ART Habens Art Review, Special Edition

Page 98

SHERYL LUXENBURG

BRANSHA GAUTHIER

PATRICIA SPOON

REINER HEIDORN

EFKA ODEHNAL

EINAV ZEICHNER

MAŁGORZATA PINDEL-KRYJAK

FROSO PAPADIMITRIOU

JOSH HOFFMAN

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
ART
Special Edition
Special Edition
Canadian hyperreal painter Sheryl Luxenburg paints a large scale project to raise awareness against sexual abuse

ART

H A B E N S

Poland

Małgorzata Pindel

Kryjak: A painter (Art School in Bielsko Biała, diploma with distinction, BerlinDachboden painting studio), performer (Group B), art historian (University of Silesia). Producer and seeker of emotions, treating paintings-objects as a whole, from handmade frames to a signature that is a distortion of a lantern/ladder and an element of composition. ”Creates from A to Z“. She reached her artistic maturity in 2019.

After many years of exploration, The History of Creation, Rejection, and Art have become HAMAKOM.

Efka is a visual artist, working across all the different types of media. Her priority is photography, where she finds a stable base for her further experiments. She is interested in perception of reality, space and light. By combining different techniques she enjoys finding the dialogue and translations between photography, painting, installation and video. Most of her artwork is more abstract with the fragments of reality than narrative.Besides her elaborate project she is constantly capturing the surrounding life. More than people, she is intrigued by ordinary things, still lives and their order within the world.

Germany

Reiner Heidorn lives and works in Weilheim, Bavaria. The autodidact painter processes in his oversized and mostly monochrome paintings the relationship between man and nature. The desire to unite with nature, to become one with it and even to dissolve in it - Reiner Heidorn gives form and color to this thought. Over the years of his work, he has developed his own unique painting technique and gave it a name - "Dissolutio", which means disappearance. His paintings consist of tiny microscopic elements, flowing various shades of green and blue arrange themselves in gentle transitions on the canvas. They suggest forests, lakes, plants, up to whole worlds. Thus his artistic work stands in a contemporary discourse of socially topical issues such as climate change or the alienation of man with regard to his natural environment.

Reiner Heidorn's works have been shown in exhibitions in Brazil, Dubai, the USA and in various German and European cities.

My work is created and influenced from what exists around me - at home or on my way: materials and leftovers, especially those that areperceived as "despicable".The main occupation is in building meaningfor each object and bring it into life as a subject in itself. The objectsare Going through a process that changes them as in the laboratory: isolation, replication, punching and reconnection. The process reflects adeviation from the original, processes of abstraction and transformationinto a new object. The creative experience is physical and is madeout of intuition and intuitive connections.

USA

My evolution as an artist is an extraordinary journey.My Influences include self individuality, lines, geometric patterns, angles, colors and movement.These components are very important elements to my work. I began to explore self individuality and applied what I discovered,to my paintings. I found that my I express tone with colorful lines and geometric patterns.I bring these elements to my art with a passion. To express my creative thoughts.Colors are a huge influence in my art. I use both bold and soft colors to express self individuality. Lines and angles and geometric patterns in my art are all factors to a great painting. I express motion tone using these factors geometric lines, angle, colors, and motion.This components are vital to my art.

If I would describe my work with one word, I think that would be uncomfortable. Through my practice, I like to discuss things generally people rather not. I was one of these children with tones of questions; that didn’t change much as I grew up. I like to know how things work, what are the mechanics that make the world tik and the only way is through questioning I suppose the normalities we have been indoctrinated in.My work is defiantly anthropocentric, focusing on behaviours and social dynamics. Whilst trying to identify my place within the ever-shifting social exchanges I can’t help but observe the contraptions and personas we invent to fit into a prescribed normality and excuse ourselves from the ongoing issues our societies carry. I am interested in our elusiveness and isolation from public involvement, whilst we operate amidst a bombardment of networks and social platforms.

C o n t e m p o r a r y A r t R e v i e w
Patricia Spoon Małgorzata Pindel-Kryjak Czech Republic / Chile Efka Odehnal Einav Zeichner Israel Froso Papadimitriou Greece Reiner Heidorn

With a background from dance I have learnt to approach art in the same way. To truly dance is to be in the moment, to allow movement to be born from life, to not think about it. In a way it is a meditation.

When I paint I allow colours to come to me, movements to happen and shapes to appear. This is integral to my art. The journey is as important if not more than the end result. I am inspired by powerful mindbending shapes or forms that are new, original and mesmerising. As an artist I am driven to master my craft, spending time both in the zone free from thought, and outside, thinking, developing and visualising.

I aim to create artwork that is mesmerising and new, yet a genuine expression of myself. I started to have these dreams where I would be dancing with colour flying out of my body leaving marks in the air.

Patricia Spoon

Reiner Heidorn

Einav Zeichner

Austria

I’m a Viennese based multidisciplinary artist working mostly on ethnic tribes, preservation of the indigenous arts and culture throughout photography, painting, animated pictures and film.

Throughout the years, I continued to profound my artistic skills more towards photography and film as a reflections on feminism, identity and heritage. In my range of themes on unity in diversity I try to embody the values of multiculturalism and to develop my visual language by symbiosis of completely diverse traditions and cultures, showcasing despite heritage differences, humans profound need for oneness.

In my multidisciplinary practice, the reflections move around the threads of time, the memory, the disappearance and the identity.

Through the years my subject matter has combined a lifelong interest in clinical psychology with a passion for fine art. More specifically, my work has revolved around people or objects that experience some type of distress, such as confusion, dread, conflict, anger or numbness. Emotions related to feeling overwhelmed, useless or abandoned have also played prominent roles within my compositions. I had an epiphany 20 years ago when I realized that my subject matter was a direct projection of the psychological struggles I was having in my life. To celebrate an approaching milestone birthday in 2018, I designed and began painting a triptych called ‘ ’. Each panel is 3x6ft and I used acrylic paint with charcoal on linen canvas. The subject is about survival, transformational growth, recovery and healing. Most importantly I want to use the painting to raise awareness for the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements because I am a sexual incest survivor and have never spoken publicly about this before.

Josh Hoffman

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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.

Małgorzata Pindel‐Kryjak 52 98 76
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Froso Papadimitrou Bransha Gautier Efka Odehnal Sheryl Luxenburg Sheryl Luxenburg Canada Bransha Gautier Josh Hoffman United Kingdom Canadian hyperreal painter Sheryl Luxenburg paints a large scale project to raise awareness against sexual abuse

Hello Sheryl and welcome back to ART Habens. We had the opportunity to introduce our readers to your artworks in our previous special edition released in 2019, and we are now particularly pleased to discover the development of your artistic production. We would like to invite our readers to visit your social media sites.

https://www.sherylluxenburg.com

https://www.instagram.com/luxenburgsheryl/ https://www.facebook.com/sher.luxenburg

ART Habens would like to focus on your triptych entitled To Everything There Is A Season. The dimensions consist of three six-by-three foot panels, acrylic on linen. This project took two and one half years to complete. How did you begin this journey to paint something larger in scale than you are accustomed, and why did it take such a lengthy period of time to complete?

Sheryl Luxenburg: Thank you so much for all your support. This project never would have been possible without the support from an important international private collector from Germany. Albrecht von Stetten, chairman of The Ibex Collection, is described as a leading world collector of super realistic contemporary figurative work. He had been travelling the globe since 2013 to find the most talented painters from around the world and support their work, intent on helping them to develop the highest profile in the art world.

About five years ago, Albrecht contacted me in the hopes to buy a few of my paintings. Upon closer inspection of my works and developing a close relationship with me, he later

Sheryl Luxenburg

wondered whether I might be interested in participating in the Ibex Masterpiece Project. His idea was to select about 25 or so of the most accomplished painters in his collection, and provide them with the financial resources for them to create something more special than they had ever created before. The plan was to then showcase the works around the world with an exhibition beginning in New York City. I was honoured to be invited, but because I was one of the later

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An interview by , curator and curator

painters to be invited, I knew I would need more time. I had learned that all the masterpieces took between two and one half years to upwards of five years to complete.

I asked Albrecht what dimension he expected of me and he sent me the list of everyone’s dimensions. I got out a calculator and simply decided to design the dimension to the mathematical mean. I also had to consider my limited studio space and believed I could more comfortably handle three panels, each at six by three feet rather than six feet by nine feet.

You ask why did it take two and one half years to complete? There are two reasons for this. First and foremost, is that an Ibex project demands the highest level of precision and technical skill. One needs to pay incredible attention needs to the minute details, and all planning stages need to be clearly communicated. Secondly all design, preliminary drawings and all painting stages need to be recorded and sent to Ibex via a dropbox system at each interval. There is considerable administrative work beyond the studio work. The dropbox method is recorded for educational purposes at a later date and to fully honour the painter’s ideas from beginning to end.

So, Albrecht certainly placed a fire under me to undertake such a project, but with the COVID19 pandemic and the Ibex Collection having to close their doors due to restricted international travel, it remains to be seen whether the project will eventually land up in the collection. The Ibex Collection executive need to see the final project in person to be assured it conforms to their strictest levels of performance. So much is up in the air.

To Everything There Is A Season is a particularly important project, in fact you have stated several times, it has been ‘your project of a lifetime’. Why was it so important for you to create this project which relates strongly to your professional education and experience as a clinical psychotherapist as well about a

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ART Habens Sheryl Luxenburg To Everything There Is A Season

topic that you have unfortunately personally experienced?

Sheryl Luxenburg: I had the support of the Ibex Collection and had otherwise been receiving international attention, so I was confident I had the platform to be able to paint

this triptych and use the work for activism purposes. The Ibex Collection was fully supportive. During the initial invitation to join the Ibex Masterpiece project, I was soon approaching a milestone birthday, so I decided to as they say, go big or go home. I decided to work on a masterpiece that would further

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MIXING PIGMENT

enhance my technical skills, and with all the preoccupation to make the most intrepid statement possible.

Have you ever previously painted a work which served as the inspiration for the cre-

ation of the triptych?

Yes, in 2007 I painted an acrylic on linen painting, eighteen by twenty four inches called, The Best Of Me. It had to do with surviving a few heart attacks earlier in 2007. These cardiac events were very challenging

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PREP FOR UNNI'S TORSO, FOR TO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON, WATERCOLOUR AND INK

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Sheryl Luxenburg
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BOTTOM LAYER ROUGH CEMENT WALL AND HAIR LEFT PANEL

to overcome both physically and emotionally and I wanted to celebrate survivorship with this work.

Would you tell us something about the cathartic aspect of the project because as an experienced psychotherapist and a fine artist, I imagine you intentionally considered the therapeutic value of speaking up.

Sheryl Luxenburg: Yes, I understood the therapeutic value was long overdue. I came from a highly unstable home. My parents married young, my mother age 19 and father age 23. They were unhappy from the beginning of their marriage. My mother emotionally left the marriage early on as she would leave the house every night. This left me home with my father who for as long as I can remember sexually abused me in the form of trying to touch my breasts. This type of incest was all I ever knew, and being born into it I never knew it was wrong, even though it felt extremely uncomfortable. I was born in 1954 and no one ever spoke of such things. There were no Canadian laws protecting children from such abuse until 1988, when changes to the Canadian Criminal Code and the Canada Evidence Act specified what constitutes child sexual abuse offences. These new laws expanded the opportunity for courts to receive children's testimony.

My parents finally divorced when I was 13 years old and the abuse intensified during weekly custodial visits. In fact the abuse continued until I was well into my 30s, married and with a child. As the years passed, the secrecy I was carrying felt hypocritical because as a professional mental health practitioner, I was trained in the mandatory

reporting abuse to the authorities and would do so when the occasion would arise in the course of my professional duties.

For not one moment in my life have I ever doubted that my father loved me, but I also and more importantly have had to acknowledge that he horribly exploited his position of power as a parent. I never confronted him during his lifetime and he passed away in 2015.

I was brought up and groomed to feel sorry for my father. I tried to remain strong and ambitious to carry on with my life. I had friends and did well in school. I distinctly remember never wanting to return home and would stay for entire weekends in the home of my best friend. I remember feeling physically self conscious, but never knew why. In fact I didn’t realize how psychologically damaged I was until decades later in the late 1990s. My father always acted as if he genuinely loved me, but as my parent’s marriage fell apart, I became his confidante. Understandably my father was devastated by my mother’s rejection and he was lonely. As I grew to be an older teen and young adult, I became aware that this grooming was a distraction from the fact that he was objectifying my body for his pleasure. With the help and support of my husband, safe people, my psychology training, a few decades of distance away from my father, and psychotherapy, I have worked hard to find the freedom from the confusion and entanglement of this highly upsetting situation.

Given my clinical psychology education in the 1970s, I was trained to use DSM which is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, a classification sys-

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tem of officially recognized disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association. This manual is used by all mental health professionals to ensure uniformity of diagnosis. As I became well educated about personality structure, emotional functioning and anxiety disorders, I came to realize that my father had been suffering from a mental health condition revolving around a generalized anxiety disorder and a cluster of behavioural disorders associated with the impulse disorders, namely Compulsive Sexual Behaviour Disorder. This new-found knowledge provided a greater understanding into my father’s psychopathology, but I must confirm that no amount of compassion will ever exonerate him from his criminal wrongdoings. To this day I have to live with the fact that he had been committing an indictable offence for all those decades and it went unreported.

In 2002 I chose to tell a few family members and close friends about the abuse. I received loving support from everyone, but have never gone public until now. My attitude changed when I learned about the American #MeToo and #Time’s Up movements. The victim, the psychotherapist and the artist in me began to realize that if I was to support and encourage all sexual abuse victims to speak up, I would need to use my voice and my art to share my story.

Can you describe the aesthetic choices you made in conceiving the triptych? As well, why did you decide to dispense with colour and choose a unique monochromatic feature?

Sheryl Luxenburg: The triptych is meant to portray a street scene. The background is meant to portray a cement wall with 3 por-

traits of a topless woman covering her breasts. The covering of the breasts are a defensive yet assertive stance saying no to abuse. The viewer cannot see the breasts in order to protect her privacy. The 3 portraits embedded into the inanimate cement wall is to show that trauma occurred in the past and belongs in the past. The metaphor of the inanimate wall means it is not alive and doesn’t belong in the present. There is intentionality to separate the past from the present.

Given I specialize in a flattened depiction of space, which intentionally lightens the subject around the perimeter of each shape highlighting a 180 degree view, and whereas in regular realism the shading is darkened around the perimeter to illustrate a 360 degree view, I used a regular realism method for the background figures and a flattened depiction of space for the life size figure. The animate figure standing life size on the street shows survivorship. The interplay between regular realism and the flattened depiction of space realism worked well because it accentuated the contrast between the background figures and the foreground life size figure.

