at that time that I needed financial stability and despite a deep yearning to make my own work I decided to train to teach. Partly because I needed a period of relief where I wasn’t struggling financially and partly because as I mentioned earlier in the interview I had the opportunity to work with primary aged children in Brazil and I got such lovely feedback from the teachers regarding my relationship with the children that it seemed a valuable experience for me too. Looking back I know that my time teaching provided me with certain skills and experience that have shaped the way that I can present myself that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. In terms of the pupils that I had I was definitely inspired by their ability to keep an open mind when it came to ideas. So for example when I was teaching Design I would encourage my students to think about design ideas that seemed unconceivable to them; so I would tell them to imagine that there were no limits on materials, or possibilities. I wanted them to stop thinking what they couldn’t do. When they allowed themselves to remove the barriers in thinking then the possibilities where endless and that is when the students really came to life. I was in awe of the many styles and abilities that I came across and it only compounded my view that we can all bring something to the table given an open forum. With teaching Art I believe the challenge to be a little different; every pupil has their own expression and I think that the key is to allow students to respond in the way that best fits that. We have seen examples time and again historically of selftaught artists, including some of the most famous ones. So what we know to be true is that an educational grounding in art is not necessarily the only road to becoming an established and accomplished artist. This is because Art is not only

Lost Connection 120 x 60 x3 cm, 2013.

but really I think it depends on the message that you are trying to conveying with ech individual work. Besides producing the stimulating works that

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extremely subjective but also an individual creative response, so the more individual the response, the better the art. If we constantly teach student artists to look at and study and recreate the work of another artist, Picasso (for example) whose work I see repeated everywhere, we are teaching them how to copy someone else’s style. The key is to teach them to be free.

Yes, artists need an awareness of art history but they do not need to study other artists or art eras so much that their work becomes that. In addition to that schools shrink the hours that pupils have per week for creative subjects and this immediately gives the message to pupils that the supposedly more academic subjects are more important, so straight away you are starting off on the wrong foot. I have merely touched the tip of the ice burg here but in the end my decision not to remain a teacher was partly based on the fact that I didn’t want to take all that on and that my desire to be an artist was stronger than my desire to change the whole education system.

In my time as a teacher, and then as a subject leader for Design I was extremely keen to modernise and open up the way that the subject was taught and I was subsequently nominated for a national advisory group. Ten of us were selected by the Design and Technology Association UK and we worked together to provide cutting edge teaching advice for various bodies and research groups. This is how I came to work with Wayne Hemmingway (as 1 of 10 teachers) and it was extremely inspiring to meet him and to hear him talking about his own history. In collaboration with him we were able to create a teaching resource for schools that could be used by pupils to access a visual database of design classics related to different eras.

During these years your works have been exhibited on several occasions, so before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a question about the nature of the relation with your audience: in particular, do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process in terms of what type of language for a particular context?

I have very strong views about education and the way that we teach our creative subjects. The problem is that the system is extremely outdated and what we really need is some hugely forward thinking and influential minds at the very top politically and people who are ultimately prepared to put themselves out there and accept the backlash. A fight against conventional education was not one that I was prepared to fully take on in this life time so really the changes that I could make at my level when I was a teacher and manager were baby steps compared to what I would have liked to have done in an ideal world. I hate the confines of the classroom and I think that Art and / or Design & Technology would be a great deal more inspiring for students if they were in classrooms where the set up was more like studios in the real world with a plethora of materials and equipment to hand. I think that education in Art & Design as it stands is hugely important and that there is a great deal of excellent teaching that goes on re: basic skills but unfortunately it can also be extremely prescriptive and what we need to do is allow our mini artists to feel their way to their own artistic expression. I think that there can actually be some detrimental effects to over studying artists that went before you for example, unless of course you are hoping to become an art historian, an art curator or so on.

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I think that Art is a method of communication and because I am concerned with the deeper meaning of life and gaining a better understanding of myself and my place in the world this is a naturally reoccurring theme in my work. What I also know is that when I exhibit my works (especially when they are together as a body of work) that the response that I get from the audience inspires me to carry on producing it. It also feeds in to my decision making process as I see how people respond to particular paintings or themes. I get asked a lot of questions about the work and people want to tell me their understanding of it. I like that. Some of my work has very particular meaning to me, some pieces are based on very specific times in my life but at the same time there are deeper meanings through the universal visual language of the subject that I am approaching. I do not exactly make a decision about a painting based upon the audience that might view it but I do think about the message that I am trying to convey in the hope that this will emerge for the onlooker. Everyone interprets a painting slightly differently so sometimes the explanation that someone gives me about my work is just as fascinating and progressive as my own. If a visitor to one of my exhibitions responds positively and

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The Kerb Mixed Media on Canvas, 100 x 100 x 3cm, 2011.

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emotionally to one of my pieces then that gives me a great deal of satisfaction.

will fill it with a very diverse range of canvasses and equipment. I think that at that point that I will find myself producing sculpture again alongside the art. On the subject of being an artist and also a Mum there has been much debate again recently regarding whether it is possible to reach your full potential as a female artist if you decide to have children. What I would say in my case is that in having my daughter I unlocked a great deal of my creative potential. I spent many years worrying about how I was going to become a Mum because of my problems and it took a lot of my energy up. Once I had given birth to my daughter I was free to continue with my creative journey and I see no

Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts, Charlotte. Finally, would you like to tell our readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? I have a desire to produce large scale work and so I think that my canvasses will probably grow in size. At the moment I work from home as sometimes I want to work until really late and I just need to fall in to bed or deal with my daughter but one day I will have a studio of my own again and I

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reason why women can’t do both. The issues I have faced in becoming a parent and in motherhood have fed in to my work and enhanced it.

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can get to and can afford, sometimes this means being selective. I am also collecting fingerprints for a piece of work about identity so if you can find me at an event and you are happy to do your fingerprint for me in gold paint then you can also eventually be part of one of my works, I think though that it is going to take me some time to get the volume of them that I need!

At a recent exhibition many visitors were drawn to the piece Division from my Canvas Sculpture collection so I expect this type of work to evolve in to a larger series. There is no doubt that I will also continue to produce figurative works that question my place in the world and I am just about to get started on a new piece for my Human Connection collection. I would really like to work towards a full solo show now and I continue to submit to those prizes and opportunities that I

I usually update on social media re: any information about exhibitions, projects or prizes so this is a good way to find out what I am up to at any given time. All this can be accessed via my website www.whiteorchidarts.jimdo.com. 21 14 4

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Sophie Iremonger Iremonger Using acrylics,ink,collage and print on canvas/paper to look at social constructions of nature: Neanderthal in neon= Neonderthal. Creating energetic, processed, day-glo visions. The central themes are: 1. decentralizing the human: I call this anti-anthropocentrism. 2. exploring social constructions of European nature- why is it something we 'drive to in a car' and then safely leave behind? 3. creating depictions of apocalyptic and post apocalyptic worlds inhabited by species of past and future. 4. perverting the traditional use of other species as a symbolic lexicon. 5. creating my own lexicon of animal/plant symbolism while trying to portray non humans as beings in their own right. 6. showing the other species that surround us everyday in urban environments. 7. depicting unexpected species in urban environments. 8. exploring violence, sex, death,nostalgia and shamanic magic using my own lexicon of animal symbolism. Sophie Iremonger

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Hunting owl

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An interview with An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Katherine C. Wilson, curator arthabens@mail.com

London based artist Sophie Iremonger accomplishes the difficult task of investigating social constructions of nature. She sums up her incessant process of subverting environmental symbolism in a concept called antianthropocentrism: this means to decentralize the importance of the human figure. Her works reveal a lively symbiosys between instinctive perception and a refined cultural analysis that invites us to go beyond the dichotomy between Tradition and Contemporariness. One of the most convincing aspects of Iremonger's approach is the way she reveals that for her, art is a vehicle not only to express feelings, but to dissect them, subvert them, and integrate them into a coherent unity. I'm particularly pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Hello Sophie and welcome to ART Habens: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal training and after graduating with a BA in Painting that you received from the National college of Art and design, Dublin, you moved to Berlin, where you are currently based: How have these experiences influenced your evolution as an artist? And in particular, how much does your cultural substratum as an Irish artist informs the way you explore social constructions of European nature?

Sophie Iremonger

neck in grass. I do not see myself as an Irish artist.I do not see myself as an English Artist. My parents are English and I was raised in Ireland. Nationality is suspect. We are all on the same rock.I have no cultural substratum from one place-only widely sourced cultural shrapnel.Habitat informs me-the plants and animals within a locality. Ecology not nationality!

