IDO FRIEDMAN RENATA GANDRA BEN HOLLIS MARCO VISCH TOMISLAV ZOVKO HENG CHANG-CHEN MARTA IVANOVA BILL PSARRAS RILEY ARTHUR Marco Visch (Photo by Damien J.)
Peripheral Peripheral ARTeries A
March 2013 Riley Arthur
Her recent work focuses on conservation both environmental and ethnographic. Arthur has interned, worked, and volunteered for a number of environmental NGOs. She has been a resident of Telluride, Colorado for years.
I like getting lost in art and find there is a certain meditational quality that can be achieved after a few hours work and that place is as important as the finished work itself.
Tomislav Zovko Art does not have to be created just from the conventional techniques and materials, it can be created from any material and that is what attracts me the most in all of this when it comes to matter and materials.
" I am a scientist and an artist. As for myself, there is no clear line between science and art. Therefore, I am keen on using colour to record science as well as each piece of my life. "
Marta Ivanova Marta's work is a unique phenomenon in Lithuanian art scene, and in a global art context, she is appre-ciable for her relevance and unique aesthetics. Artist primarily use her own body as a means of expression and view the female body as a battlefield, as an atlas.
Bill 's works are inspired by the emotional and sensorial experience of the city and the poetics of inbetweeness with references to flaneur, psychogeography and romanticism.
My own approach to the medium of photography plays a major role, a dominant role actually. I paint with structures and light.
In my game of dismantling the concepts and the individual elements of the vase world of photography I try to create images which may talk in ambos languages and may give its viewer a moment of reflection.
Especially in nature I find my inspiration, the shapes that have been formed and are subject to change by the elements
"I define a work of art as one which can convey feelings to the viewer : for example "The Kiss" by Klimt, which conveys passion, tenderness and beauty and " The Scream" by Munch that conveys anguish and existential despair . I believe that the work of art has to be able to touch somehow the viewer"
Jodie Woodcock would say my art is mostly abstract. I like different, always have. The way I create my work haschanged since I started painting, I have changed. I started painting in 2010 and for awhile I could hardly stop. My ideas and Visions just flowed out of me. I been into drawing since I was young.
The process of creating and the presentation of art is a fundamental blessing and encouragement for human society that arises from the artists' ability to open to the primal elements of life's appearances. Feeling the heart of events and finding the freedom to express that in media and terms beyond the distortions of ego is a liberating thing that wakes people up to the natural benevolent vividness of circumstances.
Erin O’Malley “With digital macro photography I have been exploring the interaction of light with transparent and reflective surfaces. I consider my photography a series of experiments, a process of trial and error that builds upon past succes-ses through the manipulation of variables”
Feel free to submit your artworks to our art review: just write to email@example.com III
Riley Arthur (USA)
Riley Arthur grew up on American Samoa. She received bachelorâ€™s degrees in Art and Theatre at Southern Oregon University. Arthur is Fulbright Scholar and a National Geographic Expedition Grantee. Her recent work focuses on conservation both environmental and ethnographic. Arthur has interned, worked, and volunteered for a number of environmental NGOs. She has been a resident of Telluride, Colorado for years. Her photographs have been exhibited in art shows and her work has been published in newspapers, magazines, online publications, album covers, and cookbooks.
From the Smoke series
an interview with
Riley Arthur Hello Riley and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?
A work of art is something visual or aural deliberately created to give meaning to an otherwise meaningless object.
Artwork can be composed of completely new ideas and components or it can be made of found objects.
I have largely had a positive experience with studying art. As an artist I don’t think I am ever done learning, though as I am not a student I research my projects independently.
Would you like to tell us something about your background? You hold bachelor degrees in Art and Theatre, from Southern Oregon University: how has you training impacted on the way you currently produce your art? I would like to ask what's opinion of formal training in Art? Do you think training can stifle an artist's creativity?
Would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your works? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?
I grew up in a small village in the South Pacific with very little art resources, theatre, dance, performance, galleries, museums, libraries, etc… I was a compulsive precocious child with a myriad of interest which I couldn’t begin to explore in my formative years. When I went to university, I was finally in an environment where I could study whatever I wanted, I had access to music and theatre and fashion that I had never seen or heard of. My artistic training from childhood was limited, so I absorbed as much of it as I could at the collegiate level.
My process tends to be a lengthy one. In my fine art work I spend weeks and months researching, shooting and editing. In my journalism I can spend years research… Some projects I revisit after several months and completely re-edit photographs. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from your Smoke series, that our readers have already admired in the starting pages of this article and I suggest they visit your personal website directly athttp://www.rileyaarthurphotography.com/sm oke.html to see the whole series. Tell us something about the genesis of these interesting pieces? What was your initial inspiration?
I think formal training can stifle artistic creativity if the institution is not supportive of the artist’s direction, and I think it can be easy to put blame on ‘formal training’ as a whole rather than acknowledge that one institution or society is not interested in a person’s art.
I’ve been fascinated by the movement of smoke. Cassandra Hanks 6
From the Smoke series
vement of smoke as a purely aesthetic feature, contrasted by the movement or stillness of the scene. The individual shoots that make up this series do not aim to tell a story, yet they share a common thread with the colorful floating smoke in each image. It was paramount that each image be shot in Fall outside.
Smoke offered a departure from my prior fine arts project which focused on thematic narratives. The product of my education is degrees in theatre and art, my theatrical training has become so entwined in my fine art that some of my pieces edge on performance art. Costumes, set and props are always deliberate and methodical.
Despite the warmth of color in these images there remains an eery element of mystery. Over eighty five smoke bombs were used by the completion of this project.
With Smoke I wanted study the unique moJolanta Gmur 7
From the Smoke series
From the Smoke series
From the beginning I wanted to use the smoke bombs in nonconventional ways. I immediately wanted to put a smoke bomb in a models mouth.
One of your series entitled Rust & Bones, investigates the rusting remains of the Colorado mining boom. What mostly impacted on me is the way you have been capable of re-contextualizing the idea of landscape...
Before that shoot, I tested it myself to ensure it was possible to hold a lit smoke bomb in ones mouth without asphyxiation or severe burns. I found that it was possible but its not something I could recommend.
I believe ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so as humans we have an internal need to decipher them. The role of an artist can reveal unexpected sides of Nature, do you agree?
Most of your recent works as the aforesaid series focuses on conservation both environmental and ethnographic. You have worked for a number of environmental NGOs. I believe art can play an active role in modern society, through activism art can motivate change. Do you think this an exaggeration?
With Rust and Bone, I was working with decaying ruins, broken, rusting and exposed to the elements. In illuminating parts of the objects I shot I was speeding up the decomposition process while investigating the concept of the value in preservation.
Certainly, with my work I aim to bring attention to issues and violations that might otherwise go ignored. I think the average person isnâ€™t naturally heroic, but can be pushed or inspired to create change in something they find passion in. Art now more than ever is critical in the war torn modern world weJolanta live in. Gmur
There is still such a push and pull between humans and the wild, and still so much we fail to understand. In recent years my work has evolved to record changing landscapes, disappearing cultures and underrepresented communities.
From the Rust and Bones series
These images are part of an ongoing project entitled Rust and Bone, which investigates the rusting remains of the Colorado mining boom.
themselves. The landscape is removed, symbolizing the metaphoric depletion of natural resources through the white negative space. Printing the images on various wood types gave the image added texture through wood grain.
In recent years my work focuses on conservation and ethnographic photogra-phy, by highlighting fragmented pieces removed from context, the viewer is forced to image its use or purpose. By isolating parts of an Jolanta Gmur object, each image is effectively speeding up the rate of erosion both of the objects
What makes one site more valuable then another? What defines trash from historic landmark? What are the environmental implications of a mine or that of the remains of a mining town? 9
From the Rust and Bones series
From the Rust and Bones series
If asked to choose an adjective to sum up your art, I would say that it's "kaleidoscopic": in fact, as our readers can view your website http://www.rileyaarthurphotography.com/ they will note that although you are primarily a digital photographer, your art practice ranges in a variety of genres. Do you think a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve to express a concept? No. I try to find a balance between different art practices, but I donâ€™t find it absolutely vital to my creative process. I have to mention the Insect Bites series: I love the way it unsettles our common stereotyped imagery of the insects, and how it challenges our perception process... so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process? Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience? I aim to create art that is both meaningful to me and to others. Once a series is complete, the work should stand alone. My experience in creating the series and my process is less impor-
From the Rust and Bones series
Cassandra Hanks 10
Insect Bites From the Insect Bites series
Insect Bites was inspired by human bodies as landscape. The curves of a human body provided an interested canvas. I wanted to show the beauties of the body contrasted by inscets, fish and arachnids which are perhaps considered somehow less beautiful, frightening or pests. I explored several questions. Why are some animals valued more than others? Why are humans perceived as more important that any other animals? Can these ‘parasites’ also be beautiful? I found that some models were willing to do shoots with some of these creatures but not others.
the shoot. As an artist I do not mind posing as a model periodically simply because I strongly feel that anything I would put a model through I must also be willing to go through myself. In placing myself in front of the camera I tried to considered, while the worms bit me and got lost in my hair, how much we distance ourselves from animals we do not understand. One of my original titles for an image in this series was ‘Beauty and Beast,’ I hoped the viewer could decided which was which, but I abandoned this title as I found it too partial. Our bodies will die and decompose and perhaps someday serve as nourishment for a number of animals, and this process is normal.
In the shoot with the superworms, I posed as a model primarily due to the fact that other models were disgusted by these worms and would not commit to
We as a race eat animals, and ultimately in the end they eat us. This is beautiful.
tant to me than the sum of all parts. If I am able to challenge a stereotype or make a viewer think a new way, than I have succeeded. Grants, awards, and positive feedback are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if the expectation of positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist? How much importance do you place on audience feedback? Do you ever wonder who will enjoy your art when you conceive your pieces? I rely on grants and funding to help support my art, and am always open to feedback and critics. I’ve had the privilege of receiving positive feedback more often than not, which is validating but not always helpful to artistic growth. Therefore, I don’t ever halt a project in fear that it will be poorly received. Let me thank you for your time and for sharing your thoughts with us, Riley. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of? I have a few projects in the works. I continue work on the Rust and Bone series. I volunteer for a refugee organization and through that work I hope to help tell stories of refugees living in America. I’ve got a few grants under review, at any point I could get funding to go to Sri Lanka, Samoa, New Zealand, Prague or Kyrgyzstan- or not... The life of a freelancer who often works abroad means that one needs to be prepared when you get the call….
an interview by firstname.lastname@example.org Jolanta Gmur
From the Insect Bites series
Ben Hollis (United Kingdom)
an artistâ€™s statement
I worked primarily in pencil, charcoal, graphite and ink initially and enjoyed creating optical illusions. Shape and form and my interest in colour developed later on. A fellow student at University introduced me to abstract, and after initial skepticism I dived straight into it. I found that I liked to create depth with no recognisable form in my paintings and produced many works using multiple layers. A little over ten years ago I first began experimenting with computer graphics software and here my interests have grown and grown from real-world media simulation to abstract compositions. I've been told that my style of painting and digital work have evolved into a kind of contemporary abstract. At the same time I moved into design work as well as my fine art and this has also branched out into illustration, graphic design and an interest in digital photography. I like getting lost in art and find there is a certain meditational quality that can be achieved after a few hours work and that place is as important as the finished work itself.
an interview with
Ben Hollis Hello Ben and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?
I don't think it's possible to clearly define something like "art" in anything like an objective way. It's one of those things which most people are aware of on a near instinctual level but which language completely fails to describe. In that way it's a bit like love; everyone who has ever been in love knows exactly what it is but over the course of human history not even the greatest of poets has managed to clearly encapsulate this â€˜somethingâ€™ in a fashion that is relevant to us all. Perhaps this is one of the principal reasons for the development of visual arts, to provide expression where words fall short?
Concepts like "love" and "art" are intangible, relevant only to ourselves and as ephemeral as our shifting tastes, experience and circumstances, they exist as much in a time and place as we ourselves do. What could be a work of art for you could mean nothing to me at all and what I value may be very different tomorrow so any kind of definition I may give you will necessarily have to be vague, changeable enough to mould itself to the moment and broad enough to encompass such a wide range of though sand feelings as to render the entire attempt utterly meaningless.
thing which captivates some, but probably not all, of those who perceive it and resonates with them on some aesthetic, emotional or psychological level allowing (or even forcing) them to see, feel or think about "something" in a way in which they would otherwise not have done. Art is something which both draws and repels people, on occasion managing both at the same time. "Art" is something which is not easy to describe. Or perhaps it is none of these things. I donâ€™t know what art is, ask me again tomorrow.
Still, for what it's worth, I shall make a quixotic attempt to answer your question as best as I may, although if you ask me again tomorrow I am liable to respond in a very different manner and reserve the right to do so. I believe that "art" is something which exists to fulfil no other purpose than to exist. Art is something which serves no practical physical function. Art is some-
Being contemporary just means being around at the same time as other things, so either the question makes no sense or the word is being misused. Being stylistically contemporary would, I suppose, mean that art would bear characteristics (be they materially, technically or thematically) as commonly found in other pieces from the same period. Cassandra Hanks 16
If by contemporary you mean ‘currently modern’ then that is marked out purely by current trends and fashions, regarding which I honestly have no idea as I don’t pay enough attention. When looking at artwork, I’m not at all concerned with whether or not it is “contemporary” as I don’t believe that this adds or subtracts any value to the piece.
years ago. I’d much rather that the artwork be a good example of a style or technique regardless of when and by whom it was produced. Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that have particularly impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks? By the way, I would like to ask your point about formal training... I sometimes wonder if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist’s creativity...