The background figures symbolize not only surviving incestuous sexual abuse at the hands of my father but also in surviving several heart attacks due to Systemic Lupus. All these situations were a challenge to live through and it has taken me a couple of decades of positive strength to recover. The black border around each panel was created in order to punctuate and honour survivorship. I decided to dispense with colour and go monochromatic because I felt it

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BOTTOM LAYER TWO HEADS OF HAIR CENTRE PANEL
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ART Habens Sheryl Luxenburg CLOSE UP CENTRE PANEL

strengthened the message I wanted to deliver.

As I have reviewed your work over the years, I notice that you leave few elements to chance or mere aesthetic complacency. I would go as far in saying that your artworks are similar to architectural structures, each element be they transparent shower glass which speaks of isolation, or dripping water as a metaphor for tears and cleansing, you deliberately use symbolism to strengthen your powerful allegories. In To Everything There Is A Season your communication appears even more poignant as the arm gestures are clearly communicating ‘Do not touch my body’ and the central figure standing life size presents with a rather defiant demeanour. How did you develop this aspect and why did you leave even less room to interpretation and ambiguity?

Sheryl Luxenburg: I did not want to leave anything to ambiguity. I had been struggling for decades with having to keep my feelings bottled up, and I wanted to publicly state that sexual abuse is a criminal offence.

As you remarked to us a few years ago, you had an epiphany two decades ago when you realized that your subject matter was a direct projection of the psychological struggles you were having in your life. Therefore it makes complete sense that the subject of To Everything There Is A Season, taken from The Bible is about survival, transformational growth, recovery and healing. This aspect of your approach reminds us of the ideas behind Rebecca Horn's artworks ‘to create art that throws a lifeline to whom creates it, and that at the same time provides the viewers with a deep moral compass’.

Sheryl Luxenburg: As you reveal great wis-

dom and self awareness of reality, your artistic production has again attracted our attention for its multilayered quality. Besides being incredibly eye-catching for it’s irrefutably aesthetic features, your paintings challenge the viewers' perception, urging them to overcome the dichotomy between what may be a painting recreated verbatim from your photographic source material, and what belongs instead to the realm of imagination and exaggerated fiction. Switching between photo-realism and expressionistic hyper-realism, how do you play with the tension between the real and the imagined? In particular, why is it so important for you to give life to images where you are able to create the illusion of reality in order to communicate your emotions?

My fine art education from the late 1970s through the mid 1980s fostered the development of my photorealism skills, but in the last twenty five years I have become more interested in playing with the exaggeration of reality.

Your personal story reminds us of a quote by artist and poet Max Ernst when he underlined that ‘every human being and not merely the artist has an inexhaustible store of buried images in the subconscious, and that it is merely a matter of courage or liberating procedures of voyages into the unconscious, to bring pure and unadulterated found objects to light’. How do you consider the role of your subconscious in your artistic process?

Sheryl Luxenburg: When I initially designed this project, I believe I did so for the most part with conscious intention. Because I had never spoken up before about the abuse, I wanted to be sincere and forthcoming. Only

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towards the end of the design stage did I realize that In portraying the characters, I had unconsciously been also trying to acknowledge the fact that I have survived a few heart attacks due to Lupus in 2007. The figures embedded in the cement wall is a symbol of this life threat.

British artist Chris Ofili once stated ‘that the studio is a laboratory, not a factory. An exhibition is the result of your experiments, but the process is never-ending. So an exhibition is not a conclusion’. What should we expect as a next step from your artistic production?

Sheryl Luxenburg: I think we can expect more of the same, continuing with the aftermath of speaking up and what that looks like in my life.

It is important to remark that you want to use this project to raise awareness for the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. We deeply support the way To Everything There Is A Season draws from your personal feelings of upset and struggle, and it is wonderfully educational that you have found a way to transform your pain to paint in order to create this powerful proactive force. Experiences such as sexual assault leave us with a sense of disbelief, confusion and outrage. Sharing ones story about abuse and then what survival looks like can serve as a role model for others hurting. It is our honest opinion that we find your artistic production as highly unique because it breaks the barriers of language to create an opportunity for universality.

Sheryl Luxenburg: Thank you for all your support. I truly appreciate it. The project has been ongoing, a gift that keeps on giving. From the time of its release in late 2020,

many people in the public have come forward writing me emails, telling me that they read the project, and have now found the courage to speak up and get professional help.

An interview by , curator and curator

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Sheryl Luxenburg ART Habens THE BEST OF ME, AFTER 4TH HEART ATTACK
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Bransha Gautier

Hello Bransha and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would like to invite our readers to visit https://www.bransha.com and we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. You are a multidisciplinary artist with a solid formal training and after started your education and career as a painter, you continued to profound your artistic skills more towards photography and film: how did these experiences influence your evolution as an artist? In particular, are there any experiences that did particularly help you to develop your attitude to experiment with different techniques?

Bransha Gautier: Hello it’s nice to be here. There are many experiences that had an impact on my evolution as an artist as basically everything we do has, so experimenting with diverse techniques and playing in different art fields brought me enormous pleasure and even enriched my career to the fullest. Yes I started my career as a painter, creating a bit unique style that brought me a lot of international exhibitions, therefore I travelled to many exotic destinations that completely reshaped my life and stirred my path from painting more towards photography and motion picture. There were times when I thought it would be better to profound one skill rather than work simultaneously with several however today I realise that multidisciplinarism was the way for me to go. As if one art field was the portal to the other so my curiosity kept growing and even today you can find me working in

completely new art media. I get very passionate about everything I do and it occupies my whole time and being! When I start to paint e.g. I can’t stop until I’m done and sometimes it takes a month to complete one art piece. As if some higher force possessed my mind and body that doesn’t let me do or think anything else but paint. It’s more-less the same in all other art disciplines

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that I work in. Truly for me art is like a sacred space especially painting, sculpting, fashion and everything that I create with bare hands (non digitally). It transcends to the whole other dimensions and as a reward, aside from a great personal satisfaction, it gives me also an opportunity to exhibit in prestigious photo festivals, oil-painting biennales as well film and new-media festivals all around the world, that would be impossible otherwise.

On some deeper level everything in life is connected and that is how my art also led from one art-field to another. My paintings were highly inspired by Viennese Secession and I guess I turned from painting into photography while exhibiting and working in Korea and Sudan. I fell in love with their both so fascinating and yet completely different cultures and costumes that I wanted to capture every single moment with all that beauty as seen through my eyes...

The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ART Habens and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article has at once captured our attention for the way your exploration of the theme of crosscultural psychology is the way it goes beyond any kind of self-referential exoticism, creating a bridge between the viewers and the culture that you drive them to explore: when walking our readers through your usual setup and process, would you tell us how do you develop your ideas?

Bransha Gautier: Actually I mostly don’t develop them at all. My best ideas always come when least expected, when deeply relaxed in meditative state and sometimes even occupied with other things. Most of the time when you're still and not trying to steer

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things in a certain way is really when the magic can happen. So on the surface it looks like that everything happens accidentally, I just stumble upon some situation on the street or as it happens a festival is just happening at that moment etc. so I was very lucky to capture some precious moments in time that also thought me to look at the whole world differently as well that magic is all around us, if you can get above your noisy mind that is. I don’t have a typical setup and creative process because for me art comes from deep within; it’s the reflection of that current, specific and unique moment that exists only then. Maybe there are repetitive similar imaginary but what you capture is that unique essence that can’t be expressed verbally. So even though I tried to plan a few times how I’ll develop my ideas and put them in motion and even tried to analyse the whole creative process as soon as I start to work it always turns into something completely different. Therefore I approach my urge to create open minded and from there the ideas are born not the other way around. I just let them out, that’s all.

New York City based artist Lydia Dona once stated that in order to make art today one has to reevaluate the conceptual language behind the mechanism of art making itself: do you carefully plan your photographs or do you work more instinctively? In particular, how do you consider the role of chance and improvisation playing within your creative process?

Bransha Gautier: As mentioned briefly in previous question, I get the best results working on instincts with open mind and heart. If I travel somewhere specific of course I like to do my research and find out what’s most of my interest, especially since I like to

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explore ethnic tribes. However as life will have it, usually you end up creating even better shots while spending time with locals. It is not always easy to have a life as an artist, especially if you live in less developed countries so in general the role of chance

both for an art object as well an artist itself, is pretty important. On one way in art world unfortunately everything is about connections or to say it more politely “to be on the right place at the right time with the right people” However, in my opinion, to be a

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good artist you only need to have urge to create and bravery not to give up, everything else will line-up itself: the funds, circumstances, publicity and so on..Regarding photography I would spend some time working on post production but I rarely shoot

in a studio. I like natural environment, daylight and traditional clothing and surroundings.

We appreciate the way your works constantly capture surrounding life, intriguing the viewers also in ordinary things that belongs to such a variery of cultures:

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regarding to your experience of teaching in Sudan, India, as well as in Brazil, Korea and China, how does your everyday life's experience and your memories fuel your artistic research?

Bransha Gautier: Pretty much! I was very lucky to experience these fascinating cultures

in person with their mesmerising customs and rituals. It’s one thing when you visit a country as a tourist and the whole other dimension when you are living and working with locals. These experiences had an enormous impact as well on my personal life as on professional line on work. My life got whole other meaning

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enriched with new languages, stories and legends from different continents, diverse spiritual practices that you can also see in my artworks that are field with folklore scenes from all around the world. And despite very different customs, everyday rituals, religious or political views all people just want to be

loved and accepted. Not only that we all share same basic needs but even beyond that there’s a greater picture that united us all. And that’s what my art is all about! About unity in diversity in all its abundance with thousands subcultures and their countless traditions. The best hope of humankind is to

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maintain as rich in a diversity of social types as possible and unity in diversity is the highest possible attainment of a civilization, a testimony to the noblest possibilities of the human race. It plays a very crucial role in maintaining a peaceful coexistence with the people with diverse culture and background. It helps us to stay together and stay united despite our dissimilarities. All these approaches and experiences have been very enriching, influenced and complemented, to evolve as an artist.

You often draw from popular culture, and you created animations inspired by Depeche Mode and Chris Cornell among the others, and we really appreciate the way you acheive to show the point of convergence between traditions and cultures from different corners of the world, unveiling our profound need for oneness. As an artist particularly able to ring out the values of multiculturalism, how do you consider the relationship between Tradition and Contemporariness? In particular, do you think that your artistic research respond to a particular cultural moment?

Bransha Gautier: That animations were specifically created for Depeche Mode’s Facebook Takeover from a photograph that was previously part of Anton Corbijn’s stage pre-encore project and was screening on Delta Machine World Tour in 2013/14. Another was a tribute to Chris Cornell after his tragic death. It has been said that to be original you have to go to the origin and create something new so that link between traditional and contemporary is always there as coexistence of the past and the present. In the centre of my artistic work is ethnicity in all its glory with its rituals and spiritual practices. Regardless if animations or photography my pieces portray

humans believes in different time zones and places. I like to explore ethnic tribes and their customs. I approach these subjects not only from aesthetic point of view, to showcase their colourful folklore but to convey the

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message that educate humanity and leads them to reflect on important contemporary issues. If there’s an influence on my artistic research and approach I would say that it’s humanitarian, social one rather than a

particular cultural movement. I travel all around the world and I’m especially touched and concerned with a female role in a certain societies, behaviour of human being as well ecological issues that tend to be often linked

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together.

Your artworks feature such unique strong colors that you sapiently combine with rigorous composition, and that we can admire especially in Red for passion: how

does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of your tones and why did you decide to include such kind of signature in all your artistic production?

Bransha Gautier: I absolutely love bold

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colours and somehow I always travel to countries that overflow with vibrant complexion. If you visit India, Mexico, Thailand, Brazil the dynamic culture, streets, flowers are on every corner, as if you enter in

an ancient folk tale. Colours represent different emotions to people living in various regional, geographical, and religious divides but colour, in essence, has been a large part of my consciousness as well. I love to use vibrant nuances to enhance the richness of a culture or as a synonymous with religion – an expression of faith and beliefs. Other times I would use eccentric, multicoloured shades to emphasise the intertwined world of inner and outside realities. As seen by our prehistoric ancestors red is dynamic and continuously breathing fire colour that symbolize blood and danger “Red for passion- Wrong Fashion” is a series of photographs that I created to support animal rights and raise awareness about cruelty on animals in fashion industry that are every year brutally slaughtered and experimented on for the makeup and clothing industry. Change starts by each one of us. We have the choice to stop the cruelty by choosing other fabrics instead of leather, wool or fur, and buying cosmetics which have not been tested on animals.

As you have remarked on your artist's statement, in your opinion photography and art in general should primarily exist to spark change in the world and help humanity to develop better and further: how do you consider the role of artists in our globalised and everchanging society?

Bransha Gautier: Art is a form of non verbal communication and therefore transcends the limits that language places upon words to convey ideas within linguistic criteria, so in my opinion art should deliver questions or raise awareness on most important topics of today! We as artists have an obligation to reshape the world for better trough art. Like before when true journalism was still alive the same way artist should display the society they are living

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Bransha Gautier ART Habens

in, raise awareness about racism, sexism, feminism etc. Art brings oneness in differences. It binds people with all their differences including lifestyle, dressing sense, rituals of worship, etc to live together with harmony in one bond of humanity. I think that art must have an expression of reality. I try to create force within a visual movement. Despite being a static image, you can feel the dynamic, energetic atmosphere. I always try to give into social criticism in support of human rights as well animal rights and freedom of expression in general. Art is a powerful tool and it can be an endless source of ideas and inspiration that continuously opens new questions and hypothesis

You also create stimulating animated films and another work of yours that we would like to introduce to our readers is entitled The Golden Year of Awakening and can be viewed at https://youtu.be/iNP1CmNs8c4. We have been deeply impressed with your sapient and extremely personal use of animation techniques to provide the viewers with such immersive visual experience: what were you choices on a technical and aesthetic aspect in order to achieve such brilliant results? Moreover, how would you characterize your animation style?

Bransha Gautier: Thank you. The Golden Year of Awakening was created for a Magical Mind TV, that’s a short educational mini TV series about art and spirituality. It’s based on profound teachings of leading spiritual teachers like Eckhart Tolle, Osho, Krishnamurti etc. as well people who overcame major life obstacles. It exists to help people in need in overcoming their physical disabilities so I had a pleasure to meet and interview some really amazing people like Mimi Kirk a 82 year young lady

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who is one of the healthiest people in the world without any medication whatsoever. The Golden Year of Awakening is originally created for 2017 however it is applicable anytime every year, every day when we finally awake from a deep dream we are living in. Around the time of filming there was a China Lantern Festival in town so I thought with all that mesmerising lights it would be a perfect fit to the message I wanted to deliver and with a little help of Adobe After Effects, I usually work with, the magic happened indeed :)

Sound plays a crucial role in The Golden Year of Awakening and we particularly appreciated the way you mixed moving images with Queen's masterpiece Innuendo, in order to create such captivating visual rhythm: how did select the soundtrack and how do you consider the relationship between sound and moving images?