Hi, thanks for this interview - I like your opening paragraph, it helps me figure my own work out. For 6 years I lived in Berlin. I live in London now. My back ground is weeds-wild plants and me roaming around.I was a trespassing child,up to my

I would like to invite our readers to visit http://www.sophieiremonger.blogspot.it/ in order to get a wide idea of your recent artistic production: in particular, I noticed

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Berried underpass

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Sophie Iremonger

that your approach is currently marked out with a compenetration between a sensual exploration of femininity, sexuality and beauty, that you wisely express through your own lexicon of animal symbolism. This suggestive combination has reminded me of the idea behind Thomas Demand's works, when he stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological narrative elements within the medium instead". While conceiving Art could be considered an abstract activity, there is always a way of giving it a permanence that goes beyond the intrinsic ephemeral nature of the concepts you explore. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

What is 'compenetration'? Experience is as indispensable to creating as oxygen is to living. One of the reasons I make art is to fossilize ephemeral moments into solidity and give these moments to you so you can eat them like weird flavoured truffles. When I make art disconnected from direct experience it is bad art. I would start to focus on your artistic production beginning from death is a thing with feathers and hunting owl that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article and that I have to admit are a couple of my favourite work of yours. As most of the pieces from your recent production, these works are open to various interpretations and they communicate to me a process of deconstruction, recontextualization and assemblage. In particular would you tell us something about the genesis of these interesting works?

Yes, deconstruction, recontextualizatiion and assemblage -good words-like trashing a

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space owl

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hotel room, cleaning it up and trashing it again. 'Death is a thing with feathers' and 'Hunting owl' are some of the more succesful works-thankyou for recognizing that. They are successful because I am breaking my restrictions-in medium and style.This liberates the viewer like I was liberated making them. The title of 'Death is a thing with feathers' is sourced from an Emily Dickinson poem I had to learn in school called 'hope is a thing with feathers'. Death of the soft mouse beneath the powdery snow, it snoozes,it loses! Your works exhibit a colorful palette: the dialogue established by the thoughtful nuances of tones you combine on you canvas is a crucial aspect of your style, that is capable of summing up a combination of thoughts and emotions. How much does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones you decide to use in a piece and in particular, how do you develop a painting’s texture? Moreover, any comments on your choice of palette and how it has changed over time?

This is 4 questions: 1:How much does my pyschological make-up determine nuances and tones? answer: completely. 2: How does a paintings texture develop? answer: I do four shit paintings for every good one. In 'Captive whale' I wanted to look at power condensed and trapped out of context. The captive orca performing sums that up. I wanted a big contrast in texture between the painted imagery and the printed imagery to show that the animal has nothing in common with its surroundings.I used several images of swimming pools and whales from the internet.I re-did the whale many times, each attempt to fix a mistake left an interesting texture.I went too far and stuck a load of jewels down.I took off most of the jewels. Theres always a point where you must decide: do you try and work back to the simple thing or add loads more? I

home is where the snake is

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call this the faberge egg dilemma- do you head like a faberge egg and vajazzle the fuck out of it or do you be brave and super minimal? I'm working on my bravery. 3: comments on choice of palette: I always wanted to show super natural brightness, to recreate that moment before you have a terrible accident or a wonderful moment,when your heightened senses make everything vajazzled. 4: How has my choice of palette changed over time? Its definitely getting browner as I fade as a woman. The recurrent reference to an emotional but at the same time universal imagery due to your recurrent reference to elements from animal's realm you incessantly subvert, seems to remove any historic gaze from the reality you refer to, offering to the viewers the chance to perceive in a more atemporal form. In this sense, I daresay that the semantic juxtaposition between sign and matter that marks out your art, allows you to go beyond any dichotomy between Tradition and Contemporariness, as in the interesting Inextricable, establishing a stimulating osmosis between materials from contingent era and an absolute approach to Art: do you recognize any contrast between Tradition and Contemporariness?

Nicki Minaj is about as contemporary as I get. I love Nicki Minaj. She is the essence of Vajazzle. I think self conscious contemporariness in art will ultimately leave it in the bargain bin.History is dead politics. Tradition is dead morals. Contemporariness is a constant pubertal crisis moment-spotty and embarrassing as it moves on to become something else. I definitively love the way you urge the viewers' perception in order to challenge the common way to perceive not only the outside world, but our inner dimension as well. As you have remarked once, anti-anthropocentrism is

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Detail: home is where the snake is

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Captive whale

a crucial aspect of your work: but I daresay that while you pervert the traditional environmental imagery, you seem to urge us to rethink our human nature: in this sense you seem to provide the viewer of an Ariadne's thread that, to quote Simon Sterling's words, force things to relate that would probably otherwise be unrelated. Such exploration establishes a process of inner catharsis: maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected

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sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

Answer: Nature is a mighty big kaleidoscope and the facets keep me busy. While exhibiting a captivating vibrancy,many of your pieces, and I think especially to death is a thing with feathers, seem to reject an explicit explanatory strategy: rather, you seem to offer to the viewer a key to find personal

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Cheetah pleasuredome

interpretations to the concepts you question... This quality marks out a considerable part of your production, that are in a certain sense representative of the relationship between memory and a rigorous formality, in a truly engaging way. What is the role of memory in your process? And in particular, do you try to achieve a faithful visual translation of your feelings?

Explicit explaining will bore you. Much more fun to be given the key, but find the door on your own. What comes out of that door is mysterious and not under full control of the artist. Watch out! it may be scary! or boring! I am always surprised by how crap my memory is and how much I forget or warp things-so painting is a way for me to remember.I do

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Towers with windows

not try to achieve a faithful visual translation of my feelings- I react to my feelings and what gets into the work is not entirely within my control.

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Sometimes this annoys me and I throw away a painting because it reveals something about me I don't want to know. Being honest is difficult

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Sinister flip

Home is where the snake is reveals an organic synergy between several references, but despite the references to our contingent reality, you seem to remove any historic gaze from the situation you refer to, urging the viewer to relate themsleves in such an absolute way to the concepts you investigate about. I like the way this stimulates the viewer’s psyche and consequently works on both a subconscious

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and a conscious level. How did you decide to focus on this form of video? Do you conceive these compositions in an instinctive way or do you rather structure your process in order to reach the right balance?

The historic gaze in that painting is now, but also Victorian-its a victorian house. The references are japanese ghost wood-cuts,

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Scream of the Wendigo

seem to to delete the frontiers between the artist and the viewers. So, before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a a question about the nature of the relation with your audience: in particular, do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process in terms of

Day of the triffids and the suburbs.I don't know what the rest of your sentence refers to as the word 'video is used' .Referring to the rest of your question, Its a always a mix between instinct and planning. Over our career you have exhibited extensively: your works are strictly connected to the chance to extablish a deep invovement with the viewers, that

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Sophie Iremonger

13:Wendigo dream

what type of language for a particular context?

work. I hope I have done your questions justice. I like to keep things brief and to the point. Right now: I'm not making large paintings. I am not showing.I am doing a course in garden design and when I am done with that I will go back to painting and see what new elements garden design brings to my work. Next year I will show in New York at Museum Quality, a gallery managed by the multi talented maverick Susie Wong. She is a rock among pebbles. Peace out!

An audience is essential or else you are just wanking alone in your studio! Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Sophie. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Thank you for the obvious care and attention you have taken to write about my

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Upcoming shows 15 September 2016-15 October 2016

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Misha Gorodinsky Gorodinsky Art for me is a therapy, a life changing element to improve the quality of life. I see the world as an abstract. However, most of us navigate through life living by the book. Working in the abstract opens the channels of endless creativity by going outside the “box”. Art in our world should become the vehicle for change. Nowadays, we are witness to calamities and catastrophies like wars in Africa, the Ukraine and the Islamic world, the sufferings of helpless animals, tsunamis and earthquakes – all of which have a profound effect on our lives. Through my abstract art exhibitions I hope to show the world that there is a possibility to change for the better if we learn to respect our planet and delete all negativity. That is why I love and live art. Misha Gorodinsky

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Misha Gorodinsky

An interview with An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Katherine C. Wilson, curator arthabens@mail.com

While exhibiting a captivating abstraction, Misha Gorodinsky accomplishes the difficult task of walking the viewers into a sharp criticism about living matters of contemporary age. His works shows a suggestive symbiosys between instinctive perception and a successful attempt to urge the viewers to go beyond a mere perceptual sphere and, to quote Misha's words, to think out of the box about a variety of issues. One of the most convincing aspects of Gorodinsky's approach is the way he shows that there is a possibility to change for the better and that Art could be an effective vehicle for change. We are particularly pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Hello Misha and welcome to ART Habens: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that have particularly influenced your evolution as an artist and that inform the way you conceive your works?