I understand that some derive pleasure for it because they see it as being new and/or exciting but I get just as excited if I come across something that I personally haven’t seen before whether it was made last weekGmur or two thousand Jolanta
A lot of the time my work is produced with a certain amount of experimentation. I did go to 17
art college but failed to complete the course due to an extended period of ill health. This left me with some formal training although in many areas I am almost completely autodidact, especially in computer graphics. Douglas Adams pointed out in one of his lectures that all intelligent creatures spend a noticeable amount of their time at play, he saw it as a natural way to develop. This is very much the way I approach my work, by playing. Once I find something that I like, usually by some blend of experimentation and accident, I then work to develop it based on what I see in it. I imagine a lot of people work this way. I think that formal training can be a double edged sword. It can open you up to new ideas, styles and techniques in a quick and condensed manner, it surrounds you with materials and others who are on the same (or at least a very similar) path, allowing you to develop quickly and in ways which you may never have come to on your own. On the other hand; it can also close you off to other ways of thinking about and approaching your work by “standardising” your understanding of art. When I was young my parents taught me, for which I shall remain eternally grateful, how to find out about and learn things for myself and more often than not this is what I do. The rise in interest over the last few years in outsider art provides a very good example of this. Here we have work that is completely independent not only of formal training but also, to a great extent, of exposure to conventionally accepted art. Such artists produce work that can be quite staggeringly unique in vision which I often find very compelling but which at the same time I sometimes find myself wishing had been created with a more skilled use of materials to really complement the artistic vision. Of course, if they had been formally trained then there is a very good chance they that many of these works would have been created in the first place. So it goes. When I was still at school (somewhere around the age of thirteen to fourteen) I was once told
by a teacher not to use biros in art class because “it is not an artists material”. This kind of negativity I rejected even back then so I immediately went of and developed a way of using a biro to create some lovely and subtle marks which I then used to produce a large portrait with. When this teacher saw the work they were very impressed. I then burned the piece telling them that it couldn’t be any good as it was produced with a biro which “is not an artists material”. This didn’t make me very popular with the staff but I think the point was valid; formality From 18 the reFract0r3 series
Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your works? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?
Preparation varies from project to project as I work in as many different forms of media as I can get my hands on. I can be quite greedy like that, I want to try everything when it comes to materials and tools. Often I find the best thing to do is just begin without any clear idea of what I’m doing or what the results will be. Wasn’t it Paul Klee who suggested “taking a line for a walk”? When painting I may start with a vague notion notion of where I’m going such as ‘figurative’ or ‘abstract’ but often it goes no further than that until I’m well under way and things slowly start to make more sense as they take form or coalese into something more recognisably coherent. In this way boredom or restlessness plays the larlgest role in preparation as it pushes me to grab whatever may be at hand and start throwing it at the canvas/paper/board/Photoshop. With my digital work, particularly those pieces which utilise photographs, I suppose that actually taking the photos could be seen as preparation although is most cases this is preparation only in the loosest sense as I usually won’t take them with a specific purpose in mind (the exception being the reFract0r series). There are occasions where I have a more definite idea of what I want before I start, or a solid idea in my head of what a piece should look like but as these are rarely the same sort of ideas they usually involve very different kinds of preparation.
can close some doors which may be better left open. However, when I later went to college, my tutors were far more open and encouraged me to work things out for myself whilst providing technical explanation or suggestion when I requested it. For this I was and still am very grateful as it likely spared me years of frustrating experimentation. I think formal training can be both a good and bad thing, it greatly depends on the individual, the tutor/teacher and most crucially the dynamic between the two.
Sometimes what I do is led entirely by technical processes. I’ll think; I really want to try creating something using this or that technique and I’ll start playing with the appropriate tools. In this way the artwork produced is almost a by-product of the experimentation. Of course, none of this is the case when I am working on graphic design or illustration projects where there is always a clear idea of what things should look like. In those si19
tuations it feels almost as though I’m taking what I’ve learned in the playground of fine art and am putting them to practical use as best I can in a far more rigid world. Whilst this is very interesting and engrossing for me, it lacks the anarchic flavour of the freeform fine art. Now let’s focus on your artworks: I would like to start with reFract0r an extremely interesting series that our readers have started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: would you tell us something about the genesis of this interesting project? What was your initial inspiration?
reFract0r was an accident. Plain and simple. It has since developed into something more deliberate but the first few were just experiments in Photoshop textures. I had become very interested with layer blending in PS using it to add texture detail to images, be they photographs or digital paintings. To provide myself with a large and varied bank of images to use I started taking a large number of pictures of just about anything around me in a way that ignored the subject as a whole but focused on the detailed patterns on the surfaces of things. The rugged surfaces of bricks, cracked and peeling paint on an old door, moss on a stone wall, cloud formations, erupting and bleeding patches of rust on old metal objects, the ripples on the surface of water, anything which interested my eye without having a clearly defined form. It was the small details that I was after. One of the things I captured was the light bouncing and refracting off the moulded facets of the reflectors in car headlight fittings.
out of suitable pictures so I started taking detours into any carpark I happened to pass when I was out and about. At this point I would like to suggest that it is a good idea to carry some of your work around with you if you choose to try something like this as it is very useful in helping to convince angry motorists who may return to their vehicles that there is no sinister reason behind why you are taking close up photographs of their cars and is therefore good in helping to avoid confrontation. Just saying.
When I got around to playing with these photos to add textures to other images I got some mildly interesting results but nothing that I found particularly engaging until I thought; “why not try to texturise a texture and see what happens?” What happened was the first reFract0r.
With a large enough reserve of photos it was possible to try out lots of varying combinations, I liked many of the results and have kept experimenting with reFract0r by adding new elements such as architectural details, light fittings and vehicle interiors to the mix in an atCassandra Hanks
Combining and blending elements from multiple images revealed hidden shapes and patterns alongside creating new ones and I quickly ran 20
tempt to develop it further. Most of the work is finding the right combination of graphic elements and then balancing the blend in an interesting way.
within our own imagination and all our experience and everything we ever know in our lives is born of our imagination. Following that there is no other conclusion other than; reality is the product of the creative process and that the creative process is the direct result of our reactions to that reality. In this sense imagination is reality and anything we imagine is direct experience and thereby qualifies as “reality” meaning that there is little or no difference between the two. Nothing else is possible except those things which are “impossible” (which may be found not to be).
How much do you draw inspiration from our reality? I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?
Reality only exists in our perception, it has no Jolanta Gmur home anywhere else. Therefore; reality exists 21
Multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your art practice: you work in various media, from drawing in pencil, charcoal, graphite and ink, to computer graphic and wall painting... while crossing the borders of different artistic fields, have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?
I think it is more difficult to see the differences than it is to see the commonalities. If you are a writer you can use a pen or a typewriter (if you can remember what one of those is) or a word processor. Hell, you could even use a chisel and stone tablets if you wished, the result is writing whichever method you use. I don’t think it’s much different with art. Sometimes one tool or another seems most appropriate, sometime another. I just pick up whichever feels right to me at the time. There’s a wall, I can paint on that... There’s a canvas, I can paint on that... There’s a computer, I can paint on that... You see? I like whatever works. I have taken photographs of some of my paintings and worked on them digitally and I have printed off digital work and added it to real world media. To me, it’s all part of the same language, I don’t see the boundaries. I’m not sure that this is the only way to achieve the results that I want, expression will find a way out regardless of the tools available and a great part of my interest lies in the use of the tools as much as the results that they yield. I don’t think that I’m fully aware of what I’m trying to say in my work and it’s only through the use and manipulation of various tools and media that I struggle to find my voice. For me art is a compulsion and perhaps this is the reason why? Besides your original works, you also create compositions from found images: not to mention that this is nowadays a very common practice. I often wondered about the personal contribution of the artist, in such case... it goes without saying that also white
canvas and acrylics tube are all material that already exists... roaming through “found” material to might happens to discover unexpected sides of the world, maybe of our inner world... What’s you point about this?
I’ll happily take and use anything that comes to hand if I think that it will do the job but I tend not to take and use other people’s work if there is any other way. I may on occasion recreate such work but it’s been many years since I toyed with montage/collage with “cuttings”. Found images are things that I use more to guide my ideas but unless there is meaning in the use of specific images and the connotations that they bring with them then I won’t use them From 22 the reFract0r3 series
there for me to do a proper job without getting distracted. I think that the collections that we make are less interesting than what we do with them or how we assemble them because that gives greater insight into the reasoning behind the collecting. In that sense, the artwork is far more telling than the collecting.
in a final assembly. For me the photographs I take are “found images”. I didn’t create the images, merely captured them. This in itself can be telling as what a person sees and collects will reflect and aspect of themself because they wouldn’t collect them if there were not something in those images which resonated with an internal need or aspect. I’m not suggesting this as a foolproof form of psychoanalysis but have found it interesting to go through the jumbled mass of images in my folders and hard drives and try to look at them almost as a whole. Patterns and preoccupations emerge and I start wondering sometimes just why I chose that picture or that combination of images. In the end though, there’s too much
It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an award- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?
It’s difficult to say, most of the time I couldn’t care less (with the exception of commissioned illustration and graphic design work), I certainly don’t have a single thought when producing personal work regarding whether or not anyone will appreciate it. It’s my work, if you don’t like it, fine, look elsewhere. It’s only recently that I’ve started displaying any of it anywhere at all and most of that is due to the belief and hard work of my wife as I tend to be too wrapped up in my work to get round to actually showing it to anyone. As I’ve already mentioned, I work compulsively and will continue to do so with or without encouragement. There are others for whom this sort of recognition is far more important as they seem to use it as a form of self validation or a way to judge their own success. When it comes to my work I have only myself to answer to and whilst I am interested in other people’s opinions and feedback, it is more to gain a greater insight into my own work and to glean new ideas than it is to gauge its success. On the occasions when my artwork has been submitted to any exhibition or competition it has already been finished beforehand (with only a very small number of exceptions) and therefore cannot be influenced by any ulterior motive. To me this idea would make work more like a design commission than fine art as it would give it another reason to come into being other than “I felt like it at the time...” which is how I tend to work. My artwork fulfils a personal need and if I produced it for any other reason, I would hesitate to call it “art”. And I think that that, quite neatly, brings us full circle.
From the reFract0r3 series
Cassandra Hanks 24
Jolanta Gmur 8
Heng-Chang Chen Taiwan (resident currently in Spain)
an artistâ€™s statement
" I am a scientist and an artist. As for myself, there is no clear line between science and art. Therefore, I am keen on using colour to record science as well as each piece of my life. "
Il cielo a Roma (Autunno) 16.2x22.5 cm, watercolour, 2013
an interview with
Heng-Chang Chen Hello Heng-Chang, first of all welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? And moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?
First of all, I would like to thank the Peripheral ARTeries to offer me such a precious opportunity for sharing ideas behind of my artworks. Well, honestly, I never think of defining a work of art; I even doubt whether or not I am able to give a proper definition. I would like to say that â€œwhat is a work of artâ€? for me is probably not definable. Everything what I see in me daily life is a kind of artworks. A work of art, in my opinion, should be able to inspire me. No matter the messenger I receive is the same as to what an artist would like to express, somehow an artwork still bridges the connection and communication between an artist and me. This is for me the most important value of a work of art. Therefore, as I said, a work of art towards myself is transforming in various forms everywhere in my life through what and whom I see and contact to everyday. The features of the contemporariness of an artwork in my opinion would be appreciated to incorporate more modern elements, such as creativity, uniqueness and originality to be different from classicism. Contemporary art is probably favour to emphasize on the idea/concept behind an artwork through various methods instead of focusing on artistic skills in details. Moreover, topics used in the contemporariness are broader than before, which therefore not only creates a cross- and/or multi-disciplinary talk to other fields, such as science, music and physics, but also generates more amusement and inspiration for the audience while facing to an artwork.
Can you tell our readers a little about your background? you hold a Ph.D. that you have received just a couple of years ago from the Institute of Biology, Humboldt-UniversitĂ¤t zu Berlin: how has this experience -I should say,
Cassandra Hanks 28
ted on your art practice? Moreover, since you have a basically scientific background, I would ask your point about formal training in artistic disciplines: I sometimes happen to ask to myself if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity... Do you think that artists with a formal education have an advantage over selftaught artists?