Bransha Gautier: Oh yes the one and only: Queen! An innuendo as an insinuation or intimation about someone or something emphasise perfect how everything just points to something much greater then ourselves, much greater that we actually know. Only because we label things with words doesn’t mean that we really know or understand them. There’s much more to a plant, dog and even simple chair! Innuendo can literally translate to "Hidden Meaning" revealing the meaning of the universal questions - life & death & that invisible essence that surrounds all. This profound song with all its mixed musical styles is still after 30 years absolute masterpiece and it just proves how Freddie Mercury was ahead of his time and how real music is made for life, not like today’s season’s hits where you can hardly distinguish one singer from the other. But I guess with all

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Bransha Gautier ART Habens

the lies, corrupted politicians all around the world and fake news we are living today it’s no wonder that the music is as it is. We can learn right from Innuendo:” Surrender your ego be free! Be free to yourself” I would like to end my explanation with quote from Plato: “Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and

leads to all that is good, just and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form”

Do you think that being a self-taught film maker and photographer, provides your artistic research with some special value, urging you to keep learning more and more?

Bransha Gautier: Well, academic training in some art fields definitely straightened my self-

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ART Habens Bransha Gautier

taught knowledge, however in other study and learning never stops. I spent years researching materials, mediums, shapes as well art history and ethnology. I think learning and improving yourself is of most importance! Not because you have to prove yourself to someone nor for a degree specific but purely for yourself, as food for your soul and brain. On that way our imaginary is expanded, consciousness as creatives reach a greater dimension and new

ideas as well improved skills are born or reborn. By learning I don’t mean only artistically but also emotionally, spirituality etc. In my opinion evolution is not over and we are on this planet to develop further and greater all together as beings in human, animal or plant form

In a controversial quote, German photographer Thomas Ruff stated that ''nowadays you don't have to paint to be an artist: you can just create photographs in a realistic way". Provocatively, the German photographer highlighted the short circuit between the act of looking and that of thinking critically about images: how do you consider the role of photography in our contemporary age, constantly saturated by ubiquitous images?

Bransha Gautier: Today everyone is a “photographer” Especially with Instagram and other social networks from selfies to the explosion of food snapshots; I think we are a bit overwhelmed in general with quantity lacking in quality. I miss a bit time before smartphones where people still read and were able to have a conversation without reaching for their phone every five minutes. Same with photography where popularisation of smartphones and filters are applied. In some ways, the widespread proliferation of amateur content does destroy professional and hobbyist works, whether they be photos or articles and professional journalism. Even documentary photo/video shots today are too much if you consider that people will rather film a person in danger then instinctively helped! Still I don’t won’t to generalise and of course I think there are today absolutely amazing photographers who bring art of photography to the completely new level I’m just a bit into -less is more- mode.

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You are an estabished artist: over the years you have participated to a number of exhibitions, including biennales in London, Beijing, Bangladesh, Shenzhen to over hundreds of exhibitions and film festivals all around the world: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? Direct relationship with the viewers in a physical context is definetely the most important one, in order to snatch the spirit of a work of Art. However, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, and especially in these hectic days, to the online realm — as Instagram https://www.instagram.com/branshagauti er — increases: how would in your opinion change the relationship with a globalised audience?

Bransha Gautier: Artists need an audience today as much online as physically. I have to admit that I’m neither a fan of online exhibitions & social networks nor I’m active online as artist should be. I find it rather an ego boosting waste of time, to be completely honest. I rather devote myself to nature and further realisation of my ideas and reduce my time online to the minimum. Still I do share updates about my upcoming events and/or publications on Instagram/ Facebook and personal website. I prefer my artworks to be seen physically, during exhibitions. It’s completely different vibe when the observer feels the artwork live as on screen and it’s important to truly understand the work. Also it’s nice to meet peoplein person; it’s more personal and intimate.

We have really appreciated the originality of your artistic production and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us

and for sharing your thoughts, Bransha. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?

Bransha Gautier: It has been a pleasure talking to you! Well, I’m always working on several projects at the same time, including

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ART Habens Bransha Gautier

two large art installations that are a mixture of many diverse mediums and materials and will be first shown to Viennese public. Both of these multidisciplinary works are inviting the observer to rethink and reconstruct themselves from observation and the generation of meanings in order to establish intense and

fruitful relationships in the cultural field. I also have some interesting exhibitions and further interviews on the doorstop therefore my work is always in so much motion that I can’t wait to finally have a well deserved and long, long vacation! :)

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poverous popuerta, installation at Zweigstelle Berlin ga
Special Issue 2 Froso Papadimitriou ART Habens
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video, 2013 llery, Berlin Germany

slow the the much oil installation at Gallery D, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei Taiwan

Froso Papadimitriou

Hello Froso and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would like to invite our readers to visit https://www.frosopapadimitriou.com in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production and we would start this interview with a couple of introductory questions. You have a solid formal training and after your studies in Greece, you moved to London to nurture your education, completing a BA (Hons) in Fine Art at Middlesex University and an MA in Arts Management and Policy, Curatorial and Educational pathway at Birkbeck University of London: how did those formative years, as well as relocating to London, influence your evolution as an artist? Moreover, how does your cultural substratum due to your Greek roots address your current artistic research?

Froso Papadimitriou: Hi, there. It is a great pleasure to be part of ART Habens. Thank you for the invite.

My self-proclamation as an artist happened in 2009 when I graduated from my Fine Arts degree. Before that neither I considered myself as an artist nor I was practising fine art. I came to the UK to study motion graphics, but choose to start with a broader degree in Arts and specialise in my MA. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I had higher expectations from my course in terms of video related specialists and equipment than what I found and I had to decide whether I would drop out and return to Greece or finish the 1st year and then transfer. I choose the latter and then for that year I started spending time in the art studios. There I found the freedom I wanted to create for myself. One of the most influential figures during my studies is the UK based artist and my allocated tutor then, Jefford Horrigan. Apart from his thought-provoking work, as a tutor, he was the one who motivated me and gave me the confidence to pursue art after University. That changed my future plans entirely and where I am right now.

Soon after my graduation another opportunity was presented to me, to work as a volunteer at the Topolski Century museum in Southbank, London. After a year I submitted a proposal to the trustees and I was given a space in the museum for contemporary exhibitions and this is how my curatorial and art management career started and lead to my MA and many great collaborations internationally. (Regrettably, the museum changed in 2013 to a bar, due to lack of funding, maintaining

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with the

on

I

part of the collection on display but not the art activities that where taking place there)

So, it was London and circumstances that have realised this artist into the world.

As for my Greek roots, there is a fundamental influence on the way I think and approach my work. One of the signature materials I use in all of my work is thread. This is a direct reference to the ancient Greek myth of the Treis Moires (Three

Fates) Clotho the one who unravels, Lachesis the one that measures and Atropos the one that cuts the tread of life. The threads in my work represent individual lives, some long and other short, interwoven in clusters or torn apart from each other, similar to our social structures. When the threads are woven together, they can create but when they break apart, they destroy it, see fabric for example.

Although my practice addresses what I perceive as

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ART Habens Froso Papadimitriou marks my hands will tell you my story...Hajichi, installation at Arcade Art Studio and Space, Okinaw

global issues, it does stem from my understanding of the two environments I spend my life in, Greece and the UK. However, my major ongoing project examines the way we relate to our past, by taking traditions and beliefs in different parts of the world and juxtaposing them to the modern way of living. I am interested especially in countries that have layers of different cultural influences and the sense of identity of their local inhabitants. The project started in Okinawa Japan in 2016, moved to UK

2017, touched Germany briefly in 2018 and the next step I am working towards is South America.

As a versatile artist, your creative production encompasses drawing, painting, sculpture, video and installations: what does direct you to such interdisciplinary approach? In particular, are there any experiences that did particularly help you to develop your attitude to experiment with different techniques?

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a City, Okinawa Japan

Froso Papadimitriou: Before I studied Fine Arts, I undertook several other studies on illustration, multimedia and graphic design and worked in those fields. That knowledge and experience allow me to cross disciplines. Usually, an idea comes in a particular form and defines the medium I will use. In many cases, it might be a material or a technique that I never worked with in the past. The prospect is always tempting and although many of these attempts have failed miserably, they taught me a lot. It is also a personal characteristic of mine, while I love challenge, I dread repetition.

Your installation Femininity and the one eyed monstress... has structed us for the way it examines our resilience to ubiquitous attempt to being indoctrinated: when walking our readers through the genesis of your artwork, would you tell us how do you consider the role of artists in our everchanging contemporary society?

Froso Papadimitriou: This particular work is a question to the title “Freedom of Femininity” of an exhibition I took part, organised and curated by Zuza Tehanu. The solidity of these words is indoctrinated to us from a young age, yet I apprehended that I was uncertain what the term “femininity” really means (not that I am sure what freedom truly means either but that is for another whole interview). I, therefore, had to understand what we refer to as “Femininity” before I began to discuss about its freedom. I since concluded that femininity is a multitude of identities from physical characteristics to historical, cultural and spiritual notions, each one with the power and the use to free, enslave, elevate and manipulate the individual. Would it be then “Freedom of or from Femininity”?

This work is focusing in the way we, as women, understand the term “femininity”, how different it can manifest itself depending on the individual and how to identify when we as women become our own oppressors when trying to adhere to stereotypes of “femininity” which fail to represent us.

It is a highly symbolic work. The “One eyed monster” is a UK slang term for the male reproductive organ; playing with words this phallic reference transforms to a female form aiming to highlight

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tell me where you were born and I will tell you your future..., sculpture

ART Habens Special Issue 21 4 08 Froso Papadimitriou
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femininity and the one eyed monstress, installation at Grote Sint LaurensKerk, Alkmaar Netherlands

that stereotypes and restrictions can also come from within. The work is made by colourful threads, each one representing the individuality of a person’s life. The eye for mouth is a direct reference to the once strong belief that women should be appropriated to be looked at but have no voice. The handmade crochet elements on the work are by my late grandmother. In her time in Greece handmade crochet was an indication of femininity and suitability for marriage. The mother-in-law would visit the bride’s house to inspect her crochets in order to evaluate the bride. My grandmother was very proud of her crochets, which have exquisite intricacy. We had suitcases of them left to us after her death. Here are used as a homage to her remarkable skill, whilst asking a very stout question about the ambiguous nature of femininity. Moving lower through the tight crochet dress of the structure, all the colourful threads become red, reiterating the redundant yet powerful physicality of being a woman.

If through this artwork I have accomplished to open a dialogue concerning the above observations, then I believe I have succeeded in my role as an artist on this occasion. I think that the role of the artists hasn’t fundamentally changed for over centuries. Conveying a message, whether is a personal thought, a political statement or a philosophical debate, creating room for dialogue and critical thinking, I believe is what artists have been doing for centuries, regardless of how their role was used by different social structures and their interests.

When playing with symbols of ‘looks’, Femininity and the one eyed monstress... highlights that femininity has become a symbol of major changes in human relations: how do you consider the role of symbolically charged images in your artistic production?

Froso Papadimitriou: I would say that symbolism and symbolical images dominate my work. It is a code of communication, a treasure hunt with leads and allusions. Although I consider myself a direct person, my work is the polar opposite. I think it is because my aim is not to tell the viewer what to think; the way we structure our thoughts is very

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ART Habens Froso Papadimitriou mother and man, sculpture
black dot series 09, painting

personal. I rather, want to stimulate the viewer to think. I sometimes use more evident clues towards a specific subject and others more elusive but all aim towards thought stimulation.

Your artistic research highlights the tension be-

tween the Self and its surroundings, and as you have remarked once, the main influence of your work is the binaries that resonate between the self and its role within social environments: what does attract you of the nature of social dynamics?

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Froso Papadimitriou ME!, painting

Froso Papadimitriou: My work is a reaction to our anthropocentric times. Whilst trying to identify my place within the ever-shifting social exchanges, I observe us striving to fit in a prescribed normality and inhabit an array of personas to achieve that. That is partially due to the expansion of what we

identify as our environment. Although in the past we ascertained ourself with our local now we operate globally and therefore we have an abundance of “locals” we can choose to identify with. By doing so we gradually become occupied and self-absorbed in social realms that demand evermore in

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big manifesto series 01, painting

gaining self-worth. Thus, we become less critical of the nature of these social realms and reduce our attention and contribution to crucial issues of universal welfare.

We don’t question the decline of human worth

compared to gain, nor all the feel-good mechanisms set by canning craftsmen for cashing in the guild we are made to feel for the state of the world and the false belief of our inability to change it, neither the intentional division of causes to smaller antagonistic groups illustrating the infallible divide

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ripped series 02, painting

and concur. Instead we tag along doing the bare minimum that fits our congested lives.

I like to observe and understand how things operate, how do we forge our relationships and why we adopt certain behaviours that allow us to abstain when we are most needed to take control. These are questions I want to discuss.

We have appreciated the contrapuntal visual quali-

ties that mark out your Pointless Self-Portraits series, and especially the way you sapiently combined references to human body and such unique abstract quality, that could recognize also in your interesting Invocation (next step): how do you structure the balance between tones and shapes in order to achieve such brilliant results?

Froso Papadimitriou: As mentioned above my work is anthropocentric and that includes the phys-

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pointless self-portrait 04, painting soul...goodbye, painting chess, sculpture

the oil price gone up, sculpture

icality of the human body. There are parts of the body that evoke certain emotions, different when placed in various contexts. Familiar references in my work play a big part however, the work evolves during its creation, especially with my painting work. I start with suggestions of shapes to create the composition but they change and grow to their final form as I work on them. There is nothing set in stone at the beginning except from the intention of what I want to discuss. The final result descends from a flow that at one point just feels enough.

The work “Invocation next step” is a collaboration

with two very talented artists, Joefur, who created the painted details on the sculpture and Zuza Tehanu, who is the model behind the work. This work came together for Zuza’s band’s “Yavenirie” music video and similarly, as above, the work developed in that moment.

Over the years you have participated and also organised artistic projects, that gave you the occasion to collaborate with artists from around the world: what did you learn from such experiences? And how important is for you to establish collaborative relationships with other creative minds?

Froso Papadimitriou: Collaborating is the next best thing to making. Apart from the inspiration, stimulation and knowledge one gets, being surrounded by creative minds, its great fun and the potentials of the outcome expediential. I have been very honoured to work with some brilliant artists, many of them now good friends and I am looking forward to working with them again and many more artists in the future.

We have appreciated the way you sapiently deploy elements that belong to the familiar sphere, to create such unique sense of ambiguity that elicit the viewers' intellectual and emotional responses, inviting them to elaborate personal associations: how important is for you to create works of art able to provide the viewers with a shared experience? Or do you prefer that each visitor attempt to create personal interpretations?

Froso Papadimitriou: In order to create a bridge of communication between the artist and the viewer through the artwork, I strongly believe in laying some common grounds for that communication then to flourish. This also gives the opportunity to the viewer to relate to the artwork through these common citations and for the artwork to resonate with the viewer.

I believe that the experience one has with an artwork is personal, as the stimuli to our senses is interpreted through a filter of our personal references. The experience becomes shared when viewers share between them their interpreta-

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Froso Papadimitriou ART Habens invocation, next step installation at a private studio

tions and, at this point, it is no longer about the artwork itself but each individual’s imprint of it.