Misha Gorodinsky

I was born into an artistic family in the city of Perm (Russia), where you can find numerous theatres and museums and a lot of painters. My father performed in theatre and many people crowded in our house. My parents took me to the theatres, on the exhibitions, to the museums and I believe it influenced me a lot. Being a small boy, I tried to draw something. Then we moved to Israel. It is always huge stress, especially for children that triggers both positive and negative emotions like lack of language understanding and attempts to tell of what I fell not with words

but through paintings, which are understandable only to me. I think I’m lucky as we lived in Safed – in the city of artists and kabala, in the city where every stone itself is a work of art, some kind of flashback from past to now and maybe to the future. That was exactly what I felt! Together with my parents I’ve visited all the galleries, considered various currents and schools and it seemed to me I’m able to paint too. That I can reproduce what I feel

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Misha Gorodinsky

just playing with colors. I’m grateful to my parents for seeing my desire to express myself through paintings. They bought everything necessary for that art, so step by step I moved forward trying to find my way. My parents didn’t send me to art school. I was told that was for the reason to save my desire to do what I’ve always liked. They did the right thing I think, I’m really grateful to them. I would like to invite our readers to visit http://mishagorodinsky.yolasite.com/GALLE RY.php in order to get a wide idea of your recent artistic production: in particular, I noticed that your approach is currently marked out with a combination between an abstract symbolism and an attempt to translate your feelings into colors and shapes, as in the interesting Alone. This suggestive mix shows that conceiving Art could be considered an abstract activity, there is always a way of giving it a permanence that goes beyond the intrinsic ephemerality of the concepts you question. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

It is a very interesting by definition. I would like to know what your opinion of the following is. Does your personal experience influence your work or it’s just an inspiration? I think that every day passed by brings something new and enriches your life experience. Even if the day is bad, I paint it in

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color, if I want to take something out, inspi-

article and that I have to admit are a

ration comes and I start drawing. But if the

couple of my favourite work of yours.

day is good, I can draw several paintings.

As most of the pieces from your recent production, these works are open to

I would start to focus on your artistic production beginning from 1 and greenabs that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this

various interpretations and they

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communicate me a process of deconstruction, recontextualization and assemblage. In particular would you tell us

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something about the genesis of these interesting works?

has his/her own emotions connected with his/her mood at that moment.

Thanks for saying that my works are

Everyone has some associations related to one’s experience or mindset.

unique.

Paintings reflect individuality and mood, as all impressionists and hard-edge artists or even all others did. Every person is unique but I just give the opportunity to everyone to look at my inner world.

I think that each painter is like no other. It is instructive to hear completely different opinion about my works. Abstraction is very individual as well as the

Your paintings exhibit a colorful palette: the dialogue established by the thoughtful nuances of tones you combine on you canvas is a crucial aspect of your style, that is capable of summing up a combination of

theater of the absurd. Some people just don’t understand it, stand up and walk away. Some laugh, others cry. Every person

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Misha Gorodinsky

thoughts and emotions. How much does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones you decide to use in a piece and in particular, how do you develop a painting’s texture? Moreover, any comments on your choice of palette and how it has changed over time?

I was very much affected by September 11. That horror is constantly in my mind. Skyscrapers cut through by plane and pure white souls of innocent people. This is how I see it, but others may have completely different feelings.

There are just seven colors, seven notes; it’s not much but how many sublime combinations are there?

Another interesting work of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled modern2014: I like the way its inner dynamism stimulates the viewer’s psyche and consequently works on both a subconscious and a conscious level. Do you conceive such composition on an instinctive way or do you rather structure

I love to dream up with paints – it is simply my life, my music. As for the N2015 picture? I can only tell you what I feel.

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your process in order to reach the right balance?

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The hallmark of your approach is a multilyered socio-political investigation about contemporary living matters: a lot of artists, ranging from John Heartfield, to Thomas Hirschhorn and Michael Light used to use art as a tool to accomplish socio-political criticism, trying to convey their personal takes about the major issues that affect contemporary age. As you have remarked once, Art has a therapeutical value and should become the vehicle for change: while setting free Art's communicative potential, do you consider that your works are political in this way or do you seek to maintain a neutral

I do not think that what I paint you can paint gradually. I almost do not paint pictures on impulse. Each painting grows up in my head and before I draw I know how it will look like. Large number of associations occurs in the process of drawing that I want to deliver, and first of all to myself. And if the audience liked it, then I start to think about something new.

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Misha Gorodinsky

approach? By the way, what should be in your opinion the role of an artist in our societies?

Politicians can interpret any art as they want to. How many outstanding artists were forced to emigrate from countries where they were not simply allowed to work? Only those left who painted politicians what needed. Yes, it is also an art, but under control of certain rules and style. It is not for me and I’m glad to live in a democratic state and I do what my heart tells me.

Of course I am neutral. I think once an artist begins working on someone’s order he or she is no longer an artist. Here’s an interesting question – if Beethoven knew that his 5th symphony will be performed in concentration camps, would he have written it?

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The role of the artist is determined by the environment in which he or she lives. I live

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rigorous formality, in a truly engaging way. What is the role of memory in your process? And in particular, do you try to achieve a faithful visual translation of your feelings?

in Israel, and served in the Army. More than once I’ve heard sirens. I saw pictures of small children who are sitting in shelters and paint Peace, you know, and it also remains in memory. Probably it makes its own impact reflexively.

I’ve never thought of it. Each painting is created individually, depending on my mood. And the fact that the audience is trying to find the key in that painting only means that I have reached the goal. It’s the greatest compliment for me.

While exhibiting a captivating vibrancy,many of your pieces, and I think especially to orangeart, seem to reject an explicit explanatory strategy: rather, you seem to offer to the viewer a key to find personal interpretations to the concepts you question... this quality marks out a considerable part of your production, that are in a certain sense representative of the relationship between memory and a

And the best thing is when they’ve found that key. In most cases it is not from the door I’ve opened.)))

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Misha Gorodinsky

I think that any work of art carries some aesthetic qualities. Aesthetic perception of the paintings should be as important as the aesthetic reproduction of your thoughts, but I don’t think that while working artist thinks how aesthetically his painting might be. Picture comes up because of mood, inspiration and not by the desire to do anything aesthetic. If I paint this way now there’s a possibility that in a year, I will draw differently. It could be better, and perhaps worse. I do not know what I would like, maybe I would like sculpturing.

I do not like to answer the questions of what is drawn here. If you think that nothing, it’s your right. If you felt something, not discerned, but felt, then the picture was not painted in vain. Your process allows you to encapsulate a vivacious dynamism in the concepts conveyed in your creations, that lead you to a careful choice of the materials which materializes the ideas you explore, combining a marked Plasticity with a sense of movement as in the interesting arew. In particular, what progression or changes have you seen in your materials? How important is the aesthetic problem for you when you conceive a work?

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Misha Gorodinsky

are perceived and no opinion can affect what I’m doing. I will always do what I like.

Over our career you have exhibited in several occasions and your works are strictly connected to the chance to extablish a deep invovement with the viewers, that are invited to think out of the box, to quote your own words. So, before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a a question about the nature of the relation with your audience: in particular, do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process in terms of what type of language for a particular context?

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Misha. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I’ve got a lot of plans but I’m very superstitious as for the future prospects. I prefer to take short views. Only time will tell.

That’s a good question. Well yes, it is interesting to know the assessment of my works, both good and bad. But no more Frankly speaking I don’t care how my works

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An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Katherine C. Wilson, curator arthabens@mail.com

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An interview by and

, curator curator

Lee Sydney

because of the fact that I'm a Sagittarius which is why my artworks come in different artistic forms.

Hello, thanks for the interview! Even though I have been interested in art since I was a kid, I didn't get proper art education (like art history) until I got into art college so it was a bit of a struggle for me to find my personal style even though I have the basic skills eg drawing small details.

My latest artworks were completed in different media including oil paintings, printmaking, collage and sculpture which are the media and techniques that I have learnt in art college.

Most of the time I think horoscopes predictions are nonsense but I know The way I yearn for freedom and would not want to restrict myself to just one profession is

Whereas photography is like my free-time favourite thing to do. I have been into film photography recently and I find it

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Lee Sydney

interesting how chemicals and film work and it's definitely one of my favourite ways to express my views and at the moment.

The lifestyle and culture diversity in Malaysia definitely affect my works as at one point I got so sick and bored of being stuck in the same place, seeing the same people and things around, being troubled by the same problems and then I realised it could also be a bonus and inspiration to me if I see it in a different perspective. As I learn to find the beauty instead of thinking everything is boring here (after living here for 22 years), indirectly I also discover the problems some different communities face, that no one has told or taught me. There are a lot of Malaysian art dedicated to her beautiful people, culture and heritage, traditions and scenery but it's safe to say it's a relief that there are also local artists who express their views or inner struggles on social issues like women power through their art. In my latest artworks I choose gender equality as my concept which mainly focuses on discrimination and judgement towards the LGBT community in this conservative country and I'm proud that I brought up the issue because most Malaysians especially the older generations have not been very open about it and I

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would like to influence the society to be a accepting and loving one. I think everyone

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should realise that every single human being deserve better, that no one should be

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judged simply because they make a choice different than what the society expects.