One third of my life has been spent in studying in many -ology ending subjects, such as Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Virology and so on. Honest speaking, I have never thought of art during that time. Science I obtained my Ph.D. in 2012, which was a hard time for me at that moment. I started to ask myself â€œWhat is scienceâ€? and why I was so tired of it. I believe that it could, and should also be delightful for doing research. From that time, I began to discover my own way to express science in my mind. I am always quite certain that I am into any colourful stuffs so much. One day there was an idea coming inside my mind: why not combine science and art together? At beginning, those two subjects seemed no connection to me; however, little by little, I realise that actually both of the subjects sharing some similar characteristics, i.e. creativity, uniqueness and originality. Just because of such similar characteristics, my scientific background is then become a helpful hand for me to access into the world of art in another way around. The ability of being creative and original is actually involved in any successful scientific training. In fact, such a scientific background allows me to understand art beyond a traditional frame and to incorporate scientific creativity into my artworks easily. Certainly, without a formal education might probably be lacking basic artistic training; therefore, a passion for keeping learning and challenging themselves is definitely important for self-taught artists.
Can you tell our readers a little about your background? you hold a Ph.D. that you have received just a couple of years ago from the Institute of Biology, Humboldt-UniversitĂ¤t zu Berlin: how a wonderful experience- impacJolanta Gmur
Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for
for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?
General speaking, I come up ideas and topics while doing experiments on the bench or reading research articles. Each time, I write down such new ideas bumping out on a pocket-size notebook on hand as well as various versions of artistic trials. This way is quite convenient for me to prepare and gather all ideas any time. Once I have sorts of concrete ideas in my mind, it goes relatively easy to put an idea in action. I am not limited to use only one or certain techniques to create an artwork. As starting to paint, I started from a black-and-white sketch with a pen. Later on, I incorporated colours into my artworks via watercolour and pastel. I do enjoy displaying various atmosphere and emotion diffused from my artworks by choosing different techniques. Moreover, I currently use oil colours to generate a new visual contact which is different from those generated by watercolour and pastel. I am usually more productive in the weekend. It takes me in general two to three nights to finish a painting in a small- or a medium size; due to some technical reasons, an oil painting takes me usually up to a week to finish it. And now let's focus on your art production: I would start from El Cielo En Barcelona and Il Cielo A Roma that our readers have already admired in the introductory pages of this article: one of the features that has mostly impressed me is the sense of motion, not only of static description of the images... could you tell us something about your process for conceiving and in particular for making the pieces of this series?
You are totally right! One of the important element that I would like to share with the audience in the series â€œSky - Cielo - CiĂ¨lo" is dynamic. Staring at the sky changing its colour is what I like to do in my spare time. I therefore later on decided to freeze such fabulous moments reflected on my eyes by Cassandra Hanks 30
Il cielo a Roma (Primavera) 22.5x16.2 cm, watercolour, 2013
colours. The key point that I apply for displaying the fluent sky is the ratio between colours and water. I first used the simple flat wash method to give the background certain colour. Second, I mixed various colours directly on the paper to give sky alive colour-layers. Within this series, I tried to show sky in spring, summer and autumn. I therefore chose different group of colours, like warm or cold colours to represent it in different seasons. In the meanwhile, I like to paint a building in this series with dry brush that gives me a conflicting feeling. El Cielo En Barcelona
Cassandra Hanks 22.5x16.2 cm, watercolour, 2013 31
It goes without saying that research of a bound between Art and Science plays a crucial role in producing the creative synergy that marks your art practice, as our readers can discover in an extremely interesting series of works as HIV Infection, Influenza Virus and Transcription in Chromatin... how did you come up to the idea that an image that one could expect to find in the pages of an illustrated scientific book could communi-cate more than a schematic description of a cellular process?
Being a Virologist, those viruses are in fact my good accompanies I meet everyday. Looking behind the time as I was studying biology in class, some of the illustrations shown in the textbook or a scientific journal actually seem boring to me. I was always thinking that with more interesting and vivid illustrations could definitely catch more my attention. Probably due to this reason, I start to draw something scientific on the paper. It is true that nowadays our knowledge towards to the majority of scientific issues are still unknown; in other words, we still have a plenty of space for our imagination. I therefore paint what I feel and what I understand regarding the world of science. I have to say that what I am doing is different from traditional scientific illustration. Take the artwork
HIV infection 14.2x21.6 cm, watercolour pencil, 2013
Cassandra Hanks 32
Influenza Virus 14.2x21.6 cm, watercolour, 2013
"Transcription in Chromatin" for example, no one really know how this process looks like in vivo. Thus, I tend to add more artistic elements inside this series of artworks in order to hopefully inspire the audience in a different way. While many of your works deals with scientific subjects, as the visual features of the related pieces seems far from being -in a certain sense"contaminated" by the usage of digital technologies that nowadays deeply pervade visual arts... do you think that nowadays there still exists a dichotomy between art and such kind of technology? By the way, I would go as far as to say that in a way Science is assimilating Art and viceversa: what's your point about this?
Instead of refusing to utilise digital technologies actually; in contrast, I am willing to incorporate certain digital features in my art performance, especially in scientific subjects. Up to date, I think that simply separate art and technology is not really fit to the purpose of contemporary art; however, I believe that it is important to find a proper balance among each methods used for visual arts still. As to myself, science and art are two sides of one thing. Like I mentioned before, they share certain essential features in common, at least
Transcription in Chromatin 33.2x24.2 cm, pastel, 2013 Jolanta Gmur 33
for me. What I keep doing is to find out a solution to show the value of their commensalism as much as possible. 7) Now let's deal with the tones of your pieces: I noticed that red is a very recurrent tone, in many different nuances. In particular, in Crepuscular, far from being the usual deep red that we should expect to see in a painting with such title, it's a thoughtful red... and what has mostly impressed me is that it is capable of establishing such a dialogue, a synergy with all the other tones instead of a contrast... By the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?
Honestly, I have not noticed that I do use so much red inside my paintings. It is true that one important idea in Crepuscular is to exhibit a harmonious state among each colours. Because of this reason, I therefore chose pastel as the material for this art practice. I like to see that two colours are gentilly fused together while wiping them together. One tips that I use to constantly merge each colours is to pick up colours based on the colour wheel as my practical palette. Colours that stay close together are easy for me to create such thoughtful atmosphere. Another interesting pieces of yours on which I would like to spend some words are Kussen and
K端ssen | besar (2013) Pastel (Faber-Castell) -Paper (70x100 cm)
Cassandra Hanks 34
Solo 21x29.7 cm, pastel, 2013
Solo: one of the features of your pieces that has mostly impacted on me is the way it forces us to get involved into them, stimulating the viewer also through an effective usage of irony as in "Evolution and Affair"... I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?
As my opinion, I do not really think that personal experience is essential for a creative process. With no doubt, richer personal experience might expand the horizon of art topics while processing art practice; too much realistic elements based on personal experience could possibly retard creativity as well. I was therefore trying to find a method to interpret realism and creativity at the same time. Paintings involved in the series called Las Caras | The faces are branched from a previous artwork RenĂŠxierâ€?. The purpose of this series is to annotate certain current issues in our society as shown in Solo, Evolution, Affair and KĂźssen, instead of giving any judgements for each of them. What I would like to express is that: we have carried on our sin alreaCassandra Hanks
Affair 70x50 cm, pastel, 2013 35
dy before coming to this world. We choose how we are and what to do. No matter what the outcome is, in the end, we need to take the responsibility for our decisions and further improve ourselves. It is like a cross containing blood vessels in RenĂŠxier, which means being rebirth. It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an award- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?
Indeed, I am glad to receive feedbacks from my audience. Most of the time, when words are not enough to express my feelings, I use colours to do it.
Evolution 63x50 cm, pastel, 2013
Cassandra Hanks 36
Gedanke, 21x29.7 cm, pastel, 2013
Hence, certain feedbacks are important for me to understand how the audience see my artworks. I do not restrict my audience in specific groups. As I said, my art is a way for me to communicate the world, I therefore expect that those who are willing to visit my artworks are able to receive the messengers I would like to transmit. Regarding awards, of course, it is one of the approvals of an achievement of an artist. An artist however should take awards as encouragement instead of as a final goal. Thanks for your time, Heng-Chang. My last question deals with your future plans: what direction are you moving in creatively? anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
From time to time, I consider myself as a scientist as well as an artist. I am always trying to discover a perfect methodology or technology to fuse science and art together. In the future, I am planning to extend the form of my art practice, such as installation art in order to give the audience seeing my artworks involved in the space concept. Definitely, I will keep holding my belief on finding a perfect milieux containing science and art as my own career.
Crepuscular | D채mmerig (2014) Pastel (Faber-Castell) -Paper (33.2x24.2 cm) Paper (33.2x24.2 cm) Jolanta Gmur 37
Tomislav Zovko (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
I like to explore and combine various techniques, going from classical materials up to the experimental materials and their appliance in the painting. Art does not have to be created just from the conventional techniques and materials, it can be created from any material and that is what attracts me the most in all of this when it comes to matter and materials. The cycle I am about to present “Global Siliconization” that I have been working on since 2011 was developed based on the experiments with silicone. A year before the mentioned cycle I have spent in researching the silicone material and how it can be applied in easel painting. At that time I worked on two different ways of painting (action painting as organic abstraction and geometric abstraction with silicone) separately but parallel, so to mold them in above mentioned cycle in a unique “story”. As the cycle evolved during time, I included various materials in my painting so it is now a combination of acrylic paint, various types of silicone, car paint, PUR foam and geometrically shaped cardboard profiles that emerge from pictures into space. The theme of the cycle described by the title "Global Siliconization" is a complex and multi-layered, but at the same time simple and it applies to the current situation in the world.
SILICONIZATION 20, 2013., Mix media, 80 x 140 cm
use of visual elements and compositional principles in the picture. The title itself “Global Siliconization” presents a struggle for existence of the spirit, the authentic beauty and all organic and natural that has been inhibited, confined and repressed by geometric, artificial and technological.
I ask myself: “How to stay human in a dehumanized world!?” Silicone alludes to the artificiality of society, not only in the physical and material terms but also in sociological and spiritual sense. The entire cycle is based on dualism and contrasts, both in terms of the meaning of what is shown and in terms of the 38
That is my personal struggle and maybe a struggle of all humanity from my perspective. Images display controlled chaos of organic forms, limited and repressed in more or less strictly geometrical fields or sheets, which emerge to the front. In certain situations these geometric shapes emerge from two-
dimensional sheet of picture into space. Pictures are almost devoid of color. The tones of black, grey and white dominate the picture and the red is there only as a sign of life, but also as a warningâ€Śdo we know where are we going?! Tomislav Zovko
an interview with
Tomislav Zovko Hello Tomislav, and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?
Nowadays, it is getting harder and harder to define a work of art or features of work of art. The art has changed through time periods and we had characteristics of certain styles. Today all styles are present, in various combinations and in the media. Each artist has its own individual approach. There is no more question of style. In addition, boundaries between various branches of art are erased and it all goes towards universality and unity. To conclude, the art is changing and adaptable phenomena but its message is the same, regardless of the media type. I would not dare to define the work of art and certainly not art as a whole. I think that a work of art can be recognized by the quality of the idea it expresses, by its concept and by the method of implementation and its aesthetic values. Of course, one should also consider its historical, sociological, cultural, philosophical and psychological momentum.
elementary school I was finding myself in various branches of art, such as visual arts, dance, music etc. However, visual arts was and still is the closest to me, so, in depths of the subconscious, I knew it was the road for me.
Contemporary work of art should be a reflection of our times, regardless of stylistic features that are ascribed to it. Everything is allowed but not everything is justified. If we could understand art completely, then it would not be art anymore.
At some points I was running away from that call, that is, from myself, but in 2007 I decided
Would you like to tell us something about your background? You hold a Master of Fine Art in Painting, that you have received from the
felt that I had certain talent for it, but I was not sure. I came at the Academy with only one goalto learn everything I can about art and painting. The five-year study has passed so quickly. I have not even turned around and it was 2012th and I had a diploma in my hands. Of course, not everything went so smoothly. There were ups and downs, Cassandra creative blockades and phases of Hanks
this experience impacted on the way you currenly produce your artworks? By the way, I sometimes I wonder if a certain kind of formal training could even stifle a young artist's creativity... what's your point?
Yes, I have always been attracted to art. Ever since 40
have participated in some art colonies, in fifteen group exhibitions, and I have prepared three solo exhibitions. I consider this just the beginning of my career and, of course, I do not plan to stop at this. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?
As far as the process of creating the art goes, idea occurs first. When I have an idea I, relatively, take a long time thinking about it and work on it in my head. Thinking about the idea often takes longer than producing it, but it is never the same. Sometimes I take the opposite way. I just paint lead by intuition, without any idea. I get to certain stage and then I stop, take time to think and conclude what is necessary to finish the work and finish it. There are no specific rules that I hold to. Sometimes I sketch what I want to paint and transfer it to a larger format but I usually go into realization without the sketch, jut with the idea in my head. Sometimes I finish the painting in a day but it usually takes about a week for larger format pictures. It depends on materials I use and on the complexity of craftsmanship. Some simply flash in a moment and are finished quickly, and others are never finished or I get back to them after a long time. I love to work in parallel on two or three pictures so I do not waste time waiting for various materials to dry.
creative enthusiasm. Teachers often told us that we have to learn all the rules of visual language and crafts, apply them through the study and break them, and ultimately forget them in order to be “ourselves”. At that time that sounded absurd and confusing. I think it is dangerous for young people and many fail to free themselves long after the Academy, and some never do. This process of liberation and seeking a way to express somehow lasts a lifetime. All in all, it was something unique and memorable. Academy molded me as a painter and as a man who wants to live art.