You are an established artist and over the years your artworks have been internationally showcased in several occasions, moreover, you organise and curate exhibitions and events: as an artist who uses your work as a platform for discussion, how do you consider the participatory nature of your relationship with your audience? Moreover, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to the online realm — as Instagram — increases, how would in your opinion change the relationship with an ever growing, almost globalised spectatorship?

Froso Papadimitriou: The presentation of an artwork can be very crucial in the way the artwork can be perceived. The outlets you mentioned for showcasing a work of art do not cancel each other I believe, but rather they enhance it. Nothing can compare to viewing an original artwork, however, that doesn’t mean that a digital reproduction of it can not convey its message and to a considerably larger audience; and why not bringing an artwork out in the street, off its pedestal and closer to the people one wants to engage with? I try to be in all.

My work is very tactile therefore, I thoroughly enjoy the physicality of a gallery. I also have an instagram account (https://www.instagram.com/froso_papadimitriou) and I would be a liar if I denied the pleasure of instant gratification. I have also done a few projects outdoors or with audience participation and I hope to do more, it is a different way of engagement, a very rewarding one. As a contemporary artist one has to be a bit of a juggler to be relevant, however, I believe there is a limit to that, so one doesn’t lose the integrity of their art.

We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Froso. What projects are you cur-

rently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?

Froso Papadimitriou: I would like to thank you in return for the opportunity and the time you have put in looking into my work in such depth.

At the moment I am involved with three very exciting projects.

One is the “Telephone”, a global art project based on the children’s game “Telephone” in which a message is whispered from person to person. In this game, the message is whispered from art form to art form. The founder is Nathan Langston and with a great team, all of which work voluntarily around the clock, they have covered 4,000,000 miles between 840+ artists from 443 cities in 66 countries. (and that is from the last update the game is still on). The final exhibition will take place online, where one will be able to trace the whole journey.

The link for the current one will be released once the game is concluded. Here is the link to the first “Telephone” project 2014, in which I also took part:

http://telephone.satellitecollective.org

The next project is “Birthing a Better Future”, aiming to raise awareness of the importance of the child’s and the mother’s wellbeing for the first 1001 days from the day the child is conceived, to their mental and physical health thereafter. The project is organised by Alex Florschutz, who has put a lot of work and hours voluntarily for this project to reach a global audience. The exhibition is been travelling since 2016 with the next upcoming location in Delhi, India in 2021 and with an online outlet:

https://www.artsteps.com/view/5ed13986c8af804f2 a998c4c

The third project is the group exhibition ‘Identity’ in Phylogeny Contemporary gallery in Seattle, USA. It is a physical exhibition and an online showcase from 15 of January – 27 February 2021.

At the moment I am also working in a new body of work and aiming to continue my ongoing project I mention at the beginning of the interview and hoping to participate to some international residencies, when COVID-19 permits.

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ART Habens Froso Papadimitriou
pointless self-portrait 01
Hedge 18x24 Oil

Hello Patricia and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would like to invite our readers to visit https://www.facebook.com/PatriciaSpoon-Colorful-Abstract-Art101873661574659/ and we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. Are there any experiences that did particularly influence your evolution as an artist? In particular, what did address you to create abstract artworks?

Patricia Spoon: My evolution as an artist is an extraordinary journey.My Influences include self individuality, lines, geometric patterns, angles, colors and movement.These components are very important elements to my work. I began to explore self individuality and applied what I discovered,to my paintings. I found that my I express tone with colorful lines and geometric patterns.I bring these elements to my art with a passion. To express my creative thoughts.Colors are a huge influence in my art. I use both bold and soft colors to express self individuality.

Lines and angles and geometric patterns in my art are all factors to a great painting. I express motion tone

using these factors geometric lines, angle, colors, and motion.This components are vital to my art.To fully express my creativity, I use influences moods that are positive in my art. Past experiences that I enjoy to remember are sometimes are expressed through my Art but Iam definitely a self individualist and my main focus is to

Patricia Spoon Patricia Spoon
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An interview by , curator and curator

display self expression.

The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ART Habens — and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article — has at once captured our attention for the way you sapiently provide your paintings with sense of motion, challenging the viewers' perceptual categories. When walking our readers through your usual setup, would you tell us how do you structure your process in order to achieve such brilliant results?

Patricia Spoon: When I create geometric patterns it's to show the viewers self individuality. I use motion to display the ever going evolution self individualism. Colorful areas are then applied and incorporated into my paintings. This is to express individuality. I then bring together the concept of motion with geometric patterns. My technique is difficult and times consuming. My composition takes careful strokes and I use delicate technique. it's a very unique style.I use Oil and Acrylic mediums. I keep in my mind why I began art with a evolution for self individualism when Iam painting my art.

We have particularly appreciated the way you combine delicate tones with geometric patterns — as in the stimulating Hedge — to create tension

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ART Habens Patricia Spoon
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11x14 Oil ART Habens
Element
Patricia Spoon

Elemental 18x24 Oil

ART Habens Patricia Spoon 23 4 Special Issue

and dynamics. How does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones that you decide to include in your artworks and in particular, how do you develop your textures?

Patricia Spoon: The process for creating my art is definitely unique. My influences are colors, lines, angles, and textures. Bold colors represent moods such as happiness passion and motion. Geometric lines are used to express strong stern direct feelings. I completely express my thoughts and emotion to canvas.Then I combine self expression with individuality to create a tranquil composition.I paint with oil and acrylic mediums.The process, I use for creating my paintings is time consuming. In my opinion, and it’s just an opinion, great art composition, is always left up to the artist.My paintings are a reflection of expression and self individuality.

New York City based artist Lydia Dona once stated that in order to make art today one has to reevaluate the conceptual language behind the mechanism of art making itself: do you create your works gesturally, instinctively? Or do you methodically transpose geometric schemes?

Patricia Spoon: My art is a refection to self individuality. It’s a representation of uniqueness.I use geometric patterns

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Patricia Spoon
Elemental box 11x14 Oil

to express self individuality. I then bring together the concept of motion with geometric patterns.My technique is difficult and times consuming. My art

composition takes careful strokes. It's a very unique style.I use oil and acrylic mediums, when Iam painting my art.I use my technique to display self

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Passion 5x11 Oil ART Habens Patricia Spoon

individuality. Lines, angles and geometric patterns are my technique to express these ideas. The display of these ideas are shown in my paintings.

My paintings express, a symphonic arrangement of self individuality. The composition of self individuality is clearly in impression in my

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paintings.Expression can be seen by the colors, I incorporate into my paintings. The colors are used are both bold and soft. From bright colors to soft colors, they all can be found in my paintings.Geometric patterns are also used to produce the display self individuality. Lines and angles and are also expressed, to the significance of self expression in my paintings.

With their multilayered visual quality, your artworks seem to invite the viewers to look inside of what appear to be seen, providing them with freedom to realize their own perception: how important is for you to trigger the viewers' imagination in order to address the viewers to elaborate personal interpretations? In particular, how open would you like your works to be understood?

I use geometric patterns and colors to attract the eyes of the audience, this to stimulates the audience to form an interpretation or not. Interpretations are always up the viewer.Art interpretation is always up to the viewer, The viewers perception of my art is all up to the viewer. My thoughts and creative vision, is to express self individuality. I use geometric patterns to create the interpretation of self expression. I then use the lines and angles to display the evolution of self individuality. Movement is

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ART Habens Patricia Spoon
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Brick 11x14 Oil ART Habens Patricia Spoon

2 11x14 Oil

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Colors ART Habens Patricia Spoon

incorporated into my paintings, grasping the idea of individuality all through my art.The constant evolution of self individuality is also shown through the moment displayed in my Art.

We have really appreciated the way your works embody an interface between reality and imagination. Scottish artist Peter Doig once remarked that even the most realistic works of art are derived more from within the head than from what's out there in front of us: how do you consider the relationship between reality and imagination playing within your work?

Patricia Spoon: Geometric patterns, angles and lines are my way of expressing my creative thoughts and self individuality.Reality and the physical state of ones self individuality is an inspiration to my art.Colors are used in my paintings both bold and soft to express emotion. Movement is an influence in my art and represents a constant evolution of self individuality. Self individuality is a constant evolution and reflected in my paintings using geometric patterns. The art I create is a composition of the imagination,mind and spirit of self expression.I use lines and angles to exhibit the the reality of the imagination, mind and spirit.The reality of how the imagination is a direct

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ART Habens Patricia Spoon

Elementals 11x14 Oil

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Patricia Spoon

message or feeling is perceived, can influence self individuality.

In my paintings, there is a complete representation of self individuality. Creativity can be seen in my paintings with self distinction.Geometric patterns and colors are displayed in my paintings to show the capacity of individuality.Lines and angles are also used in my paintings to show the magnitude and reality self individuality.

How does your memories and your everyday life's experience fuel your artistic practice?

Patricia Spoon: My environment when I create art is most definitely positive one. Great memories are apart of me and make me who I am. I create my paintings with a tranquil mind frame.I keep focus on self individuality and composition. I find a peaceful place to plan and prepare my thoughts for my paintings. Then express them on the Canvas. I transfer

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Colors 5 18x 24 Oil ART Habens Patricia Spoon

my creative thoughts directly to the canvas. I express my creativity and self individuality through my paintings. My creative process is time consuming. I use careful technique using acrylic and oil mediums.This process of creating my art takes about a week to a month for the final result.

Over the years your works have been exhibited in many occasions: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? By the way, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to online platforms — as Instagram — increases, how would in your opinion change the relationship with a globalised audience?

Patricia Spoon: I would say that my global audience has not changed at all.Traditional galleries are great to have exhibitions, however with the rising Covid 19 crisis, it difficult and not realistic for traditional gallery exhibitions because of possibility of Covid 19 contamination. As the covid 19 cases rise across the globe.Its a difficult decision to have exhibitions in traditional galleries, due to the global health crisis of Covid 19. Iam currently in digital exhibits to show my Art. I would definitely say the pandemic has limited the possibility for gallery exhibits. Iam very optimistic about further exhibitions in the future as more opportunities of digital

exhibitions to show my Art become more available. I am currently on Art Tour international, on the Miami Spectrum digital exhibitions.

We have really appreciated the originality of your artistic production and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Patricia. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?

Patricia Spoon: I would like to say thank you for this opportunity for this interview at Art Habens, it certainly has been a great experience.A Current project Iam currently working on is with International Art Tour:Spectrum Miami Exhibition. Its definitely going to be an exciting exhibition.I look forward to exhibiting my Art. Iam definitely optimistic about future projects.My creative community has most definitely expanded as I continue to participate in exhibitions.It’s always great to meet and other artists and discuss art.It certainly has be a great experience discussing my art and creative vision with Art Habens. I thank you for the opportunity to share my Art.

Summer 2015 23 4
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ART Habens Patricia Spoon An interview by , curator and curator
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11x14 Oil ART Habens
Her
Patricia Spoon
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hillflowers 200 x 280 cm

the entry 240 x 190 cm

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Reiner Heidorn

Hello Reiner and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would like to invite our readers to visit https://www.reiner-heidorn.de in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production and we would start this interview with a couple of introductory questions. As a basically autodidact artist, are there any experiences that did particularly influence your evolution as a visual artist? Moreover, how did you come up with the idea of your Dissolutio painting technique?

Reiner Heidorn: I grew up in Southern Bavaria, next to the Buchheim Museum, where in the 90ies I was very impressed by Kirchner, Nolde and Mueller. They have works of Dix, too.

So I started with drawings, than installed a huge table with all sorts of crayons, ink, pencils and kept on producing.

Soon later the table became a room, and since 1998 I had a own large studio. At a certain point of my career

I had the strong urge to disappear, and I found microscope images of chlorophyll and freshwater, which came next to the idea of dissolution. I adopted the pointillism of these botanic and biological images with a certain technique of dripping oilcolors with turpentine and

Reiner Heidorn
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pigments, to create a endless universe, which at least brought me sort of peace and calmness.

The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ART Habens are marked out with such unique visual identity that reflects the personal technique that you have developed over the years. What has at once captured our attention of your your approach is the way you use visual language in a strategic way to offering an array of meanings to the viewers: when walking our readers through your usual setup and process, we would like to ask you if you create your works gesturally, instinctively. In particular, how do you consider the role of chance and improvisation playing within your creative process?

Reiner Heidorn: It may sounds like a joke, but with the years I´ve experienced, that the best way to create these universes is to work in a very high speed with fury and despair :)

My surfaces are resulting, if someone does everything possible wrong during working with oilcolors. I´ve developed all these mistakes into my own technique.

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ART Habens Reiner Heidorn
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sirens 200 x 280 cm

wetgrassnight 180 x 240 cm 2017

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I tried once to paint with patience and consideration, but the result was much worser. The secret is to make everything look improvised, but it is absolutely controlled, as far this is possible in this area of artworks.

If you may have achieved a good painting, you should repeat it at least ten times, to reduce the improvisation and have a result that was in your mind. Than you are able to repeat styles, that you think are worth to establish.

We have been particularly impressed with the sense of movement that marks out your interesting othersurface and we really appreciated the way your artworks create such enigmatic patterns, communicating an alternation between tension and release. How does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones that you decide to include moment by moment in your artworks?

Reiner Heidorn: When I start a new idea I always work in series. I do small and large canvases at the same time and finish everything with speed and without thinking too much about the process. In my gesture I

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Reiner Heidorn

aim to do the sort of figures, like flowers or plants as rough and childish as possible.

I have no interest in a reproduction of reality. I wish to create a feeling of hover, like in a dream. It is no point to discuss, if this painting is over or under

water, everything is pure fiction.

When exploring the relationship between man and nature — as the interesting u are here for a reason — you create works of art that challenge the viewers' perceptual parameters, to create inter-

othersurface 160 x 400 cm
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Reiner Heidorn

zones of sensory perceptions, that invite the viewers to recognize elements from natural environment, as forests, lakes and plants: how do you consider the relationship between reality and imagination, playing within your artistic production? In particular, how does

everyday life's experience fuel your creative process?

Reiner Heidorn: “u are here for a reason” was ment literally if someone steps in front of this painting and starts to watch it, he does it for a

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Reiner Heidorn

reason.

I want to use this term as a title for a show, so when you are surrounded by a series of my monumental works, the originallly essence of existence as a trash producing human should occur.

I want people to think about how unimportant they are. There are maybe horizons or woods in the paintings, but this is secondary. The canvas has no beginning and no end, it could expand infinite or present the smallest critters in water, in a cell.

We daresay that your Dissolutio technique allows you to create new kind of languages that expand and even trascends the nature of human perception, and more specifically we definetely love the way your fogland series invites the viewers to elaborate such a wide number of interpretations. French Impressionist painter Edgar Degas once remarked that Art is not what you see, but what you make others see: how would you consider the degree of openess of the messages that you convey in your creations and how open would you like your works to be understood?