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Lee Sydney

Surveillance of the Border Patrol in the Glass Cage is one of my favourites yet in my latest series of work. It's secretly a work dedicated to my fabulous gay and lesbian friends.

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Since art history, a handful of artists have been known as the voice of major social issues and I aspire to be one of them with the hope that my artwork will be seen and thus raise awareness to the locals and also the world.

The main figure in the painting represents the sinner, who is afraid to come out of the closet because of guilty burden, for he knows he will be judged and condemned for being different and should not be, as believed by the people who are brainwashed by the societal norms.

Though it never occurred to me that my artworks are political. They were created merely based on social reality and my personal views towards the issues that I think are important and should be discussed more.

I personally think it's ok for an individual to not accept something (for example, some people might need time to accept trans/queer people because they're used to the thinking that there are only two genders) but it's never ok to spread hate, make fun and shove your hateful opinions down other's throat. I'm really satisfied with the composition in this painting. The arrangement of colors and the visual tensions are all created to leave an impact to the viewer, to invite them to feel the inner struggle they might not have experienced before. I attempted to covey the message in a surrealism style and I'm glad it worked.

As I stated above, I'm trying to not whine and to embrace and appreciate the Malaysian lifestyle and whatever Malaysia

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offers, so my photography work might show a touch of Malaysian attitude in them. So yes, I do believe in my case, direct experience and the culture surrounding me are essential and play a big part as an inspiration to my photography work. Sometimes you get artist's block but eventually the creative process will get going if you think in a positive and innovative way.

I believe art can be used as more than just one function, mostly in a social and personal way especially in the contemporary age. What I did with Mona Lisa and I is simply an overlap of the past and present, naming Renaissance and contemporary art, using an old poster of Mona Lisa and a fashion shot of myself wearing contemporary fashion garment, so it is like an experimental art to demonstrate the characteristics in women from different periods of time.

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Lee Sydney

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Chirico, I find the objects and colour of his works really interesting and attracting, so I decided to adapt it in the painting together with my insight of the feminism issue "victim blaming". Things that act as representations often appear in Surrealism artworks but there's no explanation for every detail and the viewers

Thank you for liking The Red Sea of the Forsaken! It was indeed inspired by De

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Lee Sydney

are most welcomed and encouraged to interpret the works in their own way. If I had to choose between intuitive and systematic process I would say The Red Sea of the Forsaken is more towards systematic as I already had the idea and concept in mind, of course there're some changes during the process, but I already knew what I wanted it to come out as so I was just completing it step by step. Close to Tears is like my baby. It's my first sculpture (imitations for exercises aside) that I made of resin and represents androgynous beauty. Fashion shots and androgynous models have always fascinated me so I thought of using androgynous

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aesthetic as one of the concepts for this gender equality/feminism series, not forgetting those who struggle with the pressures under the binary gender system. So far I have made only two sculptures (Close to Tears and White Thoughts) and I have just come to realisation that they are both psychological/inner emotions driven works and suggested intimacy. I wanted to emphasize on the tear dropping on the face of my sculpture, so I asked my flatmate who studied fashion design in the same college as me for a shining bead in a tear shape, and that's the story of why it turned out as a different material than the sculpture itself.

I must admit I am still in the process of discovering my personal style and I do enjoy trying my hand at different mediums, materials and techniques to represent my artistic sense and at the same time achieving more with what I can already do. I just started working as an art/retail assistant in Penang and might be planning to get a BFA in Australia if I got enough funds. I would like to gain some experience as a photographer assistant/helper if my current job allows or turns out to be not really art-related.

As a freshly graduated art student I definitely want my artworks to reach a broader audience, but is it not much of a factor at all when it comes to picking a exhibition venue than my budget. If you are asking about the content of my artwork, I have never made one artwork just to cater to the audience's taste and I doubt I will ever. I will continue to put the aims/intentions my artworks are meant to reach before any profits I could make out of them. And if there is any commissioned work, I'll just let chances come naturally.

And of course, I will continue to develop my skills and produce more paintings and prints. Other than social justice issues, I think drawing inspirations from my own subconscious and mind would be a big step for me. Thank you for your interesting questions, they helped me know myself better!

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Micha Wille Wille My works constitute a subjective narrative about the points of contact between emergent phenomena of discourse (e.g., selfiesation of scociety, hyperindividualism, meritocracy, enstrangement, nuveau riche etc.) and the individual. Image contents exemplify various constellations of interaction, ironize and comment from different perspectives. The generated polyphony establishes propositions of discrete modi: succintly, invidious, ignorant, self-centerd, pseudointelligent, sophisticated... The component of humour is indispensable and often language (in work and title) and induced semantic fields are deployed as a carrier for irony or just to mount simple phrases. Resulting self-contradiction and paradoxes are inherently designed by the given subjects and are formally adressed by the variation of techniques, style quotes and formats.

Micha Wille Kunstwelt! ich liebe dich

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An interview with An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Katherine C. Wilson, curator arthabens@mail.com

Through a refined process of deconstruction and assembly, Micha Wille conveys several viewpoints about the way we relate to reality into a coherent unity: the multilayeres experience suggested by her works urges the viewers to find the connections between the outside world and the way we relate to it. One of the most convincing aspect of Wille's approach is the way her narration takes an intense participatory line, questioning sociopolitical issues in the contemporaray age, condensing the permanent flow of the perception of the reality we inhabit in. It is with a real pleasure that I would like to introduce our readers to her stimulating works. Hello Micha and a warm welcome to ART Habens: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal training and you degreed from the Akademie der Bildenden KĂźnste, in Wien: how have these experiences influenced your evolution as an artist and how training has informed the way you currently conceive and produce your works?

Micha Wille

Hello, and thank you for the invitation. In terms of my background, I have to mention that prior to Art Academy I graduated in theoretical liguistics and although this does not so much constitute a basis for my artistic work, the theoretical knowledge about language is just there and sometimes does its tricks. So, I obviously know about the role contexts play in communication, and what implicatures convey, and about the generation of meaning. Or, to speak more generally, the training to formally abstract from intended propositions backs my artwork in a certain way. And as for the actual mastercraft, of course the possibilities of

equipped workshops, the contact to other artists and teachers at the Academy in Vienna and London have offered me more than I thought there was to know. By that I mean that I really began to jump around between the techniques and I realized very quickly what each modality (print, drawing, painting etc.) does to the net effect. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from My Ego in your Penthouse, baby, and Protektion, bitte, a

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couple of extremely interesting pieces from your recent production that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to visit http://michawille.aufderhausbank.at in order to get a wider idea of your multifaceted artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this interesting work? What was your initial inspiration? My works mostly exemplify very non-neutral comments about recent socio- cultural phenomena. So, I do not reproduce what I perceive as a objective reality out there but rather already process specific aspects of it and also ironize myself, the scenario or the protagonists. My Ego in your penthouse is a direct blow towards the voracity for status – to assess the value of something via shere elitist criteria and to be subject to the faulty reasoning of interlinking the material wealth with the personal. It also adresses the role of social media that really assists the craving for recognition. The work sabotages aspects of luxurancy because the penthouse is dirty, a snowstorm makes the existance of a pool completly irrelevant, and if you take two Selfies at the same time you are just stupid.

Dirty nails they don’t like

And as for Protektion, bitte: this work touches upon the ever present notion of networking. The idea seems to be that there exists a kind of cooperation beyond individual productivity. So the network turned into a normative category in a way: Show me your network and I tell you who you are. The corresponding work depicts the aspiration to be part of such informal institutions, but on the other hand, it completely emphasises on the asymmetry between protector and protégé. While this picture balances between surrender and disgust, another work of mine, Network up your ass, baby, does not leave room for doubt about what I actually think of it.

relate all the visual information and the presence of primary elements to a single meaning. I later realized I had to fit into the visual rhythm suggested by the work, forgetting my need for a univocal understanding of its symbolic content: in your work, rather that a conceptual interiority, I can recognize the desire to enabling us to establish direct relations... Would you say that it's more of an intuitive or a systematic process? Well, it’s both, of course. At the beginning there is an idea that may focus on visual or conceptual details. While starting out with such a vision, the rest is just mastercraft – or the lack of it, haha. If you take Jedes Gespenst ist kein Gespenst, the idea was that simple things are often guised as apperently very complex states

I have appreciated the way you investigate the psychological nature of the image: in particular, when I first happened to get to know Dirty nails they don’t like I tried to

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My phool

of affairs, thus virtually inhibiting any chance for common understanding. Utilizing a quote from Marx (Ein Gespenst geht um in Europa...) where he equates the concept of capitalism with a spectre that is haunting Europe, I exemplify the mentioned idea of deliberate overcomplexification and its deconstruction by spraying a stick figure in a quick and punchy fashion. Here, the realization is critical, and mutually depends on the content.