The benefit of such approach is that I will be satisfied with at least one of those pictures and will be able to correct myself on those that I am not satisfied with. I am paying attention to do it technically as good as I can, to establish unity and harmony in the picture and, what is most important, to satisfy my vision. Now let's focus on your art production: I would like to start with your ineresting project Siliconization that our readers can admire in these pages and I suggest our readers to visit http://tomislavzovko.weebly.com/gelerija-slika.html in order to get a wider idea of it: in the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis
However, I am still “hungry”, still not satisfied, so I went to the same Academy to study at a doctoral level “ARS SACRA” (2nd year). So far I 41
SILICONIZATION - 09, 2012. Mix media, 102 x 180 cm
of the project behind these pieces? What was your initial inspiration?
myself in this artistic process and that all of this has some meaning, significance and quality. The more I got into the issue of subject itself, the more things fitted into its place. I wanted to send a strong and powerful message (to myself and to others). I was encouraged by thinking of human existence in a rapid and chaotic world where technology is advancing and human spirit is lagging behind, where nature is destroyed and artificial matter was praised. I could go on and on with comparisons.
Painting cycle â€œGlobal Siliconizationâ€? appered to me like an idea in 2010. At first I did not have a concrete vision but I knew what I wanted to display in these paintings. So I came from gradual reduction to abstraction. In fifth year of my study (2011/12.) I started the realization of my goal- to make three to five graduate paintings. But it seems that that year has been one of the most productive so far and alongside the graduate cycle I have made a whole painting cycle throughout the year. The more I painted the inspiration got bigger.
I wanted to be prepared to explain my intentions to anyone regardless of whether someone will acknowledge, accept and apply. I changed my way Cassandra Hanks of thinking and thus I succeeded.
This was one of those periods when you cannot stop until you finish something. Each completed work was the inspiration for the beginning of a new and so it binds with each other and paintings just came out. The aim of the cycle was to free
As you have remarked in your artist's statement, "Silicone alludes to the artificiality of society, not only in the physical and material terms but also in sociological and spiritual 42
SILICONIZATION - 19, 2013. Mix media, 102 x 180 cm
sense"... I can recognize in it a subtle social criticism... and I'm sort of convinced that Art in these days could play an effective role not only making aware public opinion about socio political issues: I would go as far as to say that nowadays Art can even steer people's behavior... I would take this chance to ask your point about this. Do you think that it's an exaggeration? And what could be in your opinion the role that an artist could play in our society?
of people around the world these days. The problem is that they mostly send the wrong message and thus shape the thinking of young people. Perhaps they are not aware of it, or they do not have faintest idea, but they have to adapt to the market and to what industry demands of them. For me that is not art but a sheer technique of manipulating masses in a bit fun way. Art should strive for beauty in every sense of the word. Art should enrich the world, make it better, happier and more inspiring place. We must not think that the individual does not matter and that he cannot change anything. That is the problem. Hanks If we just startCassandra from ourselves and make a change for better we have already changed the world.
My goal is not to criticize but to point out some facts and raise awareness, starting from myself and reaching to wider audience. I believe that art and the artist have an ethical and moral responsibility towards society and that one needs to be careful about the message that is sent because it can affect smaller or larger groups of people. So-called popular artists, especially in pop music and movie industry, have a huge impact on millions
Now let's deal with the tones of your pieces: far from being the usual deep red that we should expect to see in a painting with such title, it's a thoughtful red... and what has most43
SILICONIZATION - 03, 2012. Mix media, 103 x 180 cm
ly impressed me is that it is capable of establishing such a dialogue, a synergy with all the other tones - black and grey that dominate the painting - instead of a contrast... By the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?
my painting looked cold but the dynamic dripping would move them and make them warm. Each of these colors is there for a reason and have its significance in relation to the subject of the images themselves and the whole cycle.
While I was undergraduate at the Academy I worked with different colors every year. I was finding myself. The first year I tried everything. The second year I painted in a way that is currently unthinkable to me. Those were pure color compositions, full of screaming power, almost fauvist.
For some new cycles any coloring is possible. I do not want to limit myself forever although I am already recognizable in some circles (or boring) by the coloring of this cycle. Being strictly connected to the chance to create a deep interaction, your artworks are capable of communicating a wide variety of states of mind. Have you ever happened to discover something that you didn't previously plan and that you didn't even think about before?
Third year was my tone â€œblueâ€? phase and the fourth year I went with the colors I still use (black, grey, white, red). For me that was it. The way that colors corresponded with each other thrilled me. I achieved what I wanted, strong contrast, purity, harmony and synergy on the picture. Sometimes
I'm sort of convinced that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal hidden sides of life
SILICONIZATION - 11, 2012. Mix media, 102 x 180 cm
and nature... what's your opinion about this?
It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or just the expectation of a positive feedbackcould even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?
One of the most interesting and best things in the creative process is just that detection. Sometimes we only see a step ahead, we do not know what awaits us on a creative path, but with faith we go further and further and we reveal amazing new worlds. On that path we meet ourselves. The subconscious and conscious mind meet in communication with soul and reveal to us yet unknown facts about ourselves. I would call that a state of creative enthusiasm.
I guess it depends on the individual. I think that everyone cares about the feedback, though they do not want to admit it. If you have a positive reaction and if it comes to rewards that can act as an impulse to continue with good or better work.
Sometimes we are not even aware that we do something in the picture, where from do ides come and how they manifest themselves. By observing and analyzing we meet and become aware of ourselves thus we become aware of nature and life because we are an integrated part of the whole.
In some casesCassandra it can be negative thing in the sense Hanks that the artists falls asleep, slows down the production or even stops creating for some time. I personally want to communicate and interact 45
SILICONIZATION - 21, 2013. Mix media, 46 x 100 cm
with the audience. I often wonder what they think and what are their impressions? I especially respect the opinion from people that are in this profession. I always want to know and am ready to listen but that does not mean that I will accept any suggestion and go in favor of audience. While I paint I think just about the picture, about the process of creation and how to do it in the best possible way so a can be satisfied. Only when I am finished I start to think what will someone think about it and what will reactions will be. If people, for any reason, find a way to enjoy what I do, I will be happy. I will be happy even if they did not understand what I wanted to show and say. I would like to mention other pieces of Ars sacra that our readers can view in these pages: in particular, a feature of your art practice that has mostly impacted on me is the ability which with you are capable of create an effective mix of different materials: from "traditional" acrylics to silicone, car paint and polyurethane foam... this establishes an effective synergy between different materials: how do you decide upon which materials you incorporate within a piece?
ANNUNCIATION, 2013. Mix media, 130 x 140 cm
vanced in the last two years and because of the theme of the pictures. Every theme requires a particular approach to the craftsmanship, to the formation of composition, application of colors and materials in the image. I try to convey my particular Cassandra Hanks
Ars Sacra represents a particular challenge for me both because of the figuration of which I have ad46
LET THERE BE LIGHT, 2012. Mix media, 100 x 162 cm
and coloring from abstraction into figuration, which is not easy. I am not sure how I manage but I am trying to remain true to myself. As far as the materials and their application in painting go, it all comes spontaneously. It all started with silicone which was the first experiment with material and first to be applied into the picture. Other materials and their applications were already known to me. I met up with them through some examples of work of art. Silicone was something new when it comes to applying different materials into art but it was something recent, ubiquitous and implanted in society.
Thanks a lot for your time and your thoughts, Tomislav. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
In the near future I plan to complete my doctoral studies “Ars Sacra”. That is my primary goal at the moment. In the meantime I plan to continue with my painting, to develop my poetry and to exhibit in group and solo exhibitions as much as possible. I addition to my cycle “Global Siliconization”, which I am still working on, I have in plan two new cycles that I am thinking intensively about. I am working on the idea and waiting for the right time to carry them out. I do not currently think beyond that. For all the timely information you can visit and monitor my work on Cassandra Hanks the facebook page: www.facebook.com/tomislav.zovko.art It was my pleasure. Thank you and best regards!
So I connected the matter of picture and the “matter” of society which resulted in the entire painting cycle and it interweaved in the name of the cycle. I try to apply a full range of materials, with emphasis on silicone, in all the pictures that I do ( of course there are some exceptions). 47
Bill Psarras (Greece / United Kingdom) Born in Greece in 1985. He is an artist and musician who lives and works in London. After BA and MA studies in audiovisual arts (Greece) and digital arts (UK) he is a PhD candidate in Arts & Computational Technology of Goldsmiths University of London, conducting practice-based research on the exploration of emotional geographies of the city through artistic walking and embodied media practices (AHRC partly funded). Bill work has an intermedia approach mostly based on audiovisual installations, walking as art, video/digital art, soundscapes and music. His works are inspired by the emotional and sensorial experience of the city and the poetics of inbetweeness with references to flaneur, psychogeography and romanticism. His works has been exhibited in various international festivals in Europe, US and Australia, in group exhibitions of cultural organizations and galleries (Visual Dialogues 2013 - Onassis Foundation, ROOMS 2013, WPA Experimental Media, Royal Academy of Arts 2010 Summer Exhibition). Goethe Institut has also included his work for the database of Greek artists in the media art project â€˜Art Upâ€™. He has published and talked in international conferences and symposia including ISEA 19th (Australia, Portugal, UK, Greece, Netherlands, Germany, France) as well as in State Museum of Contemporary Art of Thessaloniki, Greece. He is a rock guitarist and the man behind the soundtrack music project; Ludmilla MS.
Urban Halo (2013)
An artist's statement
*** My art oscillates in-between the states of inside and outside, the static and the moving, the metaphor and action. It celebrates and magnifies the flora and the fauna of the moment by having the human figure as both a projector and surface. Human figure and city form the tundra that awaits for creativity.† My art breathes in the intersections of media arts, geography, the senses and the urban. † Through such oscillation, I consider city as an urban ocean of geographic, anthropological, metaphorical, emotional and spiritual possibilities. My immersion begins within the streets, the crossroads the street lamps the rooftops and antennas the grass in-between asphalt all form my personal material vocabulary to enunciate personal statements that balance between the future potential and the accepted decline. † *** Placelessness is the new colour / Place is my memory / Space is my freedom. A new romanticism, I constantly seeking to express in my artworks through transition. On such personal trajectories, significant part of my art practice is the walking itself. My steps are the seeds of experience, the poetic gesture of my body, trace of personal and shared – intended – geographies, where the flaneur constitutes an apparatus to reflect myself. † *** In my works of art City is the man and man is a layered geography of experiences, emotions and weaknesses. † (Bill Psarras, 2014)
King Midas Room Installation
An interview with
Bill Psarras Hello Bill and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?
Hello Peripheral ARTeries and thank you for having me here. Well, such question sounds simple but it is often a difficult process to define. I would say that a work of art is an aesthetic process, which involves sensitivity in multiple levels. Let’s describe it metaphorically – I can think of it as a creative “entanglement” of various materials and ideas that come to be shaped by the intentions, lived experiences and emotions of the artist. It is really a process of giving “birth” to what has previously impacted consciously or subconsciously on the artist. It is a poetic process of reformulating aspects and details of the everyday in order to present new realities to the audience – something often with political implications.
on the way you currently produce your art? By the way, I would like to ask what's your point about formal training in Art an especially if in your opinion a formal training -or better, a certain kind of formal training- could even stifle an artist's creativity...
However, I often find quite inspiring the way McLuhan described the artist as the antenna of a society. And it is at this point that I could also answer to the second part of your question. Personally, I believe that the contemporariness of an artwork is mostly reflected on how much the artists are capable of feeling the social vibrations and emotional frequencies of the environment that they live.
Exactly, I have a background in audiovisual and digital arts, however my first channel of creativity was music in a very young age. Thus, I can often see why music and soundscapes are basic ingredients on my artworks. Well, studying arts in a bachelor and master level certainly provided me with space to experiment and of course various motivations to be a step closer to the beauty of arts. Both in Greece and UK, my experience of studying arts was rich as I had the chance to engage with the multiple aspects – so yes it is expected to have impacted on my theoretical and technical knowledge. However, I think
Would you like to tell us something about your background? You have studied both in Greece and in the United Kingdom and you hold a BA of Audiovisual arts and a MA of digital arts: moreover, you are currently pursuing your PhD in Arts & Computational Technology at the Goldsmiths University, London. How have these experience impacted
Jennifer Sims 50
Antenna Poem, from Emotive Circle, 2013
Bill Psarras A still from Emotive Circle, 2013
it is during my PhD that my art expression and research shifted each other in a creative tempo; revealing me new interdisciplinary platforms. On the other hand, indeed there is a fear on formal forms, which can stifle creativity. I think it really depends on the personal motivation that each artist has and the ways someone can manage the “threads” of past knowledge, influences and feedbacks. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your works? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?
A still from Urban Halo, 2013
I always come up with the initial concept – an idea of what I truly want to express at the current moment. So, the early stages of the work include written ideas, keywords and pencil sketches or digital representations. This is really a reflective process, which starts by a kind of think by writing. In my work I am pretty much engaged with filming, audiovisual editing, elements of animation, sound composition and image.
lived experience. Therefore, my artworks have changed by incorporating walking in the city as part of my art practice – resembling the cultural notions of flaneur and psychogeography. What I can observe is my gradual shifting from the very essence of a “digital” work into a more intermedia approach – one that takes into consideration the very act of walking as an aesthetic and symbolic expression – which indeed is augmented through the embodied audiovisual and locative tools.