Are you particularly interested in arousing emotions that goes beyond the realm of visual perception?

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Reiner Heidorn
lakeplants 200 x 340 cm

Reiner Heidorn: As I had international shows, I recognized, that in every country viewers share the similiar

impressions. Though I mainly take my inspiration out of the direct environment here – and I mean strictly

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my hometown with a few surroundings – the language of my paintings and the floating universes are always causing a nostalgia, a wish for weightlessness and at the same time hope and calmness.

All the things, that are not appearing in my paintings convey a sweet tranquillity. At least I think I really

managed to transfer my wish to disappear and to feel unimportant. When the location is beautiful, a selection of my works let people walk in, as if they step in a church or a huge cave.

Your artistic research is engaged with social commentary and topical issues as

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mentalflood 190 x 530 cm 2019
ART Habens Reiner Heidorn

climate change or the alienation of man with regard to his natural environment. Many contemporary artists, such as Thomas Hirschhorn and Michael Light, use to include socio-political criticism and sometimes even convey explicit messages in their artworks: do you think that artists can raise awareness to an evergrowing audience on topical

issues as that affect our everchanging society? And how do you consider the role of artists in the contemporary age?

It´s interesting that I´ve done these works before the discussion about climatechange appeared. Especially my botanic makro chlorophyll paintings are than seemed to be the visual

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fogland 1 200 x 250 cm

appearance to fill this gap between political and social movements and art. As I now create nearly without compromise only botanical works in thousand shapes of green and wanted to transfer the issue of exploitation, destruction and greed,

the paintings became examples for topical issues of our time by itself.

A particular feature of your artworks that has at once impressed us is the way you achieve to create such unique sense of depht with monochrome tech-

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fogland 2 200 x 250 cm

nique: would you tell us something about this aspect of your approach? In particular, how do you determine the nuances of tones to be included in your paintings?

Reiner Heidorn: When it comes to the explanation about the range of colors,

it is more a issue of the technique and the use of pigments, oilcolor, turpentine and linseed oil. This is not very creative, it is more chemistry. You have to know, what you want. But as I had explored the same creations over and over again, I now can work safely

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without any surprises. I know what´s happening when I set up the mixtures. I´ve also learned, that all in all the paintings are much more impressive the less variations or bold figures are happening in them. From the wild to a serious harmony. At least the random

plants in tiny environments are a good source for learning, how to lead your arm with the brush.

You often work with large, oversized canvass, that, as in mentalflood, provide the viewers with such

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fogland 3 200 x 250 cm
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shape 1 200 x 170 cm
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shape 1 200 x 170 cm

immersive visual experience: how do the dimensions of your canvass affect your workflow?

Reiner Heidorn: The larger, the easier. With the gesture of the whole body I

achieve the greatest results. Even if I choose to do some sad and grey large works, when they are really large, they have a moving aesthetic. It is much more difficult for me, to do smaller works with success. I could produce

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Reiner Heidorn I was put on this earth 200 x 240 cm 2017

endless without limits, it´s like painting your own jungle, where or why shoud it end?

You are an established artist: over the years your artworks have been internationally exhibited in several occasions, including your recent show „the long awaited“, at LeiXiang Gallery, Taipei: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? By the way, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to online platforms — as Instagram and Vimeo — increases, how would in your opinion change the relationship with a globalised audience?

Reiner Heidorn: The main thing is, that during the process of painting I don´t have any audiences, exhibitions, trends or social media platforms in mind. I simply don´t care about my own ego either. It´s not essential, if I´m hungry, cold, tired or anything.

Everything that counts is the result of a good painting. The first instance of critic is me. I destroyed many works, which surely would have been applauded by

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ART Habens Reiner Heidorn

u are here for a reason 200 x 250 cm

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the

viewers worldwide. When at least I have a nice new canvas, I than step back into reality and do all the marketing tools, which are useful to show my style.

When I by myself are satisfied with the new work, nothing can harm this personal success.

Than you have to meet real people to make something real happen.

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ART Habens Reiner Heidorn thinshining 240 x 380 cm

That means real shipping trucks, wrappings, you have to sit in a plane and talk to the business partners. Social media tools are helpful, but they can´t never be a substitute for

real meetings. I´m glad that no laptop in the world can transport the depht of an original painting. You have to go and see it.

https://www.instagram.com/reinerh eidorn/

We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Reiner. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?

Reiner Heidorn: I prepare shows for 2022 in Germany, Austria, Italy and China. I would wish to do much larger works one day and hope to achieve some residencies international.

What also more and more happens is, that I can change canvases for goods, so I have the hope, that my artworks are becoming sort of a currency. And I could do as much as I want :)

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ART Habens Reiner Heidorn An interview by , curator and curator

Einav Zeichner

Hello Einav and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would like to invite our readers to visit https://einavzei.wixsite.com/mysite and we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. You have a solid formal training and you hold a degree in Design from Kibbutzim college, classical animation studies and art student at Shenkar college: how did experiences influence your evolution as an artist? Moreover, how does your cultural background direct your current artistic research?

Einav Zeichner: The studies exposed me to many different techniques and demonstrated how much I love multidisciplinary work and experimentation. It led me to explore intellectually the subjects I was interested in, And also to experiment with graphic, fashion and product design. The combination between design and art made me engage in the boundary between the practical and the impractical. For example, creating accessories that can be worn but will still be unusual and non-commercial. My main interest was the combination between beauty and rejection which included harmony and strangeness in different mediums. The animation enabled me to bring images from still to life, gave me a greater awareness and knowledge about the body, movement and rhythm.

In the last year of the degree I worked on my final project, and my advisor was the artist Masha Yozefpolsky who was a great inspiration for me. The subject of the project was “Abject”. According to Julia Kristeva’s book “Powers of Horror”, the term refers to that which has been distanced or secreted from the body, and has been transformed into the “other”. The

Einav Zeichner

despicable, which unsettles identity and the system, refuses to respect boundaries, stances and rules, thereby resisting control. The project was an autobiographical journal and it included Haiku inspired texts - poetry I have been writing since the age of 17 - alongside photographs that included dead animals, hair and refuse.

Highlights from the project can be found in the following link:

https://einavzei.wixsite.com/mysite/anesthesia The culture we live in seeks to purify itself and

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An interview by , curator and curator

do away with anything that appears ugly, different, sick and diseased, anything we would not want to be although humanity is inherently contaminated. I understood that our world is hyper-designed and overly aesthetic. There is too much of everything and everything looks the same.

Therefore, I chose to collect existing objects and evoke in them a beauty and meaning that will invite people to get closer and even identify with them.

The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ART Habens has at once captured our attention for the way it questions the materiality of the image, as well as for the way you sapiently challenged the audience's perceptual parameters, inviting them to question the themes of perception and experience: we would like to start this journey in your artistic production with Rolled Newspaper, a stimulating work, that has impressed us for the way it highlights its deep relationship with human body: when walking our readers through your usual setup and process, would you tell us how did you develop the initial idea of Rolled Newspaper?

Einav Zeichner: The idea began in my research on the body and abjectness, the ways in which the physical body serves as a locus of control, discipline, monitoring, or social and political opposition in Western culture, a construct of the relations between body and identity. The question of how our corporeality is formulated in relation to identity was examined, what types of monitor and control systems are our bodies subject to, particularly the female body in modern times, and to what extent do we choose our own body image? In addition, is there a difference between fashion when it comes to women’s attire and the female body? Newspapers are cheap and readily available, industrial, dirty and smelly, many people spend

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time with it in the bathroom or on the bus, and it passes through many hands. This type of paper comes and goes and is of little significance. The vulnerable paper became a stable unit which cannot be torn, an act intended to render the cheap valuable and transform the industrial into a “one-off”.

As a versatile artist, your creative production encompasses Photography, Drawing, Painting, Prints, Sculpture, Jewelry, Animation and Video: what does direct you to such multidisciplinary approach? In particular, are there any experiences that did particularly help you to develop your attitude to experiment with different techniques?

Einav Zeichner: I think that curiosity is the starting point which leads me to experiment with different mediums. When I think of an image, I treat it as both two and three dimensional. The ability to diversify without sticking to a single medium allows me to think and act freely, without boundaries. My approach is to taste new things without a fear of failure. All mediums are related and work together, they create a rich and diverse world that reaches a wider audience. My passion for any given medium arises at different stages of inspiration. Every medium meets a different need, and together they form a single coherent sentence.

As you have remarked in your artist's statement, your work is created and Influenced from what exists around yourself, at home or on your way: as an artist whose work is particularly influenced by transitions and changes in life, how does your everyday life's experience fuel your artistic research?

Einav Zeichner: The past two years have been very significant for me and have provided me with food for thought and action. Relationships,

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Einav Zeichner

places and objects which are and have been a part of my life are transforming, and this is reflected in an abstract way in the work. There are days when images or social circumstances occupy my mind. They come up while I am riding the bus, in the shower or talking with a friend, and I cannot get them out of my head until I create something from them. In addition, moving out of an apartment shared with roomates in noisy Tel Aviv to my own place in the quiet suburb of Ramat Gan enabled me to connect to myself and provided me with the physical space needed to work. My family moved out of the apartment and left behind possessions, objects and leftovers. As a result, a large part of my art during this period has been based on “cleaning house” and sculpting with existing materials. In addition, the camera obscura photo was taken in my childhood bedroom after it had been emptied and repainted. It was like going full circle.

You are particularly interested in using unconventional materials, leftovers, especially those that are perceived as "despicable". New York City based photographer and sculptor Zoe Leonard once stated, "the objects that we leave behind hold the marks and the sign of our use: like archeological findings, they reveal so much about us". We’d love to ask you about the qualities of the materials that you include — or that you plan to include — in your artworks: in particular, how important is for you to use found and recycled materials?

Einav Zeichner: Reuse is a substantial part of my work. I see no reason to purchase materials when I am surrounded by so many materials, all of which bear history, memories and energies from the past. I aim to take an object and transform it into something dynamic, to take it apart and simplify. The use of materials that have been discarded and orphaned transforms my work into a type of resuscitation and adoption. I performed a different kind of act in my self-portrait photo, in

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which I am wearing my wedding gown after it was dirtied with mud following my divorce. The pure white look of the wedding gown, together with all the beauty, make-up and hairdo before the wedding felt like a costume.

Your artistic process reflects a deviation from the original, processes of abstraction and transformation into a new object. Scottish artist Peter Doig once remarked that even the most realistic works of art are derived more from within the head than from what's out there in front of us, how do you consider the relationship between reality and imagination, playing within your artistic production?

(Here we have reserved space for The-Wolf and Thong, that if you like you could mention in your answer, as well)

Einav Zeichner: Indeed, most of my artistic process derives from imagination and the subconscious. The work is made in an intuitive way and images are created, sometimes provocative images, which are familiar to us while still being hard to identify. Like Freud’s “The Uncanny”: strange, disturbing, mysterious, incomprehensible. The combination of familiar and foreign creates a feeling of discomfort and alienation. Freud describes the fantastic experience as a frightening situation which leads us to a well-known memory which has been repressed in our minds. In the Wolf project I created leftovers of a body that were eaten by a wolf. Each and every part became an independent object, which was photographed as a stand-alone portrait with a character that is at once both dead and alive. The images creating both a sense of alienation and belonging, in order to elicit in the viewer feelings of discomfort, excitement, appetite or repulsion. The same type of alienation is expressed in a different way in the wire Thong. Here the reverse act is executed - taking an

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existing object, a fabric thong, which we wear on our bodies for most of the day, and rendering it useless and even dangerous and painful. At the same time, the underpants take on a new meaning as a “shield” against sexual assault or an expression of female empowerment.

Your artworks — as the interesting Internal Organs series — reflecting such stunning organic quality, through reference to parts of human body, and we appreciate the way your works allude to meaning through symbolic and visual references: how important is for you to

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trigger the viewers' imagination in order to address them to elaborate personal interpretations?

Einav Zeichner: It is important for me to trigger the viewer’s imagination by deviating from clear illustration. I avoided adhering to

anatomical correctness, and the viewer can connect what he sees to whatever he wishes. The work comes close to depicting something familiar, but at the same time a certain detail might pop out and cause the viewer to think again.

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Your artistic practice is made out of intuition and intuitive connections: do you create your works gesturally, instinctively? And how do you consider the role of chance and improvisation playing within your work as an artist?

Einav Zeichner: For me art is a means to convey feelings and conduct a discourse that cannot always be expressed in words. Improvisation

leads me to places I could never reach if I planned ahead. It enables me to be the person I am at any given moment, to undergo a meditative experience. Most of my works are created instinctively , with influences from different artists, such as: Urs Fischer, Laura Kalman, Tom Friedman, Daniel Spoerri, Zoe Leonard, Sarah Lucas, Annette Messager and Jorinde Voigt.

We sometimes tend to forget that a work of art is a physical artefact with tactile qualities, and we really appreciate the way Synthetic meat reflects this aspect: as an artist particularly interested in highlighting the materiality among the viewer, how important is for you to highlight the physical aspect of your artworks?

Einav Zeichner: It is important to me that the public that sees the work is attracted to it, wants to examine it from up close and even touch it. I aim to cause them a sensory experience, whether pleasant or not, to elicit thought and imagination, to create surprise, excitement and movement. I also strive to make them question whether the object in front of them is dead or alive, the same feeling of strangeness I spoke about before. It is like a breaded chicken cutlet, which is coated with crumbs so that the diner will not notice the dead animal inside.

How do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? Direct relationship with the viewers in a physical context is definetely the most important one, in order to snatch the spirit of a work of Art. However, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to the online realm — as Instagram — increases: how would in your opinion change the relationship with a globalised audience? (if you like you can include the link

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ART Habens Einav Zeichner

https://www.instagram.com/einavzeichner to your Instagram page, in your answer)

Einav Zeichner: Exhibiting my work in a physical exhibition space, and my own personal

presence alongside the audience, are very important to me. I am always interested in hearing and seeing reactions and developing a dialogue with people from inside and outside of the art world, to give the audience a sense of

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Einav Zeichner ART Habens

meaning while they are in the gallery. Moving to an online platform is challenging and requires marketing know-how - all information is conveyed through photographs, although I have received positive feedback on such

platforms. I am active on Instagram and you are welcome to follow me:

https://www.instagram.com/einavzeichner.

We have really appreciated the originality of

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your artistic production and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Einav. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of

the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?

Einav Zeichner: It was a pleasure to participate and share my work. Thank you very much.

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Today I am at a bit of a crossroads, I am trying to reset the system and examine what I want to take with me and what I am finished exploring. At the moment I am continuing to research new textures and shapes, the relationship between the object and the subject.

I hope to start working on a larger scale, to move beyond the intimate space of my home and be exposed to new areas.