references to the concept of heterotopia elaborated by Michel Foucault and has given me the same sensations that I experienced when I first happened to get to know Manuel Ocampo's and Daniel Richter's works. In particular, I have appreciated the way you have been capable of bringing a new level of significance to signs, and in a wide sense to recontextualize the concept of the environment we inhabit in. This is a recurrent feature of your approach that invite the viewers' perception in order to

My Phool and Wieauchimmer, sagte David Hockney, die Palmen waren weg have some

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Wieauchimmer, sagte David Hockney, die Palmen waren weg

challenge the common way to perceive not only the outside world, but our inner dimension... By the way, I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

the artist. To be honest, I would have to set my wits to that observation a bit longer to comment on it reasonably. But as for the rest of the question: I do establish an adjacency between semantic fields. – I am not sure if this is always a recontextualisation, though. Sometimes the depicted relations are firmly intrinsical and thus retained. But then, of course, by repeating or designing such ties, semantic references do shift – so I guess the challenge you mentioned is automatically

Thank you for mentioning heterotopia – somentimes the picture is more intelligent than

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Captions, details

introduced and it all looks underwhelmingly straightforward! As for the second part of the question – I also think that artists decode their environment on all given levels, but you must not forget that then again the artists introduce their probing within their own range of vocabulary and the

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deciphering starts again. – It’s really turtles all the way down! One of the most epiphanic feature of Abstrakt und zugenäht is concerned with the relation with Perception and Experience in the contemporary unstabilty:

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Cars and Currencies

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the way you question the intimate consequences of constructed and imposed realities: while conceiving Art could be considered a purely abstract activity, there is always a way of giving it a permanence that goes beyond the intrinsic ephemeral nature of the concepts you capture. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

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a reality outside of cognitive experience. On that one, I would have to side with Kant: everything you have in mind is called into existence by cognition. Concept Art might negate that to a great degree, but if you know that negation does not suspend presuppositions... hmm! If I should answer the question as to whether I draw from biographical experience, however, I would have to say that there are some topics that are really close and some that are not, but in a sense it has all brushed me. Take Selfie in car crash where I blew up the phenomenon of selfisation of society over all proportions. This development of social networks is of particular interest to me, but does not pertain at all to my

Ah, I guess the answer depends on one’s access to the philosophical question of whether there is

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Hello J'arrrive personal life. Other than Immer, immer schlimm which may not be so transparent, but it displays the steps of a personal career. Perhaps one could disconnect creative processes from experience, but I cannot, the earlier mentioned non-neutrality makes it all willingly subjective.

is outside in Hello J'arrrive reminds your investigation about the consequences of information overload in Kunstwelt! Ich liebe dich. Thomas Demand stated once that "nowadays art can no longer rely much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological narrative elements within the medium instead". What's your point about this? And in particular, how much do you explicitly think of a narrative for your works?

Your artistic production is pervaded with a subtle but effective sense of narrative and although each of your project has an autonmous life, there's always seem to be such a channel of communication between your works, that springs from the way you juxtapose the ideas you explore: for example, the way you question the boundary between what is inside and what

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Narrative is an integral component of my work – and it sounds simple, but it is actually not when I think about it. The meanings do not add up compositionally – and the titles of the works only

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mount a fragment of the narrative and never ever manage the narrative alone. So, there are all the different modalities, like formal decisions and pictorial elements and title, that open semantic fields and I guess, it’s quite a wild algorithm that in the end does something with the observer.

am afraid I don’t have something like a default palette that could be attributed to stages of my development. Before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a a question about the nature of the relation with your audience: during these years your works have been exhibited in several locations around Europe. What impressions have you received in these occasions? And in particular, do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process in terms of what type of language for a particular context?

Humour plays an important role in your Art: you effectively question social issues in a quite unconventional way: although I'm aware that this might sound a bit naïf, I have to admit that I'm sort of convinced that Art -especially nowadays- could play an effective role in sociopolitical issues: not only just by offering to people a generic platform for expression... I would go as far as to state that Art could even steer people's behaviour... what's your point about this? Does it sound a bit exaggerated?

I guess I have to refer to what I already said about humour – whenever I was present at exhibitions showing some works of mine, I observed people smiling a lot at my paintings. When I engage in conversations then people often told me that they not only read along the humour-line, but they actually grasped a more concrete dimension to which they could directly relate. So, I don’t have the feeling that I am misunderstood or so. – Because to me, it does not matter, as long as someone can relate to something. Complete vagueness, it seems, with respect to the audience, but in fact I choose my type of language for my own purposes, on each occasion.

I think humour is the only comfortable way to deal with intricate matters. For me, it is like a good drink that goes with everything: with the Good the Bad and the Ugly. I even think it is more important to make a good joke about art once in a while than a good painting. I also believe that people just get it, if they got the wit. It is really like: if you laugh about something, in the best case, you might have understood it.

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Micha. Finally, would you like to tell our readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

And as for the question: Could artists be the educators of our time – well I guess not. But I believe in the power of artistic production per se, yes. And by the way, I LOVE exaggeration. Your works are often marked out with intense tones that suggested me such a tactile sensation, a feature that I can recognize especially in Joseph Beuy's Bericht an die Akademie and in Die Ruhe vor der Ruhe... to by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

Thank you very much for these interesting questions. It was very nice talking to you. I am involved in several exhibition projects, but what is more relevant is what topics come up to work on. For instance, I am doing some big canvases dealing with car fanatism, cars as habitat, right now. As you can see in Cars and Currency, I discover more and more potentials in spacial organisation by morphing the actual Lebensraum with the object car. That gets me excited at the moment!

To me the pallette is a tool box that offers style quotes, material, technique, format, etc... What I eventually use is geared to the intention. So I

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Gordon Behr I am driven by an inherent passion to paint ,I have had this all my life its only in recent years that I have sought an audience firstle having a place on devient art with a positive responses ,I wish to continue to grow and move forward in other venues for I feel to let this out now is the right time , there is a surreal element in much of my works ,I believe the way in which we perceive the real world is filtered through our thoughts emotions and beliefs(in other words a constructed view rather than a recorded one which I guess is why we all have such differing perceptions, this goes some way for me to understand why every person is different , I constantly struggle to understand the world around me! I work in oils predominantly ,my aim always would be to invoke a response that through the three elements above someone may see the idea from another view point, my trilogy on the first world war(wooing of the star,dawn14, star of medusa1918) would follow the universal cycle of the blind attraction of an idea followed by the of disillusioned consequences , and finally the reckoning, which is universally contemporary , i also believe that there is a hidden message in nature that we can draw on, iv'e tried to draw on this in my painting of the wolfe "look into my eyes" iv'e always thought there is an air of knowing in in the wolf's eyes that just touches on this. Summer 2015

Dawn '14

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Gordon Behr

An interview with

Gordon Behr

An interview by Josh Ryder, curator

what's behind our the experiences mediated by our perceptual process. It is with a real pleasure that we to introduce our readers to his stimulating works.

arthabens@mail.com

Conveying references to historical evens, wisely blended with a gaze on the emotional dimension, Gordon Behr's approach explores the liminal area between the expressive potential dued to an insightful use of a concrete imagery and the emerging languages that comes from a careful investigation of the surreal dimension that affects the way we relate ourselves to reality. His gaze on contemporariness doesn't simply deliver a mere report on new aspects of reality but also offers a personal view on

Hello Gordon, and welcome to ART Habens: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? As a self taught artist, are there any experiences that have particularly influenced your evolution as an artists and that still impact on the way you currently conceive and produce your works? Right from the start i have had a desire to paint and draw as, as i grew up and evolved it

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seemed the natural thing for me to use this to express the world around me, aiming to bring about an emotional response from this medium that could invoke another viewpoint , I worked in the service industry for many years involving a great deal of travel and interaction with other people I guess this is where much of my inspiration came from(my painting legeons of stone is partly a collarge of that time), this was an insight in to a range of aspects of the human condition from the lighter to the dark, during this period i enhanced my skills though various self studies of the arts, especially glazing techniques for their dramatic colour effects, I have gained much inspiration from other artists

Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from Three Whiches and Dawn '14, a couple of extremely interesting works that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: would you like to tell us something about the genesis of these interesting paintings? What was your initial inspiration? Dawn 14 (second painting in my trilogy) shows four soldiers in a devastating landscape of the first world war the expression on thr lead soldier's face shows some of the trauma in this dawn of realisation of what this adventure has become, the coloured version go some way showing the contemporary link in ways not so clear in black and white, in black and white the painting go,s back to the blurry memory of this event, in the three which's i wanted to provoke the idea that in self there are always three of us ,who we are,who others think we are and who we actually are . ,

The hallmark of your approach is an incessant search of an organic combination between the expressive potential of color and the evokative power of symbolic reminders to collective imagery, as war, death and solitude. This allows you to accomplish a careful investigation about the relationship between the flatness of a canvas and the three-dimensional illusion we are lead to imagine. I like the way you extract the noetic value from a medium, and this has reminded me a Thomas Demand's quote, when he stated once that "nowadays art can no longer rely much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological narrative elements within the medium instead". What's your point about this? And in particular, how much do you explicitly think of a narrative for your works?