However, I could say my interest on the urban experience and spatial aesthetics impacted on my methodologies. The walking itself proved to be a vital aspect of my work, providing me the chance to be immersed within the very core of
So, when it comes to see my work as a walkingbased one, the process is almost the same as in Jennifer Sims the past but with an emerging performative element. Thus, my walking can be thought as conceptual – in other words a pre-planned action 52
action and personal narration. I tried to speak through my feet. It is a work, which was commissioned from Onassis Cultural Foundation in Greece and in particular for the exhibition of Visual Dialogues 2013, which marked the 150th anniversary of birth and 80th anniversary of death of the great Greek poet C.P. Cavafy. Urban Halo was a quite personal piece for me, exploring boundaries of both myself and art practice. My initial inspiration was expressed through a creative dipole between actions and metaphors of both human figure and city, marking an inner peripatetic dialogue with the current reality. Urban Halo expresses the ongoing movement towards a polis inside – a “weaving” of a glowing halo – an “entanglement” of psychic conflicts, periods of harmony, contrast, failures and uncertainty. Therefore, my attentiveness to the poetics of the asphalt, the street, the city and the air become basic channels for expressing such an “entanglement”. Reflec-ting now, I can see clearly an inner intention not only to perform but to bring also a kind of creative writing within the artwork.
A feature that I recognize in your work, especially in the interesting Emotive Circle, is the perception of the common in our environment and the challenging of it in order to create a new multitude of points of views: and especially the way you have been capable of re-contextualizing the idea of environ-ment... I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a wayto decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?
based on symbolic intentions. This is a process often extended between hours and a week as it depends on the type of action (personal or shared walk). Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from Urban Halo that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article and I would suggest them to visit your website directly at https://vimeo.com/76279152 in order to get a wider idea of it... In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of these interesting pieces? What was your initial inspiration?
Well I am glad you are convinced! Exactly, I believe that the ingredients of a work of art are also in a way “out there”. They are unformulated
Thank you for your nice words. Urban Halo is my latest work, based also on a performative walking
“threads” the artist has the potential to bring them together through a creative “weaving” across platforms. This pre-supposes an attentiveness, which is also what I mentioned before on the inspiring quote of McLuhan on the artist as the antenna of the society. In the same vein, Emotive Circle was a walkingbased work with actual and poetic implications towards an emotional geography of Athens in the current times of social and financial crisis (Greece, 2013). My initial idea was to walk a circle in the centre of the city – a simple action but with deeper intentions. After a preparation of concept and technical issues, I conducted a 7 hours walk of circular shape around Lycabettus mount at the centre of Athens, with an invited co-walker and a team of two people filming us. The whole experience was documented through video, sound and GPS data.
A still from Walking Portraits
Emotive Circle lies on my intention to re-consider the concept of flaneur within the contemporary city – an artist-walker who becomes an “orchestrator” of co-walkers, senses, data and steps. In this work, we walked, sensed and expressed our emotions and thoughts on a metaphorical interrelation between the social crisis (city) and personal crisis (self). The final shape of the walk comes to indicate a metaphorical “weaving” of different areas with different social, spatial and historical ambiances. So, once more yes, it was an artwork with not only a social sensitivity but also with a geographical one – trying to present a trajectory of emotional “tunings” between the streets and us.
disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?
It is really interesting the way you describe it. Indeed, the shift from the digital environment to the performative aspect of my steps in the streets of the city has revealed me new terrains for a re-consideration of how an idea comes to light. Walking as art is a field of art, which certainly draws connections to flaneur and psychogeography. Yet, the transient character of a walk remains a challenging matter when it comes to a work of art. It is thus through creative fusions of the digital and the performative that a walking piece can be mapped and “augmented”. Therefore, it is all about interdisciplinarity. To give an example, in my recent artworks I have tried to decode the emotionality of the urban experience through a variety of different tools consisted of walking and talking, embodied devices, sensory attentiveness and metaphors. This orchestration of different tools has revealed not only personal aspects of experience but also “live” ways to come into contact with social and geographical qualities of the urban space.
If I have been asked to choose an adjective that could sum up in a single word your art, I would say that it's "kaleidoscopic": in fact, as our readers can view at your website http://billpsarras.tumblr.com, your art practice ranges in a variety of genres: you combine video, sound, digital art with the field of art known as "walking as art" and "psychogeography"… while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different
GPS Poem, from Emotive Circle, 2013 33 55
By the way, your works - in particular Walking Portraits: Performing Asphalts, which I have to admit is one of my favourite pieces of yours - has reminded me the concept of non-place elaborated by French anthropologist Marc AugÈ. And even though I'm aware that this would sound a bit naif, I'm wondering if one of the hidden aims of your art could be to search the missing significance to a nonplace... Could ever the negotiation between locality and globality lead to a non-conflictual concept of re-territorialization or should we need to make do with a "happy deterritorialization"?
That is right, the concepts of ‘non-place’ (Augé, 1992) and ‘placelessness’ (Relph, 1976) are a significant aspect of and inspiration for many of my works. The transience, the anonymity or even the melancholy of such spaces is something that triggers me to explore and reveal alternative facets of them. Walking Portraits was a walkingbased performance (audiovisually documented) across 5 central London stations, which lasted 5 days. The main aim was to expose my body into the fabric of such everyday, semi-public spaces of transition, in the ‘transient and the fleeting’ of Baudelaire – to sense the materialities and their constraints. In other words, the repeated following of hidden and mundane details such as asphalted patterns, colours and lines constituted a poetic ‘tactic’ to penetrate these spaces. The notion of flaneur in this work can be described through what Benjamin described as ‘a botanologist of the asphalt’ – which is something that really illustra-tes this work. It was thus a work that really tried to create “portraits” of the in-betweeness that characterized my experience while walking towards platforms, terminals, gates and bridges. If we accept the definition of AugÈ, our world is full of non-places, even in aspects of everyday life that we could not imagine.
A still from Walking Portraits (2012)
hybrid spaces and experiences that result from such intersections. There I can find the poetics even in such a negative definition of a “non” in place. Have other artists influenced you? Are there one of them on which you would like to spend some words? Jennifer Sims
The local and the global are two shifting terrains that have been fused in many ways; creating situations that can be described through the portmanteau ‘glocality’. I would not go for a choice but to explore and acknowledge all the
Yes, my art practice and research draw connections to contemporary artists who also use walking as part
sily Kandinsky, Mark Rothko, and Gerhard Richter to contemporary ones of Andrei Tarkovsky, Bruce Nauman, Bill Viola, Susan Hiller, James Turrell, Tacita Dean, Olafur Elliason and Hans op de Beeck. It goes without saying that positive feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if the expectation of positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?
Let’s be honest, I believe a level of recognition is always part of an artist’s thinking. Awards are indicators of this recognition, but they are not the essence of things, so an artist must always reflect on future directions. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with recognition, positive or negative feedbacks, rejections and awards – they are all part of the process, which co-shapes the evolution of an artist through the years. What I really find important is to be honest and consistent to your art by having self-motivation, sensitivity and experimentation. Then the artist and the audience is an ongoing relationship, which needs time to evolve. It is a kind of an oscillating relationship, where the artist has to approach in a way the audience and the audience has to make steps towards artist’s expression. At the end of the day an artist is still an artist – something that comes to be linked with the honesty and consistency I previously mentioned. And I couldn't do without mentioning the interesting Acrobats: I love the way it challenges our perception of the space... so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?
of their art. Examples include the diverse works of Francis Al_s, Simon Pope, Richard Long, Janet Cardiff, Christian Nold and Gordan Savicic who fuse aspects of flaneur and psychogeography through a variety of media technologies ranging from audiovisual and performances to cartographies and installations.
This “turn” on the personal experience is what I mentioned earlier in our discussion. Acrobats is a work based on this “turn”, as it was mostly realized when I moved to London. It was a series of Surrealistic video-collage poems inspired by
Apart from this, I find really inspiratio-nal a diverse group of artists ranging from Rene Magritte, Was57
London where I experimented with certain visual elements (i.e. figures, rooftops, text, cats, antennas). It was a work based on personal experiences – almost a way to create a new vocabulary consisted of antennas, concrete, figures and cats, to cope with the complexities of a metropolis. Although it is not a walking-based work, it still has a spatial focus on rooftops – spaces that I always find inspirational. The bodies in Acrobats are digital but I do hope I can re-approach them through a future version across the city. Sometimes I think of Acrobats as work in progress, so the series of video-poems will be extended. Thinking of all these, I guess I cannot be absolute when discussion comes to personal experience as for other artists the creation of a work of art may initiate from different points. However, I consider personal experience as the “touch” of the artist on the character of the work, which gives it an emotional perspective through time. Let me thank you for your time and for sharing your thoughts with us, Bill. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
Thank you for your time and nice discussion. Near future plans include the completion of my PhD, the realization of two artworks for future exhibitions and a couple of conferences – how-ever all are in progress! So, I would like to thank readers and further news will be soon available on my website, which is being updated frequently. An interview by email@example.com
A still from Acrobats (2011)
Jennifer Sims 58
Marta Ivanova (Ukraine / Germany)
Marta Ivanova (born in 1991 in Russia) -‐ a young Lithuanian artist, revealing the body, femininity and everyday life intimately and unexpectedly in her works. After graduating sculpture in Vilnius M. K. Čiurlionio Arts Gymnasium, she chose Photography and Media Arts studies at Vilnius Academy of Arts. Namely photographic and video material dominates in the artist's works, but installation or performance expression is also familiar to her. Marta's works have been repeatedly exhibited abroad, also observed in the United States, published in various art review magazines and shown more than once in various venues.Marta's work is a unique phenomenon in Lithuanian art scene, and in a global art context, she is appreciable for her relevance and unique aesthetics. Artist primarily use her own body as a means of expression and view the female body as a battlefield, as an atlas. She roams her body, finding its universal images and meanings. In a society that is accustomed to the body -‐ especially the shame of a female body, it is that the entire natural coat is the largest terra incognita whose researcher becomes the artist. She reveals a variety of familiar, but often passed over in silence body meanings.
Body is a Battle Ground, Mixed Media, video loop,
The tension between tenderness and trauma is very important to Marta through which it is usual to define the female body – losing weight, virginity and hair. The body is unforgettable brutish – in the work Performance the artist is crawling on the floor as a female marking the territory, and the microphone broadcasts her vagina sounds.
The body is a battleground ready to fight with weapons (Body is a battleground), including the package bloody as armour. The body is the combination of virginity and purity myths, which plays Sun lace and softness of white material in (The absence of the ring and Behind white curtain). The body has several faces, one of them -‐ between legs (Also face). By painting red labia (Lips), Marta exposes the "real" facial care ritual, little sketches while capturing red associations with risk, bleeding and trauma.
A muffled purr – the sound of anxiety hearing yourself and the sound of relief discovering yourself. Every collision with Marta's body is the cure of the fear to undress.The body leaves the marks and it is a marked place. Having noticed that Marta begins to expand research field, and to question everyday life, where the body works. The work Neckties reveals how much anxiety and how many various neuroses 60
may reveal neckties or suddenly meet in a dark room. At the same time they are even funny -‐ dramatic masculinity remains alone and twitches a fake phallus ... The artist makes her Portfolio of bra clasps whose labels indicate the titles of her works. This form can accommodate a lot of laughter from the representation and from the woman‘s daily reduction to a speaking chest, but at the same time, it is a fair reference to the personality of her works.
endange-red and dying flowers. Marta‘s works are very aesthetic. They are pure and concentrated as a well clenched fist. The work Week uses greatly the kitsch as a surprise, still new mask of the second face makes its week count and feel differently. 1/1 (ONE OF ONE) is a not affordable work of art, an experiment at the same time with yourself and with Japanese aesthetic ideals. Namely works beauty is the final Marta‘s weapon, not releasing the viewer who is accustomed to a covered, commodi-ficated and silent body and preventing him averting his eyes. It is openly feminist creation uncovering the battle for the right to yourself, rampant in millions of bodies. S.B.D.D.N.E.G.I., Marta Ivanova is a war photographer with a sharp 2012 lens which is sharper than any sword. oil on canvas, 70x70 cm,
The newest Marta's work O is characterized by special conceptualism and easy esotericism of everyday life. Natural processes, wavy and vanishing relationships, life processes are focusedon the moon. In round photographs and in the slowly absorbed water of florists oasis unfolds the moon garden where everything tells 61
an interview with
Marta Ivanova Hello Marta and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, do you think that there's still a contrast between tradition and contemporary?
Hello ! First of all I’m very excited to be a part of Peripheral eries. I think that a piece of art is intermediate station between the sender (who is the artist) and the consignee (the audience). Tradition prevails importance of a craft, and contemporary art focuses on such topics as artistic position and idea. Nowadays, this contrast is still felt. However, as the human generations are changing, their viewpoint will also change, and, over time, the above contrast will fade. It will be understood that art is not just a manual hands work( craft ), but can be a mental work. Marta Ivanova
Would you like to tell us something about your background? You have studied Sculpture at the National M.K.Ciurlionis Art School, and you are currently pursuing a BA of Photography and Media Art at the Vilnius Academy of Art: how do these experiences impact on the way you produce your art? By the way, I would like to ask what's your point about formal training in Art an especially if in your opinion a formal training -or better, a certain kind of formal training- could even stifle an artist's creativity...