An interview by , curator and curator

Summer 2015 23 4
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ART Habens Einav Zeichner

Małgorzata Pindel-Kr

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yjak

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Małgorzata Pindel‐Kryjak

Hello Małgorzata and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would like to invite our readers to visit https://małgorzata-pindel-kryjak.pl/en in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production and we would start this interview with a couple of introductory questions. You reached your artistic maturity in 2019 and you have a solid formal training and you studied in Bielsko Biała and in Berlin: how did those formative years help you to create your unique attitude to experiment with different media? Moreover, how does your cultural substratum address the trajectory of your current artistic research?

Malgorzata Pindel-Kryjak: The most unique experiences I've had were marked by the people I've met. Not everyone can be mentioned, but I am grateful to all of them. Of course I stand in the shadow of a difficult childhood - of Poland in the years of change and of a conscious choice of both God and a good art school that has properly shaped me. Instead of continuing my studies at the Academy, I've emigrated to the West. These were completely different times. I've journeyed into the unknown, without knowing the language, without money, without a phone, knowing only that there will be work available. It was tough. I've been through what the world is now standing up to - the pain of emigration, the insecurity of origin, stereotypes, discrimination. But I've also experienced tolerance, kindness, acceptance and selfless help. That's why in art I try to appeal to the things that connect and not

divide. Berlin had become a place in which I could flourish as an artist and as a human. Every return to this city is for me a return home. In Poland I studied art history and I was slowly starting to discover a performer within me. Simultaneously, I was doing hard manual work, in a supermarket, in a factory or caring for the elderly. The effort with which I was trying to make a living made me feel like a free human being and a free artist. But it was also the time of con-

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fusion, slow withdrawal and even changes. Thankfully I've moved on past this period and thanks to it I can talk about my own mistakes instead of talking about the mistakes of others.

I've begun my return to painting with a series of paradoxes. I was 36 years old, so I was no longer a young artist (which usually applies to people below the age of 35). I finished Art School and I could not be treated as an unprofessional creator. I didn't graduate from the Academy, so I don't have an official title. Because of it, most of the strictly formalised competitions and projects were unavailable to me. In the attempt to overcome these barriers and limits, I've made many mistakes that now tell my history. I can say "I am not an artist, I am a human being in a piece of art". That's how I've begun cooperation with one of the most important families of art dealers in Poland, thanks to which I can not only dream, but also create. We have our own little history and the happiness of creating new ones. I am glad that my beginning has a human, kind side to it.

Marked out with such unique visual identity, the body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ART Habens —and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article — has at once captured our attention for the way they convey sense of freedom and rigorous aesthetics, and in particular for the way you use your visual language in a strategic way to offering an array of meanings to the viewers: when walking our readers through your usual setup and process, would you tell us something about the genesis of the idea of lantern that marks out your artistic production?

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ART Habens Małgorzata Pindel-Kryjak
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Malgorzata Pindel-Kryjak: The Lantern closes and opens the process of becoming a human-artist, artist-human. It is a haven for feelings, dreams, needs and fears in any configuration. It does not only give a light, but also consumes it. It can be said that in the same time the Lantern appeared naturally and coincidentally, just like the people that had an impact on my work. Some of the lanterns have their names: Kasia, Ania, Asia, Gosia, there are unfortunately also those, whose lights have already faded out. In fact they all have their own history. They are all connected by my own need of understanding, acceptance, maybe even a need of embrace. I still feel like a child that hopes for praise. A child that waits... Before the artistic path I follow gained the form of a clear sign, it only existed as words in my mind. As a hope, faith, dream. I remember the relief with which I accepted the consciousness of giving a name to something that I was always looking for subconsciously. The Light has gained an autonomy, as a logo and a signature. The Lantern has become a guideline in both physical and metaphysical meaning. It closes and opens the horizon, something that everyone has in front of their eyes, but something that cannot be touched. Thus something that can be seen is confirmed by the intangible. Ha-Makom is a place of a meeting of both heaven and earth and a Lantern sets a universal way, a way for which a prototype was the Way of St. James - spread among all of Europe, destined for everyone regardless of their origin and faith.

We have really appreciated the way your artworks challenge the viewers' perceptual parameters and we dare say that they could be considered interzones of sensory perceptions.

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Scottish painter Peter Doig once remarked that even the most realistic paintings are derived more from within the head than from what's out there in front of us, how do you consider the relationship between reality and imagination, playing within your artistic production?

Malgorzata Pindel-Kryjak: Actually, I am not the

one to develop the textures, but they are the ones to develop me. Time and space are enclosed, trapped, suspended and even destroyed in there. Yes, it is a reflection of a human nature, in my case a feminine nature. It is a matter when we want to say something and yet in the same time we want to withdraw from it. Or when we

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said too much and we want to fix it, yet instead we ruin it. And also, when we want to be gentle, but we feel anger. Yes, paintings are wordswhich sometimes are said impulsively, and in another time stated carefully and thoughtfully. They're also me. My, let's call it, success. Sometimes I speak with a curator and hear "you

know, I see yourself in these paintings, you don't need to sign them, I know which are yours".

Many years ago when I just began painting I didn't have enough funds to buy the materials. I was making my own stretcher bars, stretched the canvas and primed. I'm not sure if I've made

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even one truly correct, which was noticed and remembered, especially when my exhibitions were being slightly tilted when displayed, to make them seem straight. With time, I understood how important it was to my creative process. Non-perfect canvas, glue with clumps or primer applied just like I was already painting at that point. These were the missing parts when I reached for a brush yet again. I had no obstacles to overcome, no reference points. The canvas seemed lifeless. Therefore I've begun to paint on previous works, or these that I've received to repaint. It can be said that I was looking for problems. Additional layers express variety of emotions. In this process I've developed my own matting technique through which I can freely shape surfaces and diversify texture. I like paintings that make me want to touch them. In one of the galleries I displayed such a painting with a permission of the owner. The children were doing it with no fear - the adults were observing with a concern.

We have appreciated the delicate, thoughtful nuances that creates such unique synthesis between impressionism and expressionism, and that draw the viewers to a state of mind where the concepts of time and space become suspended. How does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones that you decide to include in an artwork and in particular, how do you develop your textures in order to achieve such unique results?

Malgorzata Pindel-Kryjak: It is a philosophical, natural, scientifical and childishly difficult question. Maybe even more important and challenging than the question of whether the chicken or the egg came first. The reality abolishes the imagination, the imagination abolishes the reality. I no

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longer try to escape from the real world to the world of imagination or the other way around. I am the lightkeeper, a dreamer and an idiot. I believe that the beauty will save the world and the art will tell a story about it. This is what I think, what I feel and what I create. This is how I ended up at the end of the world. I no longer question in the same manner of what was in the beginning, but I believe that there is still something. At the beginning there is an end. For me the egg is the chicken. In one of the most important critical essays that I received, there is a fragment describing the relation between imagination and reality in my paintings. Its author is Ilaria Ciacobbi, an Italian curator with whom I've worked on a few projects such as Rome Art Week or Premio Artemide, the latter being an invitation to only female artists. She was the first one to take notice of the spirituality and deeper meaning of my artworks. All that I was afraid to show due to different reasons, she named. Maybe it's because I am the lantern full of hope in people and hope in art, but also full of mistakes which sometimes cost both sides a lot. It happens that I react spontaneously and emotionally, like a child. Or that I truthfully lie. Both play and cry to the limits. To death and to life. It costs a lot, but also gives just as much. Maybe this is what the art is... When I return where the beginning is, so at the end. Where a human is.

We daresay that your artworks not only express your personal vision, but also and especially work as a communication tool that give life to a more general interaction with wide audience where everyone can find something new, personal and universal: how important is for you the degree of openness of your artworks and how open would you like them to be

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understood? Moreover, do you believe that art is universally understandable?

Malgorzata Pindel-Kryjak: This question touches the sources of what I'm doing and what gives

me strength. Beauty and Faith. Does the ideal of Beauty exist? Even if it does, there isn't just one. Is there anything more abstract than a Faith?

Even if there is, then you still need to believe in it. When I was trying to reach the audience, and

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there was such a time, I signed my messages with "faith in people and in art". I knew that after a long break I need to learn anew, but I hoped that people who will receive the message

from "a little artist" will see a human, just like Nastasya Filippovna from my favourite Dostoevsky's novel "The Idiot". How many responses have I received? Maybe two. It can be

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said that it was me that saw the inhuman side of what seemed like the last resort. Instead of turning towards the wall, I turned to humankind. This is actually how my Group B

works, which I hope I will be able to talk more about, where its members have different faces. Frankly, I must admit that I was looking for understanding, agreement and self-expression -

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the art became the means to do so, maybe even a golden one. However, the extent of openess of my artworks does not come only from what I want to say, but also from what I want to hide. I

care about the truthfulness and understanding of my creative process, not of the art itself. I always remember that I'm not the one saving the art, but it is the one saving me. I also think that if

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the art was understandable, then it would be giving all the answers. It would kill the faith in beauty. It would die. As an art historian, I asked myself "How to kill the art so that you don't kill

the life", so that it could be reborn again. It is a different (art) history, but it shows the point of what I want to say. The art does not need to be understood, it needs to be believed in. The truth

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in art is not about stating or confirming the facts. The truth in art is about authenticity. I was spreading signs and guideposts. I wasn't waiting for the paintings to speak for themselves. I told them to speak for me, as I was also speaking for them. I treated the art ruthlessly, I used it for my own purposes. It may be said that I was leading the ideal of art to ruin, not caring about the versatility of its language for which it is regarded. In my last artworks I went even further. I broke away from the rule that "the silence is golden", instead I write what I think. I love art. "Art falls under the pressure of Beauty. Long live Beauty, Art's reason to still spring forth!" It is my manifesto. Beauty will save the world. Art will tell a story about it. Nastasya Filippovna, when dying, saw a human - and I have hope to see a God, who will forgive the artists this lie in a form of art that makes us realise truth (Pablo Picasso).

Your artworks are full of life and seems to reflect such a wide variety of different feelings: how does everyday life's experience fuel your creative process? In particular, as an abstract visual artist, do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

No, I don't think so. Direct experience is a shadow. We always stand in a shadow of who we are. However, I also think there is a way in which you can disconnect direct experience from creative process. All you need is to go outside the cave and it will disappear. I call it painting through covering. It is my personal definition of a lie. Recently, I received the most wonderful painting from my few years old niece. It potrayed a girl with a shadow in front, and a girl with a shadow behind. Children have sun within them.

When exploring edges or shapes, your artworks

feature unique combination between sense of freedom and subtle still rigorous sense of geometry, communicating an alternation between tension and release. How does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones that you decide to include moment by moment in your artworks and in particular, are there any special states of mind that you need in order to make such decisions?

Malgorzata Pindel-Kryjak: I will surprise you. My psyche isn't free. When I'm painting, I like to throw a brush - surrendering myself to my emotions and movements. After that, I almost immediately experience the need of synthesis. Then, logic suggests the way. Geometry places signs. However, I need to find the answer for myself in what was randomly created by my intuition. I don't search for anything specific, but more for a reflection of my thoughts in shapes, colours and composition. I often experience the impulse of a need of completion, dotting the A and Z. Maybe even drawing the Line. Yes, I'm all for setting thresholds - but not limitations.

In both my theoretical and practical work, such things are perceivable as the pulse of life and some kind of death/downfall, in other wordsthe end and the beginning. In my opinion the art "dies" exactly in a moment when "life" is forged into literality. When it begins to be used instrumentally, as an element and/or as means of expression. When the roles are reversed.

As a performer I've conducted intervention in one of the museums. There was an artwork with a living fish in a permanent exhibition. When I saw it for the first time, I didn't have the courage to say what I felt and thought. A few years had passed before I dared to express it. I used a

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white canvas and word, written in an official protest on behalf of Group B, of which I am the founder. The further exhibition was renounced. I remember the shock and happiness of the cleaners working there. In that time a lot of fishes have died, and these ladies were the ones to replace them for new ones. During the intervention itself, one person from the audience asked me if that sheet was limiting me. I firmly disagreed. It was not limiting me, but separating me. It was protecting me from the lack of sympathy. And that's all from me about life in art and art in life.

In my newest artworks the exploration of shapes has moved on to the borders of paintings. The Lantern was deprived of its central position. Rigor and geometry represent the backbone, where the release and change in their literal meaning have their reflection in the interchangeable components. I build the world from fragments, from my thoughts, ideas and mistakes. In my work, I try to sort out everything while keeping freedom and (what is specific for me) distance.

In one of your previous questions, you mentioned interzones of sensory perceptions. For me it is an area in between of the beginning and the end. In between an artist and a human. In between knowledge and the lack of it. Many of my artworks (including past ones) consisted of only a few fragments. It wasn't a planned or intended result. Space and agreement were missing. I started to add subsequent elements completely naturally, giving myself a chance to breathe and an opportunity to say something more. In this way, my artwork was able to grow, taking on the nature of an icon. Thus, following the path of beauty and faith, this was a natural

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artistic evolution that is in fact still ongoing. I am still free... I confuse the beginning with the end. I confuse A with Z. I use a dot and give it a new meaning. My art is pulsing in between A and Z, but also outside of them... I do what many artists try to avoid. I make mistakes.

We have appreciated the way your works reveal such unique visual identity that combines intuition and sincerity, with sapient technique. New York City based artist Lydia Dona once stated that in order to make art today one has to reevaluate the conceptual language behind the mechanism of art making itself: do you create your works gesturally, instinctively? Or do you methodically transpose geometric schemes? In particular, how do you consider the role of chance and improvisation playing within your creative process?

Malgorzata Pindel-Kryjak: I believe it is a misfortune to have an unused incident. And that it is a chaos to have these incidents in excess. In art it has meaning when it is left in a conscious way, which is the role of an artist. Maybe this is why there are mentions of a Divine factor. In all of this, the most important is the process of observation. For me, perhaps naturally, it finds release in geometry and mathematics. Let's say - the figure takes the place of such popular figuration. I use mathematics humanly, intuitively. It closes the point of view. When creating an art, I use my own language of concepts - or I give a new meaning to the existing ones, even to my own. My recent works are getting closer to what forms the meaning of a creative process to me. They are becoming more and more human not only in their expression, but also in their anatomy. Hence why, little by little, the anatomy of a mistake transforms into the anatomy of a

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painting. Next to the professional terms, I introduce terms connected directly to human beings and life, for example "CUBE/Self-portrait size.S.3/3" Own technique (the time in between the implementation of a foundation 20 years ago, until the time the painting was created). Whereas, "Decoration set made in gray" is inspired by human behaviour. In Polish, there is a saying "to have someone made in gray", which means tricking them. It means to leave them without the ability to defend themselves, to take advantage of them, to reach the goal at the expense of someone else. Gray is also a very fashionable colour used in interior designing. The whole set was involved in my ideas (Jacob's Ladder, Ha-Makom, Lanterns or a written word). Contained in the edges mentioned in your question, there are colour and light lurking in. I touch the limit of a coincidence reduced to the minimum, and the understanding taken literally. I break with the rule "silence is golden", using golden font to express what I think. It is dangerous. I enter the zone in between fragments. I don't go into the unknown anymore. I see a concrete human and I want to meet them.