Your works, as the interesting Wooing of the star often encapsulate a freedom of form that reminds an oniric dimension and what mostly matters, they do not play as a mere background. Do you conceive these composition on an instinctive way or do you rather structure your process in order to reach the right balance? the idea is instinctive in the first instance followed with a structured aproach to gain a balance, wooing of the star is my first painting on the trilogy of the first world war the soldier in the stained glass window with eye's shut is wooed by the compelling idea she offers ,his platform is already ruined, behind her in the background follows the beast in 1914 her distorted dream like state was not yet formed,the final outcome will show in the third painting (star of medusa 1918) when reality will dawn and the soldier holding the star (the volunteer medal)

The narrative is quite important for me, I think there is a reflective aspect for many events in history that link to our contemporary lives, this is the aim, I think that the filter of our view point on the world is heavily biased towards the emotional, this is why there is so much potential for interpretation, I believe the slant in the fragmented form, the colours and the size can all have a dramatic effect on the idea seen through our filtered view,

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A feature of Dreams in Adversity that has particularly impacted on me is the way your works seem to unveil the subtle connection between environment and the

ART Habens

way we perceive it. The sense of geometry that pervades this canvas speaks of an abstract beauty that goes beyond any stereotyped idea and brings a

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new level of significance to imagery you explore: this challenge the viewers' perception in order to going beyond the common way to perceive not only the outside world, but the way we relate to it... I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal such unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this? dreams in adversity she awoke from a dream in a dark place slightly confused she moves away from this destructive place in mind ,in the background through the painless window is the hart who pervaded her mind with hope as is often the case something within us calls out to help and guide ,i believe this to be part of our inner nature ,we just need to look in the right place. The suggestive juxtaposition between elements from different ages in Grey Light and Today in Future Past seems to remove the historic gaze from the reality you refer to, offering to the viewers the chance to perceive in an absolute and almost atemporal form. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience? i believe personal experience is inpart a guide and important in refining, but there has to be an instinctive element to spark a higher level of creativeness in the idea, pure creativeness has to exist but needs a catalist to evolve and mature When I first happened to get to know your Legeons of Stone, that I have to admit is one of my favourite work of yours, I tried to relate all the visual information to a single meaning.

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From From "Gaol" "Gaol" 2013 2013 Photography Photography

From "Gaol" 2013 Photography

But I soon realized that I had to fit into the visual unity suggested by the inner coherence of the canvas, forgetting my need for a univocal understanding of its

Would you say that it's more of an intuitive or a systematic process? i believe intuition plays an important role in the concept but the process can often cause changes in direction leading to further exciting ideas further evolution of the idea which has such an evovative draw to me

symbolic contentsIn your work, rather that a hermetic conceptual interiority, I can recognize the desire to enabling us to establish direct relations...

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The nuance of intense, strong colors marks out your brilliant style. I have admired the way the symbiosis of tones creates an intimate unity in Unforgiving Sea and in Wreck and I daresay that your pieces often suggest such a tactile sensation Any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

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I have been influanced strongly by the pre raphaelites use of strong cromatic colours ands glazing techniques to enrich the colours in their depth, this evolving from more opaque colours in my early works Before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a a

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From From "Gaol" "Gaol" 2013 2013 Photography Photography

From "Gaol" 2013 Photography

conversation within with the audience leading to a positive reception, the important thing for me is to truthfully follow my passion.

question about the nature of the relation with your audience: in particular, do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process in terms of what type of language for a particular context?

Thanks a lot for this interesting conversation, Gordon. Finally, I would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects: anything coming up for you professionally that

i believe i have something to say from my works and would like to effect a meaningfull

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onetwo, from the series inside/out

you would like readers to be aware of?

explore the process of how we try to percieve this.

currently i am working on themes that look into asking some of the eternal questions and 21 16 4

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Miyoung Margolis Margolis Miyoung Margolis is known as an Artist, Dancer and Model in Seattle, WA. -over 50 performances, 3 movies, 20 TV-shows (Reporter, writer and actress), 2 winnings model contests, 2 radio shows, uncountable model experiences. She said, "I'm a dancer but also, I'm an artist. I always do painting, drawing and putting something new mixed media as a method of expression. Those have been existed together since the beginning of mankind. It's all about communication.Those are just human languages as the human mother tongue. If you love dancing and doing art, we are speaking the same language." Her hugest influence is Marc Chagall. "I fall in love with Marc Chagall's painting since I've started my art. I remember he once remarked that only love interests him, and he is only in contact with things that revolve around love." said MiYoung. "I started both my art and Tango because of my husband. I always put love poems and stories on my canvas as same as Chagall told about his painting. I love Chagall's poetic, figurative style which is talking about all his lover, Bella." MiYoung, she is always dancing with her love on her canvas. Miyoung Margolis

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(photo by 2015 Jessie Budden) Summer Summer 2015

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An interview with An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator and Josephine Hilborn, curator arthabens@mail.com

Influenced by Chagall's poetic, Miyoung Margolis captures ephemeral emotions that springs from an intense human experience and conveys them into a struggling and at the same time coherent unity: what mostly convinces of her approach is the way her narration creates an intense involvement with the viewer condensing the permanent flow of the perception of the reality we inhabit in. It is with a real pleasure that I would like to introduce our readers to Margolis' stimulating works. Hello Miyoung and a warm welcome to ART Habens: you are a dancer and a model but as our reader have already got to know in the introductory pages of this article, you are also an artist. Your practice is marked out with a stimulating multidisciplinary feature and I would suggest to ore readers to visit http://www.miyoungmargolis.com/ in order to get a wider idea of your multifaceted production: ranging from painting to drawing, you seem to be in a search of an equilibrium between an emotional, delicate approach and rigorous expressive language: have you ever happened to realize that a convergence between different approaches is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

Miyoung Margolis

For me, every medium has its own beauty, special charm and unique character. Pencils enable a sharpness of mind. Pastels capture the vividness of dreams. Painting with oils expresses the deepest of emotions, while acrylic is like an old trusted friend, faithfully representing my vision on the canvas.

(photo by Jessie Budden)

My Visual Artwork is not an island unto itself. I strive to satisfy my hunger for self expression by combining a wide set of unique disciplines. I consider my Dance, Modeling, Drawing and Painting all to be equal parts of my art, my identity.

€

My Art is an expression of myself and even deeper an expression of my love, As your question implies, it is difficult to capture such a complex category with the constrained vocabulary of a single medium.€ Have a look at my most recent work, Jane Collection, it includes a deep exploration into mixed media;

€

My dream is to combine all of these disciplines into a Collaborative Visual and Performing Arts Exhibition; Canvas Art, Body Painting, Photography, Sculptures, Fashion, Contemporary Dance and Live music performance.

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I would start to focus on your paintings beginning from your Tango series, an interesting body of work that has immediately caught my eyes: what mostly appeals to me is the way these pieces reflect a stimulating combination between the intensity and the ephemeral feature of human experience, in which you have conveyed stories from your personal life, as a tango dancer. While conceiving Art is often considered a purely abstract activity, there is always a way of giving it a permanence that goes beyond the intrinsic ephemeral nature of the concepts an artist captures. So I would take this occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Absolutely not, I believe that it in order for a creative work to be genuine, the artist must have a deep emotional connection to the work. While the artist may not have the exact experience being depicted, they must have the emotional background to understand and project themselves into the scenario of the work. € This is one of the reasons i love to Model and Dance.€ These two disciplines give me the opportunity to be someone else.€ To take on a new persona and experience the world from a fresh perspective. Tango is like elegant public sex. It was my husband who first introducd me to the sensual dance of tango, When we are together, the dance takes on a life of its own, an active conversation, without words yet filled with deep meaningful emotions. Together, in a world of our own, yet on display for all to see, we reenact the joys, sorrows and intense pleasures of our relationship. My advice to any couples reading this article. Buy some tango shoes, take a class and experience this intoxicating form of passionate expression which inspired my Tango Series. Your paintings are always pervaded with a

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subtle but ubiquitous narrative that invites us to the discover of a new world separated from all the rest, and that's incredibly beautiful. Stimulating the viewer’s psyche, you appraoch works on both a conscious level and a subconscious one. How did you decide to focus on this form of expression?