(Photo by Laura Zala)
With all this I was able to construct a new relation between art and concept in my new steps at Academy of Art ,in my further researches, toward interdisciplinary art. I believe that formal art training is an excellent source of information, the ability to pack your luggage of knowledge, broaden horizons and build a theoretical foundation.
I could say that my sculpture practice like a “Devil’s Seed” has constructed my following discursive field where the roots of the present “Malicious Flowers” became resilient.
Formal art training provides the opportunity to go towards professional, high-quality art. But of course, this again depends on each person individually. In this stage of the creative process the forma-lities should have the least influence. Only you and your work material remain in this artistic stage. Cassandra Hanks
Through this sculpture field I took my first steps towards focusing the space and it’s relation with an object and a viewer; perceiving the space as not a physical construct, but rather as a specific subject with its surroundings, objectivity and materiality. 62
Body is a Battle Ground, Mixed Media, video loop, 2012
Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your works? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?
ject, moment, and do not want to interfere this process with extraneous actions.Further part of my process, as well as the most intense part in the whole process, is the work with the material in the â€œmaterialâ€?. This part of the work takes more time in the construction the work piece itself. I'm trying to figure out which places are acting, and which do not.
My creative work can be compared to the ocean. It is emotional, broad, constantly alive, facing floods and low water. Mapping is the part of my artistic process that that takes place regularly. The art is integrated in my daily life; there is no some kind of wall between these elements. It constantly "seethes" and is alive, like my daily routine.
Also find the starting point which would act as a compass in the further course of the process or even in the work piece itself, and would start to encode narrative; the object place would take place, which is necessary to comply with timely as well as an accurate behaviour. Finally, after the development of artistic position, the means of expression, which would be used for communication, are collected for the message. When the final work is provided, work meeting and communication space with the audience are important for me.
I record some certain creative moves and daily observations. I like to go back to archive materials. No matter where I am, I have always my notes with me, tightened with bra fastening. Of course, it is not always easy to distinguish myself; sometimes I admire emphasizing the specific ob-
Now let's focus on your art production: I would 63
Body is a Battle Ground, Mixed Media, 2012 start from Body is a Battleground, that our readers have already admired in the starting pages of this article. Would you tell us something about the genesis of this interesting piece? What was your initial inspiration? „O“, Installation, 2013
Initial inspiration point became NOIR films, their visual style and femme fatale in combination with crime and sexual scenes . In this work I raise questions of female identity and rethink the social constructs surrounding the contraposition and resound of female and male genders. I speak from MY own aesthetic point of view and mercilessly expose this distorted image by sharply analyzing my personal experiences.
sed films’ fragments that all create a new, independent organism. Another work of yours on which I would like to spend some words is entitled "O", which is an installation that attempts to materially map the time viewers spend at points on a path. It is so based on a deep involvement of the viewer and his personal perception of the space around him... how much do you draw inspiration from our reality? I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?
In work „Body Is a Battleground” I give an analyzing look at the 7 tools which were used in the female genital treatment that are presented by the scanning technique. Images are presented in the form of documentation, reviving steps of intimate treatment and in this way creating an open bond with the viewer. Images can leave the feeling of unease concerning the medical display but it creates a connection revealing a personal portrait which one cannot escape. Other segment of this work is a video loop which consists of personal archive (untitled) films cuttings, remains and unu-
In my case, an important and integral element of creative activity is an experiences chest, which 64
the work. I gather what a work needs for it to thoroughly fulfill its constructed message. It’s important to understand all this and to treat the image accurately. It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an award- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?
When I am creating the work piece, I am at least thinking about whom it will be dedicated to, however, of course, there may occur various situations… The most important viewer is me myself, and further work is apparent in the wide
which so far does not cease to collect new experiences, limited and self-controlled experiences moments. These experiences help to withdraw and live with the work. I have been impressed with your conceptual work Untitled Plains... By the way, interdisciplinarity is a crucial element of your art practice: while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?
Talking about being a multidisciplinary artist, I do not border myself with only one media. I am open to every media and merging of them as every one of them has its own energy. Media I choose is dictated by every process and idea of
S.B.D.D.N.E.G.I., 2012 „O“, Installation, detail, 2013 oil on canvas, 70x70 cm,
ocean, where the connection with people becomes an integral part of my work. I did not divide the audience with my work. I am interested in diverse opinion – remarks or negative emotions. All of this helps to grow “higher fat content of the subcutaneous layer”, in both, artistic context, and in the same life. And I couldn't do without mentioning your recent piece entitled Otherwise, it will lose its shine, a work in progress project that will be your bachelor work installation: you have defined it as the most sensitive and emotionaly strongest your works... would you lead our readers through the development of this stimulating piece?
Yes, it is true, that this piece of work is the most experienced of all my works, because one of the points of this work is related to the loss of the person who is very close and beloved. This work is full of reflection associated with this event in my life.
Otherwise it will lose its shine, 2014
At the moment the work consists of two components – photography and floristic readymade object. The story about these two primary elements in progress soon will be completed by new personages with their contexts. Both work and its name still are not in the level of intense design, although already there was the first attempt towards the output into the piece of art. The piece of art is currently based not on the Cassandra Hanks
Performance, Pamenkalnio gallery Vilnius 66
Otherwise it will lose its shine, 2014
Let me thank you for your time and for sharing your thoughts with us, Marta. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
Thank you for the opportunity to present myself and works to a wider audience . As I mentioned, these days I am intensely working on my Bachelor installation. I donâ€™t like to share or announce my future plans ,I like to share mine achievements, reached goals .:)
thought con-struct, but intuitive aesthetic flair, the constant experiences sequence. Currently, the sensitive, subtle metonymy is visible.Primary keys of this piece of work are time, love, fragility. Moment of temporality, and the reasons for the persistence of plant/narratives.
For those who are interested and want to see, read, know ,I advice just to follow my personal website www.marrr.net and If it not enoughfor you and you want more I invite to join Fb page. https://www.facebook.com/artistmartaivanova.
This is an attempt to maintain the resurrected life, certain derivatives of identification with the object.
An interview by firstname.lastname@example.org
Marco Visch an artistâ€™s statement
When I was young my mother was never very surprised when I came home with a broken bicycle wheel or with torn trousers. During my many bike rides through the countryside of the place where I spent my childhood I was always fascinated by everything around me. So intense that most of the times I lost the sense of time and place (and sense of alertness). I zoomed in on everything and that picture I could not let go. My father gave me his old camera, a Fujica with a wide angel lens. I remember that camera very well because of the joy it gave me, and because of the broken light meter. But at least I was able to capture on film what I saw and to watch the picture over and over again. My thoughts became visible for everybody. The complete process of buying a 36 exposure film, saving money for an extra nice 200 ASA film and showing patience before the film has been development was amazing. The prints I made them myself, in the bathroom seeing the images coming to life. Because of the broken light meter I was never sure about the result and whether the image was correctly exposed. Later I had my benefit from that, I did learn shooting without an indication of the correct shutter speed. When digital photography was introduced my urge to capture all the settings around me was still present. Not my reliable Fujica, it did not survive the crash just after seeing an amazing scene to capture. It was also about time to move on and to enjoy the progress in photography by buying a digital camera. Suddenly I was able to capture images and instantly seeing the result. That made it possible to achieve the maximum result considering lightning, the composition and my approach of the subject. Aspergers Syndrome makes that I am always ( subconsciously ) focussing on the details and patterns and structures that surround me. With photography I can show my interpretation of all day scenes and share it and making it visible for other minds. By using a lower shutter-speed than is commonly used I create a so called time-laps. Like a video but then in photography style. As seen in the series Watermarks, this series consists of water surfaces reflected images. Images that are absorbed, moved and returned to the human eye and mind for further interpretation. In all of my work my own approach to the medium of photography plays a major role, a dominant role actually. I paint with structures and light. Especially in nature I find my inspiration, the shapes that have been formed and are subject to change by the elements . I did not like to shoot manmade objects. The form is there too much fixed and predictable , shapes that have been thought over by mankind are too dominant. Nature has just a huge unpredictability . Like a sunbeam that only lasts for 10 seconds on a further on cloudy day. The momentum. I cherish those moments. Meanwhile I exhibit my artworks, I sell them and I keep on expanding my skills without changing my style. I use fine art papers to express my feel for quality in prints and I focus on my presentation. On the website www.vischframe.com you will find more of my portfolio and my works. Constantly being updated with new works. The urge to capture the whole is too strong to be carelessly ignoring it. There is a saying 'you don't take pictures, you make them'. That fits the picture for me. Ok, I am off to shoot using my recently bought Minolta from 1967. Going back to my roots from time to time. The circle is round.
from the Autumn Colors Series
an interview with
Marco Visch Hello Marco and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?
Thank you for the warm welcome Peripheral ARTeries. Let me start by saying that I think that he appreciation of art is all about perception and there is no possible definition of art without having an endless discussion. People try to label everything but my opinion is that its impossible to give a definition of art. It canâ€™t be measured, it canâ€™t be quantified, its all about emotion and interpretation of the creator of the piece of art and by the audience. Thats a good thing because then the thinking is not limited because of definitions. Every person has its own definition and even that individual opinion is ever changing and evolving by the time. Before the renaissance the work of e.g. painters was a copy of an event that really took place. It was drawn and painted as it was. During the renaissance the skills of the painter was still important, but as important became the vision of the artist, his own interpretation of the situation. The maker became an artist because of his own input. I think there is no definition of art possible, well not for me. Its always changing and will be influenced by ever changing moods. With who you are, where you are, and why. Thatâ€™s a good thing, art has to evolve.
own interpretation its getting more unpredictable. I think only artists that look for that interpretation make contemporary art. Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that have particularly impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks? By the way, I would like to ask your point about formal training... I sometimes wonder if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity...
The contemporariness of an artwork is impossible to subscribe. When it comes to art the past is telling us more then the future and how art will develop. I think if you make an artwork and you use old techniques and do it in a way it has been done before. It will not be a disaster but it will be also not a highlight. If you look for new techniques, or the existing techniques and give your
I started photography a long time ago when on the age of 12 my father gave me his old Fujica camera. I was really happy with that camera although the light meter was broken and therefore I was never Cassandra Hanks 70
from the watermarks series
certain about the outcome of the result. It made me really aware of the lightning and how it can influence the outcome. That combined with the fact that were only 24 or 36 shots on a role of film and developing it was a hustle, that made me a person that took pictures in his head before making the actual photo.
pletely neutral about art and what it meant to me. Then I refer to your first question and my answer that art is all about perception.So it good to learn about art, but its better to make it and experience it. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your works? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?
Nowadays, although I work with a digital camera, I am still looking for scenes to capture and look for the perfect composition and the best lightning conditions for a particular scene. No snapshots for me. I look, I feel, I smell, I climb, I lay down, I run…. and I make a photo. My camera has never changed the setting from single shot to multiple shots. Its just not my style. I never had any artisJolanta tic training. It is self thought. So IGmur could be com-
I don’t go out to shoot, I go out to do things and and always take my camera with me. I don’t go looking for shots, I encounter them. 71
from the watermarks series
from the watermarks series
Then a certain scene gets my attention and I try to capture the scene as a experience it. Like the first photo out of the serie „Exploding” as seen under the tab „portfolio” on my website. The sunbeams inspired me, especially the branches of the tree that hide the sunbeams a bit. Everybody know that the sun is creating the beams like that, my interpretation is the tree with the beams around it. The sun is light years away, the tree is just a few meters away from me. Together they make great shapes and an incredible setting. No setup, just encountering it and try to capture it as i experience it.
sent I would not notice the tree itself at all. Imagine the same photo but then without the sun and then only with shades. It would be a boring photo without that contrast. Or imagine the tree was not there, I would not taken any photo of it then, because the beams would not be that present as it is in combination with the tree. I go a bit closer to the tree, I step backwards a bit.. perspective, click and yeah !! So the technical aspect is mainly about lightning, without light there will be no photography possible. Hanks The way I use Cassandra my camera has not a lot to do with technique but more with using the given technique in a new way. Like shooting with long exposure and
Probably when the sun would not have been pre-
from the exploding series
to visit http://www.vischframe.com/watermarks/ in the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this interesting project? What was your initial inspiration?
creating movement whilst making a photo. I donâ€™t want to reveal all the details about how I do it exactly because thats also my unique selling point. I can tell that when i make photos a lot of times people are afraid to ask me what i am doing. Hanging upside down in a tree or running around with a camera in my hand. With the making of the serie Watermarks I fell down in the water several times.
Actually the serie found its origin in some work I made around 7 years ago. I was making photos in a forest and by accident I run into a little creek with beautiful lightning and trees hanging over the water. It was a bit windy that day so the branches of the tree were waving in the wind and there was some movement on the surface of the water that Cassandra got my attention. I took my Hanks camera and sorted out how to capture the scene without changing the setting, and to express the feeling I had when I was
Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with Watermarks an extremely interesting series that our readers have started to admire in the introductory pages of this article, and I would like to suggest our readers 73
from the exploding series
from the exploding series
admiring the scene. I decided to shoot with extreme aperture (f/32) and to use long exposure to get a surrealistic result.
between dark tones that seem to prepare a prelude to light: what technique have you used in order to reach such outcome?