Over the years your artworks have been presented by international curators and artistic foundations such as Aakriti Art Foundation, one of the most important in India. How do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? Direct relationship with the viewers in a physical context is definetely the most important one, in order to snatch the spirit of a work of Art. However, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to the online realm — as Instagram — increases: how would in your opinion change the relationship with a

globalised audience?

Direct contact with a viewer is very important to me. It gives strength and faith in what I'm doing. I like to react, talk and joke vigorously and spontaneously. It then allows the previously mentioned incident to happen, which is the foundation of a New... Different... Me. I treat lanterns like people, because to me they are like lanterns. That's the reason why I was avoiding the virtual world for a very long time. I just

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didn't feel it. A few years ago I consciously made a decision to disappear from a very popular social network website. I thought that instead of appreciating what I have I was only sensing all of which I did not. I wasn't a fan of sharing my personal life. I was afraid to be judged as a human being. Today I know that this was also an element of my gradual withdrawal from open life. When I closed a difficult chapter in my life, I started missing the world. I wanted to go back to

what was once bringing me happiness. I wanted to have contact with people. The more different than me, the better. I missed Berlin. I was stronger, with no fear. The words were no longer a threat to me. I understood the anatomy of gossip, which lives shortly and dies naturally if it's not fed, nurtured within my mind. I treated the Internet as the outer space that I was exploring with a childlike trust. I marked the space between A and Z. I wanted something positive -

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to involve people in art and to share it with them. I wasn't trying to be a model, a photographer or a graphic designer. I was replying, I was thanking, because I know myself how painful it is to receive no reply. Because of it, I've built new relations, more personal than professional which gave me the inspiration in my creative process. I replaced the language of artificiality (which many profiles are accused of) with a language of art. I create through the internet. I write the art history of/for a one person. One human being can be a whole world. My Human is a Dreamer from the end of the world, completely different than methat Human falls asleep when I wake up, reads when I write, remains silent when I speak, is everything when I feel like nothing. I don't know if I'll ever receive a message back from this person. I'm also unsure if I'd have even known what to do with that reply. I only know it would be not only the real end of the world in the art, but also the beginning. The age of one human, the age of nothing /A.H.Z/ and everything.

We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Małgorzata. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?

Malgorzata Pindel-Kryjak: The next year is going to be busy. There will be a big group exhibition in Warsaw organised by Nova Ars Poloniae foundation to which I've been invited. There will be a variation of the most important artists and young Polish art. I also have an individual exhibition planned in Bator Art Gallery, where I'd like to present a series of icons. It captured the attention of architects.Together with Inkubator Designu (In-

cubator of Design) we will take care of "life" in art and of art in life. My artworks will appear next to the perfect and beautiful objects, disturbing the order of perhaps too sterile apartments. I'm in continuous contact with Fundacja Dziedzictwa i Kultury Polskiej (Foundation of Polish Heritage and Culture) that is trying to retreive lost artworks with great effort. Recently one of the works most important to me was brought there: "Drabina Jakubowa" (Jacob's Ladder). Now we're waiting for who's going to appear on the path...

New destination is Asia. I will start the new year with participation in The First Datong International Art Exhibition in China.Recently I was an honourary guest in a virtual exhibition to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Utsriji Art Gallery. In March, in reply to a personal invitation of curator Curupino Paul, I will be taking part in the exhibition and art fair in Mumbai. Together with Akriti Art Foundation we're thinking about a new project. This foundation has accepted me and my ideas very openly, for which I'd like to thank the director Manoham Jehiswal. We are also planning a joint project with Ramesh Terdal, one of the most respected Indian artists.Then, there's also the outer space and a person for which I create... it is all an inexhaustible source of inspiration, filling me with strength to continue my exploration. I'd like to thank this person for their presence and I also want to offer my thanks for the invitation to this special edition of Art Habens, as well as for the ability to express myself fully, in free speech. I'd like to dedicate one of my last fragments of thoughtfulness. "If there would've already been everything done in art, then it means that there still hasn't been anything." A.Z.

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Lives and works in Santiago, Chile

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video, 2013

Efka Odehnal

Hello Efka and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would like to invite our readers to visit https://www.efkaodehnal.com and we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. You have solid formal training and after having earned your BA in Photography from the Tomas Bata University in Zlin, you nurtured your education with a MA in Fine ArtsMedia Arts, that you received from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK), in Ghent, Belgium: how did these experiences influence your evolution as an artist? Moreover, how does your cultural background direct your current artistic research?

Efka Odehnal: First of all, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to discuss my artwork. As far as I would like to think, that the educational and cultural background didn't influence my artistic research that much, it did quite opposite, but not in the way most people would expect to. The study of photography taught me patience, perseverance, attention to detail, resistance, and perfection. Most of my artwork of that time was driven by the need to go against the rules given by academic assignments, to prove to others that there is always another angle of view. The study of art theorists like Rosalind Krauss or John Berger helped me a lot and inspired my

early artworks. Nevertheless, I felt frustrated by being limited to one medium, just to later find out that those limitations are determining my artistic research.

My cultural background had a similar effect on my artistic evolution. Thanks to the possibility to travel and discover various cultures and countries, I realized I am irritated by a social and cultural discourse of art, that the art and especially photography

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influenced by culture became such a cliché, there is nothing more to discover. Therefore, I tend to concentrate just on the phenomenological side of art.

The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ART Habens and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article has at once captured our attention for the way the dynamics of perception, highlighting the relationship between abstraction and reality: when walking our readers through your usual setup and process, would you tell us how do you develop your ideas?

Efka Odehnal: It is very challenging to reveal the process of my ideas as they are continuously evolving and transforming, but once I am satisfied with the establishment of the idea I am trying to find and focus on the core of the concept than expanding it. That is why my recent artworks are very pure and minimalistic, sending one strong message but yet leave the viewer for developing their own thoughts. When I start to work on a new project I become obsessed with it, I am trying to perceive it from all different angles, read literature, make sketches, and play with the observation. (This is the way how I can accomplish visually captivating images.)

We have appreciated the way your Meditation on Space series seems to invite the viewer to complete the work of art by personal associations. Austrian Art historian Ernst Gombrich once underlined

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the importance of providing a space for the viewers to project onto: how important is it for you to trigger the viewers' imagination in order to address them to elaborate personal interpretations?

Efka Odehnal: I think that the importance of the viewer's imagination is crucial in my latest artwork, especially in the project Meditation on Space. I am asking the viewer to engage with my pictures, to stop,

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take a breath and think, meditate, fill the void with their own interpretation while watching the geometrical shapes, reflections, and intersections. I want to show the viewer that his perception can be

deceiving, illusional. Meditation on Space I., II., and III., are a series of triptychs consisted of one single setup and captured from three different angles, creating new

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imaginary space and looking for the old ones.

As you have remarked in your artist's statement, you are constantly capturing the surrounding life, and you are intrigued

by ordinary things: how does your everyday life's experience and your memories fuel your artistic research?

This everyday experience is my major inspiration. From the moment I wake up I

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watch and observe the surroundings, it is an unlimited source of ideas and thoughts. I am captivated by examining the forms of lights and shadows, how the sunlight is going through objects, how the light

streams are broken over the structures of materials into the new shapes of shadows.

Efka Odehnal: My project The Specular Preservation is about recreating the image

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by using a mirror. It is a research of light, traveling through reflection and preserving the original appearance. Another thing that is fueling my research is definitely Still-Life. It is my favorite photography discipline as there is a strong importance of composition and light. It can be set-up still life, but what I find more interesting are the randomly found ones. I enjoy inspecting the objects that someone composed before me. Are they having any significant reasons?

What kind of symbolism we can read in them?

Those are questions that are constantly occupying my mind.

Your artworks — and in particular Unclarified Lucidity — are marked out with such refined sense of geometry: how did you develop this important aspect of your artistic production?

Efka Odehnal: As I already mentioned, when I start a new project I become captured by its topic, therefore the study of geometry was necessary. I played with geometrical shapes for long weeks until I found the right forms and compositions. It was urgent for me to find an elegant composition of geometry in order to stress out the illusive behavior of glass.

We have really appreciated the way your artworks, especially the interesting N°1 and N°2, create such a unique ambiance, through the sapient combination between abstraction and fragments of reality. Scottish artist Peter

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Doig once remarked that even the most realistic works of art are derived more from within the head than from what's out there in front of us: as an artist particularly interested in the theme of the perception of reality, how do you consider the relationship between reality and imagination, playing within your artistic production?

Efka Odehnal: That could be a very extensive answer, in fact, I have written the whole thesis about this relationship. In short, it is already complex to determine what reality is and how is perceivable because, in the end, everything ends in our imagination; and our imagination is shaped by experiences and memories.

We perceive reality with our senses, but the perception can be delusive, thus leaving the space for our imagination.

Those are very obscure terms with a close relationship, which are crucial in my artistic research.

In a controversial quote, German photographer Thomas Ruff stated that ''nowadays you don't have to paint to be an artist: you can just create photographs in a realistic way". Provocatively, the German photographer highlighted the short circuit between the act of looking and that of thinking critically about images: how do you consider the role of photography in our contemporary age, constantly saturated by ubiquitous images?

Efka Odehnal: What I thought, Thomas Ruff was trying to point out, is that photography became a standalone part of art, unlike 150

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years ago when photography was used as a tool for capturing reality in order to use it as a sketch for an artist's painting.

Then for many years, it developed into a

craft and yet not a piece of art. However now, photography is already part of our lives for at least two generations, we don't think about it as people one century ago. It became an every-day element, so

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nowadays you don't need to be an artist to create photographs.

On one side, it is amazing progress that brings a lot of advantage to technological development, on the other side, I believe,

everything that is popularized is soon to be destroyed.

The pure beauty of photography is gone; everybody is able to take an enormous

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amount of instant pictures and share them with the world within a minute.

As a versatile artist, and although the focus of your artistic research is

photography, your creative production encompasses many other disciplines: what does direct you to such an interdisciplinary approach? In particular, are there any experiences that did

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particularly help you to develop your attitude to experiment with different techniques?

Efka Odehnal: During my studies, I found photography limited to express my ideas and thoughts. I felt that to be able to support my photographs I need other disciplines for it. Questioning the reasons and purposes of photography itself became my primal topic. What really helped me and influenced me in such a way were theorists like Vilem Flusser, Karel Cisar, Charlotte Cotton, or Roland Barthes.

I've found the interconnections for my artistic practice especially in video and installations, it came naturally when I was experimenting with one project and it was important to me to ''bring the viewer in'' to discover and examine my photography installation.

Then I started to use these elements more often until I realized how imperative is to engage the beholder with my artwork.

Since your first show in 2009 in Brno, your artworks have been internationally exhibited in several occasions: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? Direct relationship with the viewers in a physical context is definitely the most important one, in order to snatch the spirit of a work of art. However, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to the street and especially to the online realm — as Instagram — increases: how it would, in your opinion, change the relationship with a globalized audience?

Efka Odehnal: I am not a huge fan of social media and I still believe that art belongs to real physical spaces.

It can definitely help a lot of artists to become visible, known, and even popular and it absolutely has the power to reach a bigger spectrum of audience, but in the end, it doesn't have any selective regulations, thus everything is available to everyone and the one can be overwhelmed by the quantity of the online art which turn into one of the many...

I think that is completely crucial for art to have the audience in physical distance.

We have really appreciated the originality of your artistic production and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Efka. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?

Efka Odehnal: It was a very nice opportunity to discuss my artistic practice. I hope I will be able to explore the phenomenon of light and space in deep. I keep circling around these topics for a while and I enjoy that there is still so much to discover. Naturally, those subjects are currently driving my research and I expect I will hold onto them in the future too.

Thank you very much for the chance to present my projects and I appreciate the time you took for analyzing my artworks.

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Lives and works in Winchester, United Kingdom
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Josh Hoffman

Hello Josh and welcome to ART Habens.

Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would like to invite our readers to visit https://www.jhoffmanarts.com and we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. You are a basically self taught visual artist and you have recently finished a foundation degree at the National Centre for Circus Arts (NCCA), London: are there any experiences that did particularly influence your evolution as a visual artist? In particular, how does your background from dance direct you current approach?

Josh Hoffman: I grew up with a family of creative people, witnessing the regular street performances of The Hat Fair in Winchester. Naturally I was an energetic child and when I was 8 yrs I was offered a dance workshop ending with a show at the Theatre Royal. Apparently I was in tears after this saying to my parents, “all I want to do is dance!”

From then on I trained in various dance styles competing with crews internationally until I focused on B-boying (commonly known as breakdancing), whilst also taking contemporary and ballet classes for about 2 years when I was about 15-17. During this time I learnt about the sensitivity and freedom of movement that contemporary dance offers. At this time dance became more about exploring potential in movement. I was interested in moving for movements sake,

letting the skills and different worlds of movement I had absorbed merge together.

B-Boying offers such a powerful, technical, playful and endlessly creative framework for movement, It gives you the strength and

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control to push the body to extreme limits using the floor. On the other hand contemporary develops an awareness of weight, balance, and micro movements. Contemporary helps suspend the dynamic quality of breaking, giving you a large range of movement that is possible, weight changes become less quick allowing you to change directions multiple times with one flow. I became fascinated with flow within movement, letting your weight and breath drive your movement so that you are becoming efficient. With this idea there is no position you could consider yourself stuck or with no place to move to next, freedom of movement, Its like becoming a blank canvas. When I fall into a trance of movement, I can go without stopping for hours, intensity would rise and fall, ideas come and go, thoughts appear and disappear, much like meditation.

I was given an easel and paint when I was 17 but they sat, unused for a year, until I felt ready to play with them. But once I started, something ‘clicked’ and I couldn’t stop. I soon realised the connection between my understanding of art and dance. I am not a technically skilled artist, I didn’t do art gcse/a level or have classes. My strong desire to move always challenged my patience when drawing realistically. However I have a deep connection with shapes, patterns and a sense of movement within my art. I feel as if dancing is painting with your body in space and painting is dancing with a brush and colours on canvas. Dancing is all about the process, dancing not for the end result, but dancing for

the moment, I approach art in the same way, aiming to make the purpose the process and not the end result. However saying this, I do try to make my artwork look better through refining ideas and processes, as I would if I was learning a new trick.

One of my main explorations within dance is that flow, that subtle pull that becomes movement until you decide to stop. I definitely use this approach within my art when painting, The first layer of brush strokes dance and flick across the canvas, next a new colour will interact and continue dancing across the canvas. Each layer uses the chaos of the last to slowly create order to some degree, I bring colours from behind back infront to move through the other layers. Usually my paintings just become one big mass of colours and movement, with all colours balanced throughout the whole canvas.

This thread that connects art and dance, alongside dreams I had of moving in space with colour and shapes leaving trails and marks in the air behind my movement, urged me to try moving and painting at the same time on a large scale canvas sheet. Here, dance and art no longer become separate but one.