I create, what I feel. My work is driven by my daily life experiences. Watching a Movie, Reading a Book, Making new friends, listening to music or even when I flip through the pages of a new Victoria Secret catalog. When i paint, i share a perspective as i would imagine it would be in my dreams, selecting the appropriate mixed media manifestation to emphasize the etheral nature of the emotional representation of a real life experience. I have long appreciated artists who use to incorporate text into their works as you did in the interesting If you call. There is something fascinating about the merging of two apparently antithetical forms of communication: from a side writing is the result of a formal activity of codification, on the other hand, artistic expression conveys an unlimited freedom that often goes beyond the nature of medium itself. How do you decide what snippets of text to include in a work?

The text must be relevent to the vision of the artwork. It must bring the viewer/reader deeper into the journey of understanding, while not being too direct or redundant. I actually am working on a second piece incorporating text, a new addition to The Bridal Project. Yes, I Do, is a mixed media exploration that includes a collage of excepts from my husbands handwritten love notes, overlaid with the imagery of a bride-to-be in deep contemplation.

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Your artistic production is pervaded with a subtle but effective sense of narrative and although each of your projects shows an autonmous life, I can recognize such a

ART Habens

channel of communication between your works: for example, the way you explore feminity in your I and the bride reminds me of the delicate tenderness that emerges from

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the dark in Kiss me in the rain. Thomas Demand stated once that "nowadays art can no longer rely much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological narrative elements within the medium instead". What's your point about this? And in particular, how much do you explicitly think of a narrative for your works?

my life.€As i answered previously. I paint what i feel. For example, I started on The Bridal Project, as i myself was preparing for my wedding day. After the wedding, I continued to feel a strong connection to the feminine and desired to further explore its expressions through mixed media manifestations of the female form in the Jane Collection.

The narrative of my works, is the narrative of

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I have really enjoyed your refined exploration of the psychological nature of the image: in particular, when I first happened to get to know The Heart Bud I tried to translate the abstract reference of the shapes you juxtapse on the canvas to a single meaning, but I soon realized I had to fit into its visual unity, forgetting my need for a univocal understanding of its symbolic content: in your work, rather that a conceptual interiority, I can recognize the desire to enabling us to establish direct relations... Would you say that it's more of an intuitive or a systematic process?

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creative ways to reach the destiation 110% Total (I always put in 110% of effort into everything i do) The dialogue that the tones you paint on your canvas establish together and apparently simple texture of your works are a crucial part of your style, which sum up in careful brushstrokes a combination of thoughts, emotions and sometimes struggle as well. How much does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones you decide to use in a piece and in particular, how do you develop a painting’s texture? Moreover, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

70% Good Planning – Storyline, Theme, Color Palatte, Textures and Mediums 30% Flexible Execution – Go with the flow, adapt as necessary 10% Luck – There are no accidents, just

The texture of a piece starts well before a color will first touch the canvas. As a part of my planning i first visualize what texture and structure i

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want to impart onto the piece. Then i insert an initial set of texture with a variety of tools ranging from Gesso, Gel, Rice Paper, Cardboard, Paste, Pastels, Glaze, Clay, Magazine clippings and in some rare cases even Salt. The texture is then further developed as layer

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upon layer of color is applied to achieve my desired hue and stroke patterns. “In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.” – Marc Chagall

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Miyoung Margolis

My color choices for a given work truly depend on my story. What am I trying to convey but more importantly what am I feeling as I develop its concept. Since falling in love with my husband, my story has often been filled with love and I feel that love has influenced the palette of all of my works since.

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The Title of I and the Bride is also a further nod to Chagall, referencing I and the Village. One area where our styles diverge is in my recent explorations of imparting complex textures on the canvas. To me, telling the story of my life cannot be restricted to a flat 2 dimensional canvas. It is felt in texture, narrated by color, experienced through performing arts and inspired by my unique journey.

As you have remarked in your artist's statement, you are deeply influenced by Chagall's poetic: would you like to tell our readers how did you first get in touch with Chagall's work? And in particular, what steps do you take to ensure that you bring an original perspective on the artistic styles which have influenced you?

Before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a a question about the nature of the relation with your audience: during these years your works have been exhibited in several locations around Europe. What impressions have you received in these occasions? And in particular, do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decisionmaking process in terms of what type of language for a particular context?

As a young student, I fell in love with his story, his life, his art, his love. From that moment on, i have dreamt that I would be as fortunate to find my love as well. Exploring Chagall’s poetic works and learning of his life drove me to both tears and joy.

This question is a bit confusing for me... I have not yet had the opportunity to exhibit in Europe, though i would very much welcome the opprotunity.

“Only love interets me, and I am only in contact with things that revolve around love.” –Marc Chagall

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Miyoung. Finally, would you like to tell our readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Chagall’s works are a direct reflection of his life, his love and eventually his loss. He did not cater his works to the understanding of the viewer, but instead he painted his feelings through abstract and creative imagery, accented by dreamlike brush strokes and emotionally driven color choices.

Recently, I have been working hard on expanding Jane Collection and The Bridal Project. In Jane Collection, I am exploring rich textures and diverse mediums. The Bridal Project in contrast experiments with a playful vividness of color adding life the canvas. - http://www.facebook.com/miyoungmargolis

The contents of I and the Bride were heavily influenced by Chagall. In “Les mariés de la Tour Eiffel”, Chagall depicted the optimistic happiness of his wedding day. This joy is demonstrated by the main characters appearing to float in near weightlessness. In I and the Bride I too presented my bridal moment. My Bride, Me, is running up the stairs towards her wedding ceremony. The feeling of weightlessness is included on the bride as she is seemingly floating towards her happily ever after.

I am currently preparing for a Solo Exhibition later this year in Bellevue, Washington, USA. This will be my first public exhibition that combines my Visual Artwork with live dance performance and a multimedia installation that blurs the lines between Visual and Performing arts. I have a strong interest in developing a collaborative exhibition showcasing Visual and Performing Arts of local artists in the Pacific

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Miyoung Margolis

Northwest; including: Fashion, Body Painting, Sculpture, Dance and Live Music. My desire is to support the local artist community, as well as to contribute myself as an Artist, Dancer and Model.

This year, I have been fortunate to have my works selected for several art shows and exhibitions in North America. It is my hope to expand the reach of my art towards international exposure. I believe that the expression of the feminine experience, is universal of language and nationality. It can be appreciated and celebrated by all. I hope by viewing my artwork, your readers understand more their wife/girl friend, mother, daughter and maybe even themselves.

Always i wish to continue my research into better understanding the depth of female emotions, variations of female body shapes and proportions and other manifestations of the feminine in the human lifecycle. In my eyes, and demonstrated through my work, I believe that this is capturing the most beautiful creature on earth.

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Patricia Gulyas Death is inevitable. We instinctively know that from the moment we are born.

Basely, influenced by Surrealist

Consequently, our biggest fear is that of European artist Magritte the seizing of the Self,like the antonym of the universal in some kindthat of and Dali, Ibelief paint visions continuity, at the moment of death. appear through travel, wild life

or musical experience. However, we seem to forget that in mystifying instances of attraction and My goalFrom is tospiritual pay tribute to eroticism. to bodily, these instances are extended on a to Native Art and Spirit and vertical of fascination. makeaxis alive wild life spirit in my art, fascinated mixing mystic, symbolism When we experience a state and “there culture. where is nothing more than a gigantic object in a desert world� and we just Emily are not that fascinating Like Carrthing; andaGeorgia object is one which is, to the point O’Keeffe I need to follow my where we are not, and we therefore need regardless of every topath be, demand to be, desire to be. courant and call human to a We are violently ripped from existence peaceful world. and develop a perpetual desire for being.

The process of creation is one where fascination is a trigger and an end result: It begins with an intuitive thought that captures our attention without at the same time submitting entirely to our understanding. The inability to accurately articulate it results in both a recurrent desire and repetitive attempts to do so. This leads to the creation of an autonomous offshoot, communicating the initial object of fascination. Breathe Forrest, Breathe!

Patricia Gulyas

Installation(4mx4mx4m), 2013

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video, 2013

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Summer 2015 Smiley II2015 Summer

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Patricia Gulyas

An interview with An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Katherine C. Wilson, curator arthabens@mail.com

Patricia Gulyas accomplishes the difficult task of conveying mixing mystic, symbolism and culture into a coherent, consistent multilayered experience that engages the viewer, inviting us to explore the liminal area in which emotions blend with a careful and structured gaze on contemporary age. Gulyas draws elements from Surrealist European tradition combining them with a lively modern gaze that makes alive wild life spirit. We are very pleased to introduce our readers to her refined artistic production. Hello Patricia and welcome to ART Habens: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experience that have particularly informed the way you conceive your works? And in particular, how much has your cultural substratum from France and Canada and your recurrent travels influence your evolution as an artist?