The movement of the water is making different layers of that photo and I combine everything in my head. I paint with the shapes and the lightning and make a photo of it. Since then I always kept in mind to make a serie called Watermarks and during those years I completed it with a great result.
First of all let me make clear that after making the shot I donâ€™t process it with software. The only thing I do is improving the contrast and sa-turation of the picture. To make all a bit more vivid colors. Because i am on the edge of the technical possibilities of my camera (or any other camera) I do some changes afterwards. I never change shapes or I never make layers.
Another interesting series of yours that have particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words are Autumn Colors and Exploding... especially in the latter, I have been struck with the effective mix
I think that if I start to do so it comes to my mind when i make the shot, it will not be very stimulated to think it all over but think like: oh, just press the shutter and i will improve the frame afterwards. Cassandra Hanks 74
from the autumn series
from the autumn series
I don’t do that, i want to get the best of the situation at that place, at that moment, with that approach. If I don’t get it directly, I just sit down at wait for the right moment.
I, well thats obvious, was focusing on the changing of the seasons to get that result. There is a moment in the woods that some trees and plants are changing color and give a lot of contrast to the other trees and plants that stay green throughout the year. So I liked to combine the colors of the woods as we know it with the contemporary colors of autumn. Lets say that my vision on that is as much influencing the picture as the technique being used. If I would have made the same shots in winter the colors would not be that vivid as they are now and the picture would turn out boring.
Ah sorry again but I have to keep the exact technique a bit for myself. Not that i don’t want to spread it around what I am exactly doing, I also want to keep it for the imagination of the viewer. If I tell you exactly how it has been done there is no much more left for imagination. If I only tell you that the only equipment being used to get the result in the mentioned series Exploding en Autumn Colors has been a Canon DSLR and a 28-70 mm lens your imagination starts to work. Hm, that brings me back to your first question of what I would like to describe the definition of what is art. Maybe I can add to that that it has to work on the imagination of the viewer. If you know all the details on forehand you are less interested in the whole story. But I do like the feedback of the thinking process of the viewer of my work. Jolanta Gmur To get the colors like in the serie Autumn Colors
I have been very impressed with a line of your artist's statement, where I can read that thank to photography your thoughts became visible for everybody... How much do you draw inspiration from our reality? I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?
Because of my Aspergers syndrome I don’t think 75
from the full-moon-round-midnight series
in words but instead of that I think in images. So lets say that words hardly can describe what I see or think because of the limitation of words, how to subscribe them and how the people hearing what you say deal with the spoken word. I think in detail and thats impossible to describe with words, the more detailed I want to subscribe something, the better the words have to cover it all. So if a ‚normal’ person has a vocabulaire of 10,000 words I need like 100,000+ words to be detailed enough.
redible adventurous for me to make photos. Finally I found a way to let people know what I think or more important, how I think. If I combine several images I get like a little time-laps inside of my head that I can repeat over and over again. Thats not battering me, its part of my personalty and makes me that things that happened like 20 years ago can be recalled inside of my head. Actually I don’t have any images of friends or family, I don’t need that to look at somebody’s portrait. That would be disturbing because I got a blue-print in my head. Cassandra Hanks That personal experience is influencing my artwork a lot. Because I don’t have any filters in my head to filter useless information I absorb every-
So I learned to think in images and that images can be slightly different to other images I got in my head. That was also a reason for me to like photography. That was not the reason for me to start with photography, but oh yeah it made it inc76
from the full-moon-round-midnight series
thing. Thats great when I am in the great wide open like in a wood. Its not handy when I am in a city making photos or making portraits. Too much information to deal with. Nature is not only inspiring but also healing to me.
nighttime and then especially at full moon to get the dark of the night in combination of the lightning of the moon. It is causing some contradiction in my work because the audience is confused. Is it a cloudy day ? Is it just before the sun goes down? That its impossible to answer that question is a good thing to me.
And I couldn't do without mentioning Full moon, round midnight, which I have to admit it's one of my favorite series of yours... in it I can recognize a synergy between the typical static feature of "classic" visual arts and a sense of movement that suggests me the idea of evolution...
I get more focus on the scene like that and avoid the expected. So the scene can be called classic, my interpretation of night shots maybe also but the combination and the subject maybe not. It goes without saying Hanks that feedbacks and Cassandra especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an award- could even
I like it when the setting is a bit surrealistic to me. So I go to places at odd times, like going to the beach at night or walk around the forest at the 77
from the exploding series
influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?
photography with painting. Thats new and will not be appreciated by everybody. Receiving an award is great but I realize that what I make is not for the bigger crowd, I don’t make portraits or easy accesable photography. Besides of that I rather receive an award voted by the audience of an exhibition than an award by a jury. Most of the time money has to be paid for a review and i don’t agree on that. Its good to stimulate projects etc but i don’t agree on letting everybody register a piece of work without reviewing it and let the applicant pay a certain amount of money.
Feedback is an essential part of making art, well to me it does. If I will never get feedback I would start to question myself what and for who I making it. Sure, its great to make what you want but i also need an audience to be motivated and to stay keen on what i am doing. Like a reference. I like it when people like my work and I am realizing that everybody does. If you think about photography and then take a look at my work its not typically photography. Its more a mixture of
By the way, meanwhile you exhibit your artworks, you sell them... I sometimes wonder Cassandra Hanks 78
from the vague series
from the vague series
if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...
ted. Otherwise it gets too polished. Although I work with frames from time to time for getting some extra contrast. Besides of that I work with alloy and other materials and I only use handmade papers.
The art of doing business and the business of making art. It has to do a lot with each other. If I have to invest in new techniques or have to buy materials being used so i also have be aware of money and income. It has to be taken care of, to stimulate the artistic process. I have to secure my basic needs to be able to be creative. Then I always have to think about the pyramid of Maslow with the hierarchy of needs.
My next project will be printing on transfers and then use that transfer material to get the print directly on the wall. The outcome has to be amazing, especially in big rooms with concrete walls. So thats perfect for the hospitality branche. And what I like is the contemporary style of that technique. It canâ€™t be moved, it will stay on that wall forever. Well, forever, till the moment you paint it again.
Besides of that launching new projects needs investments. Because I use materials that are not really common to use I get a lot of trial - error results. Without investments I would not be able to develop myself.
And I am in contact with a scientist that makes robots. Not that I want to make pictures of that but I want to combine several disciplines for a wicked result. Like a frame with a photo from a tulip bulb that becomes a flower after an hour, using a lot of frames so the changes are very subtile if you look at it constantly. I think not a lot of people notices it, only the one that got eye for detail. Itâ€™s all in the details to understand the bigger pictureâ€Ś
Thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Marco. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
You are very welcome, all pleasure was mine. Its nice to talk about those subjects and its good from to time reflect my thoughts and my drive to make photography. I started with exhibitions some months ago and I really look for places where my works of art can be presented in a way I like. So that is mainly with rough interiors, concrete floors, high ceilings, big format Jolanta of printsGmur roughly presen-
Thank you Peripheral ARTeries staff for your time and for the interview.
an interview by email@example.com
Ido Friedman (Israel)
an artist’s statement
My photography training had started in ‘96, just before the presentation of the digital revolution which without a doubt, changed the photography world. Thanks for that i learn to know the pleasure of working in the B&W darkroom and the Color laboratory. On the other hand i “grow up” with photoshop (with what it could do then….). I just love them both. However, the photochemical, light sensitive process is the one that i find that reflect the true spirit and the full weight of the concept: PhotoGraphy. the ambiguity is that brought me to start search for ways to bridge between the digital process and the photochemical print. In my game of dismantling the concepts and the individual elements of the vase world of photography i try to create images which may talk in ambos languages and may give its viewer a moment of reflection.
from the Superficial Fotografico Series details: dimensions, year, technique
an interview with
Ido Friedman Hello Ido and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?
It a very big question… A work of Art is a. Maybe it will be easier to try and define Artist. In the the essence every artist is a small producer who exercises the profession with particular skill. Accordingly, a work of Art will be the fruits of that producer, doesn't matter if its a painting, sculpture or a chair. As for the “contemporariness” of an artwork,that is easy, it depends when it was created… in his time Michelangelo was a contemporary artist. When art critics came with the contemporary art definition it pointed out to two clear untold declarations: The one is the end of a very significant chapter in the Atr History of the simple classification of currents to periods on the timeline and as a result the disappearance of groups of artists working more or less in the same place (Community, City, Region etc’) influenced by the same ideas and movements. As artists today are working more individually and all over the globe, the concepts of which the Art World uses seems less and less adequate to the reality. The second untold declaration, which might be as a consequence of the first is that they have nothing tasteful to say….
"Wizo", Haifa? By the way, I sometimes wonder if a certain kind of formal training could even stifle a young artist's creativity... what's your point?
Would you like to tell us something about your background? You hold a Bachelor Degree of Photography, that you have received from the prestigious Accademia di Belle Arti of Florence, Italy: how have these experiences of formal training impacted on the way you currently produce your works, besides your previous experience at the High School of Art
My professional studies of photography started at high school, quite quick I found myself skipping classes going to the dark room or play in the studio. Cassandra Hanks 82
from the Superficial Fotografico Series
from the Superficial Fotografico Series
details: dimensions, year, technique
details: dimensions, year, technique
straight after i continue two (out of four) years in the academy of “WIZO” and ran away…. after few years of traveling I stayed in Florence, Italy to get my Bachelor Degree of Photography, from the Libera Accademia di Belle Arti (LABA). All that story came to affirmative your wonder, of course that the institute which one received his training affect his creativity.
duction, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?
My professional information started a blink before the mass use of the digital camera (had classes of photoshop 3.5….) means that I was fortunate to work in the laboratories, B&W and Color.
The reason I ran away from the academy in Israel is because the method they believe in and work according to was wrong for me. It was too intense and with a minimal space for self development. the academy in florence was exactly the opposite. It gave me all the space I wanted to explore the ways I wanted to and not only the ones the professor think I should. And indid, thanks to that measure of freedom (I still had to present that I work and not just say so) I found my way which I still follow and explore.
Maybe because that early experience is the motive why I never got fully connected to the black color in the digital print. I dont want to be misunderstood, I am not talking about the quality of the digital print- which is amazing- but the feeling it transmits. The burned black as a result of a photochemical process justify the most basic role of Photo - Graphy. Is the light that write. However I love freedom of the manipulation the Photoshop offers. There for, my work start in the
Before starting to elaborate about your proJolanta Gmur 83
A sequence from Double Trip
digital world; photographing the elements I need for the construction of the image, and working on the final composition mainly in Photoshop. The last step after everything in place and saved is invert the image to negative and final adjustments controlling that I have the correct zone range.
work in the darkroom keeps me occupied for long periods of time. Especially the learning processtill getting satisfied results on every different surface or technique normally involved lots of big time consuming experiments. Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with Superficial Fotografico, that our readers have already admired in the introductory pages of this article and that I would suggest to view directly to your website at http://www.idofriedman.com, in order to get a wider idea: in the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this interesting project? What was your initial inspiration?
The printout, made on transparent Translucent Polyester. 200 microns sheet in scale of 1:1 to the print in the darkroom, start the transition to the photochemical, traditional method. In the darkroom I prepare the surface which I will print on, and lots of pieces of the same material for the tests with Liquid Emulsion. As the negative been made in a 1:1 scale I am using the Contact Print method to create the final print.
The main source of inspiration and the trigger for this project I found in the theory of Wassily Kandinsky about the basic elements of visual arts in his book "Point and Line to Plane". 1926. In particular I was interested in the Form/ Background relationship. Those two forces are the main parts of all 2d arts, painting, photography, cinema, etc`.
That was a brief passing through one my workflows, I always try to experiment with new way of printing or different transitions between the two parts of Photography. Most of my work comes in serie of more than one photo, and the “extra”
Cassandra Hanks 84
There are naturally only two of them: a kaleidoscope pattern as Background and a human statue from the streets of barcelona as the Form. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, you have started your artistic career just a couple of years before the coming of a new era marked with a pervasive usage of digital techniques as Photoshop: do you think that nowadays there still exists a dichotomy between art and technology? By the way, I would go as far as to say that in a way Science is assimilating Art and viceversa... what's your point about this?
Science and Art are much closer that you imagine. I definitely would go as far as to say they are kind of unindectital tweens. Some of the major advances in the art history were possible thanks of Science. From improving pigments and oil for more resistible and easy working colors to creating total new fields such as photography. Especially with Photography exist a very strong connection. From the chemistry and the optic that came under the hands of great scientist. till nowadays amazing technology.
Most of the art world is produced on flat surface, (obviously exclude sculpture and installations which as well have form/background- but with totally different functions) as a result, the first role is to ”separate” the main object in the composition and give it the main focus. Another advantage is that by that basic separation we can create the illusion of volume and space. Even the biological eye by leaving “out of focus” the less important details carets kind of a form/background structure. After all, artists are also humans and naturally they put on the flat canvas the world as they see it.