Marked out with such unique visual identity, the body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ART Habens —and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article — has at once captured our attention for the way you combine movement and visual language in order to provide the viewers with

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such unique visual experience, that highlights the journey of artistic creation. When walking our readers through your usual setup and process, would you tell us how did you develop your artistic practice?

Josh Hoffman: After deciding that I had to just have a go at dancing with paint, I was lucky enough to be able to experiment at university on smaller sheets of paper taped to a wall which turned into a brief 10 minute sharing at our end of year ensemble piece. I had 4 performances at NCCA with about a 2m x 2m sheet of linen paper taped to the wall, which was my first attempt at understanding fully the dynamics of performing with movement and paint. After this I held my own one night exhibition with a performance, where I danced on a canvas sheet 2m x 2m on the floor. I sold my first painting this night and learnt more about the balance of colours needed to avoid making the painting look like a brown mess. I now dance on a 4m x 4m canvas sheet on the floor, giving me proper space to move and splash paint.From there on it was just immersing myself within an idea, learning through mistakes and refining. I spent time visualising my initial image, movement through space leaving colour in physical space, and imagining what simple ways and complex ways I could portray this idea. I feel I am relatively new to this idea and still have many ideas I wish to realise and explore, walking this path lead me to learn to juggle. I was interested in the change of focus offered by moving with 3 balls that interact and create shapes by the patterns of throwing and catching.

My artistic practice is the exploration of movement and the imagination. I try to capture my imagination on a canvas or through movement. It is my way of trying to physicalise all those feelings and experiences in life we don’t quite have words for.

We would like to invite our readers to your short documentary A Dance With Paint, available at on your website at: www.jhoffmanarts.com/ in order to get a more precise idea of your approach. New York City based artist Lydia Dona once stated that in order to make art today one has to reevaluate the conceptual language behind the mechanism of art making itself: how do you consider the relationship between the necessity of scheduling the big picture of your performance and the creative power of improvisation? Does spontaneitplay an important role in your artistic process?

Josh Hoffman: I believe that a balance between both improvisation and planning is essential to making effective artwork. When improvising the painting comes out from the canvas, it becomes play between the imagination and the creative capability of a canvas and brush. The scheduling of the big picture is connected to our imagination as an artist, we have something in our minds we want to manifest. So when improvising you are still making choices based upon your desired image, however these are decided in each and every moment. After performing I will reevaluate what could of worked better and come up with something new to try next time, mistakes happen and this is where for

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me improvisation is important as I will make a ‘mistake’, allowing me to come up with changes or new ideas.

This balance between creating for the end result and the moment is how I think a lot of artists learn, explore and develop their own artistic individuality. I think ‘mistakes’ are really important within the artistic process, we often discover new ideas in this moment where our artistic vision is challenged by something unexpected happening, improvisation offers a comfortable place to make these ‘mistakes’. However when creating I will have a specific idea for how I want the end result to look, even if this idea is still pretty lose, I am working towards a goal. This is important as it challenges the artists ability to realise there ideas effectively, if you imagine the best piece of artwork you could possibly do, what does it look like and can you recreate it.

My dance with paint performances are fully improvised, however through experience of these improvisations I have come to understand the aspects within it, paint can be applied directly onto the canvas and through movement be shaped further, or paint can be applied to myself and then through movement become printed almost onto the canvas. Squirty tubes of paint can create purposeful long lines of colour, thick paint has a stronger quality but doesn’t move as far, and wetter paint can do the opposite. If I apply too much paint the canvas can end up looking brown and murky, layering these different ideas on top of each other I can

sometimes lose each moment to the next layer of paint. Sometimes less is more, however music, energy and my movement often drive me to move forward. All these ideas build up a framework for me to improvise around, giving me room to experiment and play in the moment yet still giving me direction if I get lost.

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Your artworks — in particular We are nothing without it — often feature such enigmatic patterns: how does your own psychological make-up determine the colors and especially the nuances of tones that you decide to include in your artworks and in particular, how do you develop your textures in order to achieve such unique results?

Josh Hoffman: I feel a strong connection to colour, shape and movement, to me it feels like even my thoughts and ideas have shapes, movements and sometimes colour. I feel that ideas, words, feelings and emotions have these qualities, I imagine it’s a combination of the sound and pronunciation of the word that creates a shape – as if responding to music, a

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relationship to the physical movement related to the word/memories of the word, and my own personal relationship to that word. When choosing colours I don’t give too much thought to it, however once I have my first colour I see all the other colours that I wish to put on the canvas. I am obsessed with light strong colours: bright turquoise, neon pink,

bright pale orange, light green and there darker counterparts like a dark emerald green, magenta and brown. These visceral psychedelic colours give me some of the same feelings I get when I move. To me they are like sparks of energy that’s been squeezed together so tightly they burst and dance in their colour. I often wish to create artwork

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that looks like how it feels to make, and for me these colours resemble this.

I find that in life I have a habit of overthinking and being too busy in my mind, starting various things and not finishing, following trails of thought and ideas I want to manifest but always thinking of the next thing before

realising my original thought. My whole artistic practice is the result of my psychological make up, for example, not having the patience to create observational studies, and then falling into scribbly doodles and feeling the need to move when painting leading to my Dance with Paint projects.

When choosing colours I just choose whichever colour I feel most attracted to sometimes this will lead to an idea, other times it is just a dance between colours. However in the specific painting mentioned‘we are nothing without it’, I started with orange and felt I wanted to make a painting that embodied energy, specifically energy that is grounded, strong, warm and beautiful. The nuances of tones and overlapping of colours within my paintings are driven by brushstrokes which I consider to be more movement based, how I hold and move the brush translates similarly to the feelings, emotions and stories I tell when I move.

After choosing my first colour and approach, I will work on building upon each layer. With ‘we are nothing without it’ I would paint each layer with only 1 colour and let it dry, once I have covered the canvas I would bring the colours which looked hidden or unbalanced forward by using the same colour again and overlapping it with other colours, only to keep doing this dance, until all the colours feel balanced. The amount of paint used on each layer becomes less and less with just small flicks and brush/hand movements creating the ebb and flow of the shapes between colours. I find I usually stop painting when I feel there’s

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no gaps, distractions or unbalanced spaces. Once my art feels balanced, its as if the whole thing is moving together and then there is no need for me to add, for it is alive.

As you have stated in your artist's statement, you have started to combine dance and painting when you had dreams where you would be dancing with colour flying out of your body leaving marks in the air. In this sense, we dare say that your artistic practice could be considered a bridge that connects between reality and the subconscious: how do you consider the relationship between reality and imagination, playing within your artistic production? Moreover, how does your everyday life's experience fuel your artistic research?

Josh Hoffman: Imagination is the starting point for me, forget about reality at first, what are your ideas when given no limits? Then bring them back into reality, however impossible imagine the smallest simplest way to realise your idea and the most complex way and everything in between. After I had this dream I thought a lot about this idea and it definitely changed how I approached dance. To me, dancing with paint onto canvas seemed the simplest way for me to realise this idea. Reality gives us rules, restrictions and limitations, whilst with imagination we have total freedom, these go hand in hand for using rules as a way to create can often be more productive and inspiring than the daunting idea of total freedom.

Art is a lot like a language, much like the words we use, maths and science, its an

expressive tool used to try and understand and translate the human experience. Its impossible for your everyday life’s experience to not fuel your artistic research! I find that art in its broadest meaning can help us say what we can’t with words. Through movement in particular, but also art I have come to know more about myself through coming to understand the practice further. My fears, anxieties, and tensions can be released through dancing with people and drawing, and when I perform the effect can be magnified. My art helps me give that release of energy, emotions and frustrations I feel in life, it helps magnify the feelings of joy and love I feel.

With their unique mesmerising visual quality, your artworks have several different strands but they are all connected to a core vision: how important is it for you to trigger the viewers' imagination in order to discover the unity of your artistic production? In particular, how open would you like your works to be understood?

Josh Hoffman: To me art is not always best understood through words, sometimes to feel a piece of art is to understand it. I would like the same for my art, for I approach it with a lot of feeling, my work is the collection of moments that brought it together. If you feel something when seeing my performance or when seeing a piece of my artwork then I think you have understood it. Art is a language, one we use to express, my expression is not a political message or a specific statement with a purpose, it is just

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me. My art is for you to interpret, I do not wish to say you have not understood my art.

I don’t feel I make artwork to be understood, to me its about conversation. For example, dance can be a conversation, when you are dancing you are speaking, and when you watch someone dance you can either listen to them or hear them. Listening is a response that can lead to an action like deciding to have a conversation, or it could be something more subtle like just feeling or learning something and taking home a memory. It is absorbing the information you are receiving and forming a response or simply feeling what arises, whereas you can hear something and not take any notice of its existence. To understand someone is to accurately perceive there intention, my intention is to create for creations sake, as if its the same as anything you do.

The link throughout my processes is the translation of my artistic imagination into reality, creating artwork that is an accurate representation of my imagination, it all comes from the same source. So when I say I aim to create artwork that looks like how it feels to make, I am also talking about the imagination, I am giving people a doorway into my imagination. But due to the personal nature of the imagination, that is why I say I create not to be understood, for everyones imagination is unique, instead I create to speak, regardless of whether I am heard or listened to, simply because I enjoy speaking.

Does music play a particular role in your performance approach? In particular, how do

you see the relationship between sound and movement?

Josh Hoffman: I find it fascinating how music is easily the most accessed and understood art form, possibly due to how easily sound or more simply put vibrations can induce emotion, memory and feeling. Sound moves me, when I listen to sound I can feel all the sensations in my body pulling me in certain directions. Music simply creates an opportunity, the more I listen to my body the harder it is to resist. Once I have given into the addiction of moving to music and want to start having some fun with it, my movement becomes an exploration into what shapes, positions, transitions, rhythms and tricks I can hit in relationship with the music. Often I will not dance to the beats of music but to the feeling it creates and let my body dive in and out of matching every beat.

On a deeper level sound is vibration and the world is made up out of vibrations, so if when you dance you are connecting to those vibrations as a way to express oneself, to lose oneself, to free oneself from inhibitions or simply for joy, dancing to music is actually a way to get closer to the world around us.

Within performance, music does this, it helps me connect to myself and the audience. I usually have a playlist of experimental instrumental songs I like, left on shuffle. Music definitely gives me a framework to move through, it can make me feel heavy and slow and suddenly uplift me into lighter feelings. I haven’t tried doing this in silence yet, but its something I wish to try. The scrape of a shoe,

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the grasping breaths, the sound of friction between floor and body, movement in silence makes music of its own. There can be an intense quality to something silent but silence also has the opportunity to liberate, as music itself could be considered a limitation, moving

to a beat, movement driven by music, whereas silence gives birth to possibility.

We sometimes tend to forget that a work of art is a physical artefact with tactile qualities: as an artist who performs with your own

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body directly onto your canvass, how do you consider the physical sensations that you perceive when creating?

My initial thought is that I don’t perceive them, they seem such an integral part to

movement that I have normalised them and don’t pay much thought to them. When in that trance state I don’t think about much or sometimes I will have thoughts but my mind will not be attached to them, they come and go, it is just movement. But physical

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sensations build a map for my body in motion. Minuscule shifts of weight can sometimes be too late or too early for me to land safely or with intention, its my training that has allowed me to turn these moments of falling or slipping into new tricks or transitions.

I will try to listen to my body, I can get caught up in the moment and lose that connection with my work that is truly improvisation, my mind becomes busier and my movement becomes more rehearsed and repetitive. This is a clear physical sensation, one which takes

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time to learn to notice and more time to learn to listen and follow that quiet honest pull, something I am still working on. I will often get physical sensations of tension or discomfort which can arise from nerves or thoughts that pass through my mind, however

its important to detach yourself from these thoughts and let the moment pass like a train of thought, bringing attention to breath and the sensitivity in smaller movements.

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You recently had the solo Solo exhibition: ‘'A dance with paint'’ at The Granary Creative Arts Centre, in Winchester: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? Direct relationship with the viewers in a physical context is definetely the

most important one, in order to snatch the spirit of a work of Art. However, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to the online realm — as Instagram— increase, how would this in your

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opinion change the relationship to a globalised audience.

Josh Hoffman: I don’t have much experience with online live performances, that connection is definitely lost through

performing through a screen, however I think videos and photographs should not be disregarded as an art form. I believe videos and photographs can be extremely effective and can connect with people on a deep level. I think its wrong to say the internet is bad or its

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ruining our society, its people who use the internet, its not the internet that is intrinsically wrong. Every time I scroll Instagram I feel inspired, I choose to follow artists and hashtags of all genres I’m interested in so that I get to see so many amazing things.

I am not so interested in performing live online, I prefer the real thing, instead, I am more interested in seeing making online content as an artform. You have to listen the medium you are working with and create in response, people have short attention spans on the internet and

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like things to be easily accessible, this is why Instagram works so well, a collection of videos and pictures displayed together in one space. I love seeing videos of the creative process, seeing the layers of a painting build up over a time-lapse, interesting features like this allows

people a new perspective into art, making it more accessible, exciting and interesting for people. Artists can give online viewers a new or different perspective into their art through technology.

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When performing live you have real people and eyes to look at, this pressure can be a good excuse to fully immerse yourself in what you are doing. However when creating work online you don’t have that direct contact, instead you must imagine you are performing to someone who is staring at a phone. Therefore creating your content in a way that is going to make them see you and not just keep scrolling. This is something I struggle with and It is indeed an art form and skill to create content that still captures your artistic imagination and actually gets through to all sorts of different people on a screen.

We have really appreciated the originality of your artistic production and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Josh. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?

Josh Hoffman: First of all I wanted to say thank you for such an engaging and challenging set of questions, they forced me to think differently! I am currently back home from finishing uni and spending the first lockdown in London, at the moment I am working on just getting back into my physical training and making art, most of all just trying to stay stimulated and move forward in these challenging times! I have been working with spray paint, coming to understand the qualities and its potential, I particularly like its ability to fade into colours and the ease it provides with just layering colours on top without having to

be patient and wait for the paint to dry. Slowly, I am combining my spray paint ideas with acrylic on canvas.

Noticing the financial stress most of us seem to be in, I have been making cheap framed art inspired by movement and graffiti lettering and shapes on on mountboard. You can find these on my instagram - @jhoffmanarts and my website –www.jhoffmanarts.com. Aside from this I am working on making a new collaborative short film project with local friends/creatives, a film utilising live music and or music produced specifically for me to move and paint to.

I have many ideas for the future, I wish to explore the therapeutic potential of movement painting, overlapping the worlds of art and movement therapy. I want to explore as many ways of moving and creating as possible! Sculpture and movement, projection mapping/animation with movement and painting, creating new spaces/props specifically designed for moving and painting. I wish to continue exploring flow with new props like, contact staffs, pois, fabric fans, fire and LED lights. I want to explore as many of the sensations and potential that movement offers in the world, as I said earlier, imagination is the starting point for me, what are your ideas when given no limits? Bring them back into reality, however impossible imagine the smallest simplest way to realise your idea and the most complex way and everything in between. This is the journey I am on at the moment

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