In France I was trained in Scenery/decors and I studied decorative paintings. In Canada I did a BFA (Fine Arts Bachelor degree) while I was in Quebec and I studied English in British Columbia. I started to paint around the age of 14 years old, first in oil and soon afterwards in acrylic. I fell in love with the flying bird or levitation rock painting by Rene Magritte when I saw it on my French grammar book. Since then I have admired the works of Magritte and Dali. I started to be interested in native totem poles after my first trip to the USA in 1992.In 2003, my Fine Arts studies in Canada introduced me to Emily Carr and Georgia O’Keeffe. That convinced me I should keep going with the direction my art had taken since the middle of the 1990’s. First, I was afraid to hurt Native feeling. Slowly, I leave my self go deeper into

Patricia Gulyas

symbolism especially after fews years leaving in Terrace and Kelowna in BritishColumbia. My connection with my animals totem go deeper. I would like to invite our readers to visit https://gulyaspatricia.wordpress.com in order to get a wide idea of the suggestive combination of mystic and symbolism that marks out your artistic production: your approach has reminded me of the idea behind Thomas Demand's works, when he

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Patricia Gulyas

Aigle

stated that "nowadays art can no longer

within the medium instead". While

rely much on symbolic strategies and has

conceiving Art could be considered an

to probe psychological narrative elements

abstract activity, there is always a way of

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occasion to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

What is a personal experience? I believe, as Liszt suggests in Hungarian Rapsody (p74, Life of Franz Liszt, Szolt Von Harsanyi),” the artist” is translating feeling, emotion, pain..., personal or not, through his art. Each artist, like other humans, has a different level of receptivity. Unfortunately, I can feel emotion from animals and other people. Suddenly this experience became mine. My Native and Reiki Master friends talk about a Shamanic moment in the way I create and translate emotion. I use everything that touches me deeply. Part of that is direct experience, but I also use emotions indirectly when I am touched by others’ experience, either people or animals. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would begin from Aigle and Watchmen, that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article and that I have to admit are a couple of my favourite work of yours. The dialogue established by the thoughtful nuances of tones you combine on you canvas is a crucial aspect of your style, that is capable of summing up a combination of thoughts and emotions, as in the interesting Summerland III. How much does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones you decide to use in a piece and in particular, how do you develop a painting’s texture? Moreover, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

Eagle Spirit

First, for the color I have to say I had a blue period for a long time until 2011 when I was selected for a commissionned triptic project by British-Columbia Arts Council.

giving it a permanence that goes beyond the intrinsic ephemeral nature of the concepts you explore. So I would take this

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Patricia Gulyas

The project involved three artists. My work was to be set on the right of a green-ish painting. It was the beginning of a need to explore the idea and the spirit of Aurora Borealis. To start a painting, I let the canvas talk to me; like a Native sculptor who lets the inspiration come from the piece of wood. I wait until I see all or some of the future painting showing up in my mind. With Eagle/aigle, I wanted to feel the wood, to fly over and through the forest, with the spirit of eagle emerging from nowhere. I don’t want to do a classical landscape. When I paint, I attempt to feel the forest, to feel the wind in the wings, to see myself flying over all this greenish spirit. For the painting called Watchmen, I play with complementary color: orange and blue. The Moon is a guardian, a light through the deep night. Moon never dies, she shows a little part of herself, changing color, going full etc. I was thinking about Native culture, even if it almost disappeared, it is coming back again like the moon. Watchmen on the crest of a totem pole are guardians. They take care of the owners of the totem pole (family, village or tribe). The color orange is the color of communication. It brings optimism and opens the mind. Communicating with others is the best way to lower the risk of conflict and protect peace. Summerland III is a part of a series on the Okanagan Valley in the West of Canada where vineyards and orchards nourish our eyes and spirit. I had the chance to live in this wonderful valley. I stayed in Peachland where Wild Mountain Goats jump on rocks right next to the road bordered by Okanagan Lake. This is my Magritte view of the Valley. I like to use smooth blue texture for everything that touches ocean, sky and cold temperature. Instead I like to use textured pinkinsh color for a small serie of

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Patricia Gulyas

Summerland III

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convey in your canvas are in a certain sense representative of the relationship between emotion and memory, which are enhanced by the symbolism that pervades your imagery, as in the interesting Smiley II. I find it truly poetically engaging and I have to confess that it suddenly forced me to relate myself to your works in a different way. What is the role of memory in your process? And in particular, do you try to achieve a faithful visual translation of your feelings?

Memory! This is our legacy and the future. The memories of all these tribes are the knowledge to make herbal medecine, to take care of nature and to share space with animals. When I paint, effectively, I try to feel things. Sometime I close my eyes to feel and I need to feel. Yes, my brush is slowly going to translate it into a visual feeling The recurrent reference to an emotional but at the same time universal imagery to whom animals belongs, seems to remove any historic gaze from the reality you refer to, offering to the viewers the chance to perceive in a more atemporal form. In this sense, your works go beyond any dichotomy between Tradition and Contemporariness, as in the interesting Inextricable, establishing a stimulating osmosis between materials from contingent era and an absolute approach to Art: do you recognize any contrast between Tradition and Contemporariness? Mother protection

My art is not about snapshots of moments in time (past or present), or even about current thought patterns. It is about timeless truths and narratives because these are what I feel and therefore express. In most of Natives tribes (around the word) futur, present and past are only one.

paintings whom express the Southern West of States such as Santa Fe in New Mexico. I daresay that the insightful harmonization between the surrealistic qualities of your works and a lively contemporary gaze you

“Energy� is around us atemporal. Yes, tradition can be beautiful but it needs to be

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Patricia Gulyas

arranged to the need of art today or to feed the creativity of the artist. For example, Bill Reid, was nourrished by tradional Native legend but he went completelly contemporary to express his own graphism and forms. When I paint, I etablish an osmosis, between the idea of the pictures and the spirit of the subjet showing up at the end of my brush, without thinking of tradition or Contemporariness of I definitively love the way you urge the viewers' perception in order to challenge the common way to perceive not only the outside world, but our inner dimension as well. As I have been often told over these years, art is a discovery of what is around and inside of ourselves: in this sense the deep, thoughtful nuane of blue of Haide Canoe seems to provide the viewer of an Ariadne's thread that, to quote Simon Sterling's words, force things to relate that would probably otherwise be unrelated. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

Feeling is a really personal stage. Each individual has the right to feel something different. Their understanding or feeling of a painting depends on their own culture, education and reception of the picture. I like to hope people will be warmed by the smoothness of the pictures. If they feel the need, I hope they will think about symbolism, and if they have the emotional feeling I hope they will feel what I put inside without words. What has immediately caught my eyes of your style is the way it conveys an abstract gaze that I would define oniric, but also evident references to our real world. As Philippe Dagen once established in his Le Silence des peintres, the coming of a straight realism has caused a progressive retenchment of painting from the mere

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Haida canoe II

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representetive role of reality. With exception of Hyperrealism movement, Painting is nowadays more and more marked out with a symbolic feature. Do you think that the dichotomy between

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Representation and Pictorialism is by now irremediable?

Yes! Pure representation will still be a hard job; but to express more than a nice picture

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we need more. Without Pictorialism poetry would be flat. Like some songs, painting needs to express something unique.

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like my paintings. It is why I keep showing my art. But I need to paint what is coming out of my hands/brain/spirit, not what people want me to paint.

Besides producing the stimulating works that our readers had the chance to admire in these pages, you are particularly involved into teaching: have you ever happened to draw inspiration from the works of your students? By the way, I sometimes I wonder if a certain kind of formal training could even stifle a young artist's creativity... what's your point?

I have found a need for guided visits with my audience. I pay more attention now to the kind of paintings I am going to show together, compared to what I would like to say about the show when I present to my audience. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Patricia. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

This is not an easy question because there isn’t only one way to learn and to express ourself. A child without any art background can experiment freely and discover something new and very interesting. I believe we need formal training as much as we need free expression.

I discovered a change in my approach with the public. Until recently, what I express visually, I was not able to express verbally and I didn’t want to do it. Today, I feel a need to enter into an exhange with my audience by presentation (talk) about my inspiration.

They are the ying and the yang of expression. Because we are all different, we need more than one method to learn and to grow. In countrast to the French education system, I believe formal training can come later if needed to complete knowledge, which sometimes comes with repetition and experiences.

As well I would like to use my paintings for illustrations and would love to be involved in a children’s book, book cover or most especially a Native Story. Right now I am thinking about a book involving my paintings and the story about all the influences on them.

Your works are strictly connected to the chance to extablish a deep invovement with the viewers, that seem to to delete the frontiers between the artist and the people: so, before taking leave from this interesting conversation I would like to pose a a question about the nature of the relation with your audience. In particular, do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process in terms of what type of language for a particular context?

An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Katherine C. Wilson, curator arthabens@mail.com

Unfortunately, I never pay attention to what my audience are thinking about my painting. Not to disrespect them. I have known since early in my career that people

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Profile for ART Habens

ART Habens Art Review - Summer 2015 // Special Edition  

ART Habens Art Review - Summer 2015 // Special Edition  

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