And, nowadays especially, the scientists in the laboratories of the big manufacturers of cameras and software companies pushing technology further and create us, the visual artists, new and improve tools. However, the similarity is more profound. Scientists as well as Artists have more an abstract way of seeing the reality than others. The ability to see the world and our live to its essence, its concepts, and from that basic building blocks create something completely new that have an effect in the lives of the others.
When I came across this theory and recognized the “order of things”, I wanted to see what will happen if it will be disordered.
As for the visual side of the scientists, they produce amazing images from space to the microscopic world. They may be considered as Documentaries Makers alongside their academic titles. Sometimes I check out those images, they contain a lot of information that can open one's mind for new points of view for the reality around us new ideas and inspiration to my own work.
The name:“Superficial Fotografico” means exactly that, unique photographic surface. An image that present the reality in a two dimensional space on two dimensional supporter. The elements in the image continue the dowel.
Cassandra Hanks 85
from the First Vision-Fi Series
from the First Vision-Fi Series
details: dimensions, year, technique
details: dimensions, year, technique
Your First Vision- Fi series show the immediate nature of photography and it effectively establishes such a direct narrative of the stories that your works tell: so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?
the artist. The places we’ve been, the things we’ve seen, the feelings we’ve had- that what make each individual himself. personal experience is the driving force behind both the concepts and technique that presented in the work of the artist.
The drive behind “First Vision- Fi” was the feeling I missed the “good old photography”. It was a few months after I settled down in Florence and finally had a proper dorkroom and time to go back to the workflow of analog process.
Without a doubt that it will be impossible to separate the creativity from the experience of
Cassandra Hanks 86
from the First Vision-Fi Series details: dimensions, year, technique
I decided to go out and try to look at the the city I am and going to spend the next three years in (Fi- is for Firenze- Florence) .It was important for me to keep the Classical sensation of the city echoing in the photos. That why I looked for more classical compositions such as the Circle (the bridge), Golden Cut (the bird), Perspective (the rode with the trees) and Closed In (the duomocathedral). The shades of grey is an influence of the massive, classical architecture of the Florentine Renaissance of a city that was origen to the Jolanta Gmur
blossom of art after thousands years of darkness and was the home of some of the most influential artists in history. There is a very strong connection between the style chosen (analog) and the concept of exploring to my early experience of the analog training and the fun to explore new place like I did during my traveling. A recurrent feature of your pieces - and especially the ones from your Pictorialism series 87
- that has mostly impacted on me is the effective mix of few dark tones which are capable of creating such a prelude to light... By the way, any comments on your choice of "black & white palette" and how it has changed over time?
My "black & white palette" is not only changed OVER time, it changes ALL the time. That “patette”, as you nicely put it, is one of the most important tools I have in order to give the photos style and the atmosphere that the project needed. For every new work according to the direction I want to lead the observer’s feeling and thoughts I establish the range of grays that will work best. “Pictorialism” is a very good example to a different palette where I tried to create an ambient closer to painting and emphasis the materialness of the print. To understand the example of we need a little bit of background: Pictorialism - an approach to photography that emphasizes beauty of subject matter, tonality, and composition rather than the documentation of reality. (1860 to 1910) britannica.com. The idea behind the movement was gain a place to photography in the world of art, doing so by imitating the spirit of painting in their work. With the intentions to keep the same style, I searched for a strong tonality.
from the Pictorialism Series details: dimensions, year, technique
The deep black communicate with the blackness of Caravaggio, which painted his canvas in black and painted the lighten parts. In order to achieve all that, in this case, I worked on a darker tones in the lower zones. The brush stroke that can be easily notice are part of the “tricks” I used to get as close as possible to the pitoric technique.
will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?
I would like to say that the feedbacks have no meaning for me, but it won't be the all truth. obviously, I am interested of what the observer see in my work, how he understand it, what he “takes” from it with him.
Your works have been exhibited in several important occasions around the world: it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an award- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom
Even if there is nothing between what I meant to say with my work and what the observer saw in it, actually, I find it more interesting. When the Artwork is presented to the Public, a dialog is taking place between them. It is a very important Cassandra Hanks 88
from the Pictorialism Series details: dimensions, year, technique
kind of evolution process. This process is crucial to the creativity and quality of the artwork and myself as an artist. I believe that the artist have to concentrate on doing his piece the best he can and let the observer be the judge of himself in front of the piece. Thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Ido. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
from the Pictorialism Series details: dimensions, year, technique
At the moment I am playing with my new project that actually include one step more than usual of a Body photography session in my studio with a model. this time I am “gamping” between the camera to the computes at least twice befor the darkroom. So I believe it will keep me occupied for a while. As for long term projects (which is a good name for Dreams…;) I will like to see myself working full time on a book where alongside the photographic projects related, I can share the various printing techniques and the sets I build to make them in greater details.
one, because all what you as the creator of the work had put in; the ideas, theories, words, meaning to its existence, is facing the harsh test of the world outside the protective environment of the studio. But, and its a very distinctive one, during the creation process there isn't any thought outward towards the rispond of the public. In this time, an inward sight is needed in order to be able construct and develop the work all the way through to the point of a standalone self supporting object. Because of the long time I am spending with the project, there is an important
A teaser, if I may, in one part I go into the dark room without a negative and on another I eliminate the camera itself from the workflow. Cassandra Hanks 89
Renata Gandra (Brazil)
Reencontro, 2013 Acrylic, 60/1,20m O quadro expressa toda a beleza da paixão e do amor com suas rendas coloridas. Representa ainda, com seus arabescos cinzas, a névoa escura que cobre tudo em alguns momentos da vida. Por fim, os arabescos verdes e vermelhos, significam a dissipação da névoa escura e, consequentemente, o ressurgimento do amor.
an interview with
Renata Gandra Renata Hello and welcome to the peripheral arteries. I would like to begin this interview with my usual icebreaker question : what in your opinion defines a work of art? And besides, what could be the characteristics that mark a contemporary work of art?
I would like to thank the opportunity and kindness of the Peripheral Arteries team. I define a work of art as one which can convey feelings to the viewer . I cite as an example two paintings that I do like , "The Kiss" by Klimt, which conveys passion, tenderness and beauty and "The Scream" by Munch that conveys anguish and existential despair. I believe that the work of art has to be able to touch somehow the viewer . The contemporary work that is free of precepts , rich in concepts and attitudes, which is not related to names or styles . It is marked by the diversity of feelings, it's an uptodate work that excites and drives to reflection. The artist had never had so much freedom of action, I think the contemporary work has no limits. I would like to tell us something about your background? There are experiences that particularly impacted the way you produce your artworks ? Incidentally, I would like to ask your point about formal training... I sometimes wonder if a certain type of training may even stifle the creativity of a young artist...
Suddenly I realized I could paint too, so I bought a basic painting material which included oil and acrylic paints , brushes and small canvas. At the begining I researched a lot on the internet and saw many classes on subjects that interested me, I made many tests with paints and materials like cloves, papers etc...
Yes , I could tell as I started painting. One day I saw an abstract frame with colorful circles that I liked a lot and I asked a painter friend to make a reading of the work. When she handed me the finished work I liked a lot and with that came a curiosity in relation of painting. A movie came into my head and I began to remember how I always liked to draw (There was professional equipment stored at home ) and how I was connected to arts. There were collections of painting books and collected pictures of famous works.
The surprising thing was that I've sold my first 3 canvas (30/30cm) very fast and it made â€‹me dream of become an artist. After many tests I identified myself with the bright colors and I love to paint lacies and mandalas. Cassandra Hanks 92
Quadro 1 (Vermelho, 2014, acrĂlica sobre tela, 180/120cm)
And how much preparation and time you put in before and during the process of creating a piece ?
As for formal training, I think there is an interruption in the creativity of the artist . I believe that somehow you have to seek for knowledge, but you must have your own style and freedom for creating.
Actually, my process is very simple. First of all, I like to make a small sketch on paper to assess the forms, once its defined and balanced, I place it on the canvas. About the colors, Iâ€™d rather follow my instinct which is based on my experiences .
I suggest the young artist to create and take private lessons only to refine his techniques... Before starting to draw on their production , you would like to tell our readers something about your process and set to make their works ? In particular , what are the technical aspects you focus primarily on your work ?
As for the details of the rents / mandalas, I also follow my instinct and create drawings while I'm painting . While Iâ€™m painting, several new ideas arise and sometimes I even change my first sketch. 93
Quadro 2 (Alegria, 2014, acrílica sobre tela, 180/120cm)
Now let's focus on his artwork: I like to start with # 1 (Vermelho) and # 2 (120/180cm), an interesting piece our readers have admired in the opening pages of this article : you tell us something about the genesis of this work ? What was your initial inspiration?
This frame is intriguing cause the viewer has to observe a lot in order to see the "hidden" forms. It looks like a puzzle. As for Table 2, I had the idea of doing an overlay with colored rectangles and laces you can see through, which made a really cool effect due to transparency of acrylic paint. So as to complete, I did arabesques in the ends which filled and balanced the screen.
I’ve researched a lot, especially on the net. I take part in many art groups and I love attending to exhibitions and learning about new techniques that can inspire me.
How would you describe the message and the story behind their works, that is , the idea that you would most like to convey the story or are you trying to say?
In Table 1, that is what happened. I saw this technique and did it may way. It’s a wonderful picture I really dared regular and fluorescent colors.
Here I can go straight to the point. I try to show
Quadro 5 (Calmaria, 2014, acrílica sobre tela, 90/140cm)
for a second and tell us what paper you use, what kind of tool, as you attach / suspend parts, and so on ?
up with my work, nothing else, is the beauty of colors, the beauty of forms. I paint enjoyable stuff of the beholder’s eyes. I guess my work is joyful and decorative without a defined message. I believe my paintings might have been influenced by the beauty of my country, the Carnival and other regional parties. I’d like to place a Matisse’s quote: “What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter”.
I love Klimt’s style. His paintings are highly ornamented and I believe this may be a small link with mine, I think he is quite decorative. I also believe my work is influenced by Matisse, consiidered the King of Color and an artist who advocated that being decorative is an essential quality of a work of art, and by Beatriz Milhazes, a Brazilian artist with international fame, which also uses many colors, geometric shapes, flowers and arabesques.
Let's talk about the influences: you seem to be inspired by the works of Gustav Klimt... Moreover , many of the readers of this interview are also artists , you can talk shop
Quadro 3 (Reencontro, 2013, tinta acrílica sobre tela, 70/120cm)
contrast : in particular , I love the thoughtful nuances of red that I can recognize in # 3and #4 By the way, any comments on your choice of palette and how it changed over time ?
Currently, I like to paint at home, where I have a small studio. I would rather paint in the morning light, however, when I start a project, I just can’t stop and, sometimes, even the dawn is my friend. The material I use – screens, acrylic paint, brushes and water based varnish – is very common in any art store. I prefer to paint canvas vertically, supported on the easel, and it takes me about a week to complete a job on a big screen.
I guess I have a good sense of colors and really follow my instinct and , as I said earlier , I have been doing many tests. Whenever I have any doubt regarding some color, I try it first on the some small screens I put aside. When I'm painting I'm careful to always try to balance the color, which is not an easy task because the wrong choice can jeopardize an entire work.
What impressed me the most of your palette is that it is able to establish this dialogue, a synergy between different tones instead of a
Cassandra Hanks 96
Quadro 4 (Riquesa, 2014, tinta acrílica sobre tela, 60/160cm)
The “Chromatic Circle” helps a lot to find the harmony among colors and is great have it around. I try to use the colors that represent what I’m feeling. As for the intensity of colors, my "palette” has changed over time. At the beginning, colors were calmer, but now they are much more vibrant. Another interesting paintings from you about what I would like to spend some words entitled Quadro 5 and Quadro 6 . One of the characteristics of his pieces that has mainly impacted me is the way that compels us to engage them ... I would like to ask you if you believe personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process ... Do you think a creative process can be disconnected from direct experience? Absolutely not! During my creative process I always use past experiences. I think ideas come from the experiences, as well as forms and color’s blends. I always enjoy watching colors and shapes , the most varied (woven clothes, book
Quadro 6 (Bichos Imaginários, 2013, óleo sobre tela, 70/70cm) 97
Quadro 4 (Riqueza, 2014, tinta acrílica sobre tela, 60/160cm)
when you conceive your pieces ?
covers, billboards, advertisements, nature, etc. ) and those I’m interested in, I try to keep in mind working, sometimes this memory shows up and I use a shape or a color combination I've seen somewhere.
I think feedback is very important for improvement and evolvement. It’s what gives you direction. Whenever I do a job I think about doing something that will please my audience. Before my audience, my work has to please me. For exposing a job, first of all, I have to believe in it so I’ll be able to defend it.
By the way, how important it is for you feedback from your audience ? Have you thought about who will enjoy your art
Thanks for your time and for sharing your thoughts , Renata. My last question deals with your future plans: what 's next for you? Anything that comes to you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?
Today I'm getting it through the Peripheral Arteries, which opened this wonderful space for new talents. Here you have my contacts: fanpage â€œRenata Gandra Arteâ€? and facebook/ www.renatagandra.com.br.
My plans are painting more and more, improving myself, attending to exhibitions, establishing new partnerships with galleries and trying to take my art to other countries. 99