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VERITY ADRIANA | MYRTO AMORGIANOU | JMC ANDERSON | ALIETTE BRETEL LORRAINE CLEARY | ALEKSANDRA DABROWSKA | MARCELLE - MAD MUDSLINGER LISA

KUGLITSCH

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MILENA

R ACZKOWSK A

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ELEONOR A

SCALISE

BIANCA SEVERIJNS | MAJA SPASOVA | FIONA STANBURY | STAVROULA SPYROU

Boris Beja

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Die Grüne text by Alenka Trebušak


FEATURED ARTIST: BIANCA SEVERIJNS 3 BORIS BEJA: DIE GRÃœNE 4 VERITY ADRIANA 6 MYRTO AMORGIANOU 12 JMC ANDERSON 18 ALIETTE BRETEL 24 LORRAINE CLEARY 30

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ALEKSANDRA DABROWSKA 36 MARCELLE - MAD MUDSLINGER 42 LISA KUGLITSCH 48 MILENA RACZKOWSKA 54 ELEONORA SCALISE 60 BIANCA SEVERIJNS 66 MAJA SPASOVA 72 FIONA STANBURY 78 STAVROULA SPYROU 84


My medium is paper pieces, hand-torn with a gentle physicality that removes the newborn softness and creates a unique ruggedness that contains encounters, travels, reflections, love, loss, and happiness. Each layer is composed of paper pieces in all shapes and sizes, which serve as a basis for the next layer, minute, day, year or experience.

More at pages: 66-71

FEATURED

ARTIST

BIANCA SEVERIJNS

On the cover: “Sisters Litay� by Bianca Severijns; image courtesy Sigal Kolton


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Boris Beja

Die Grüne

TOBAČNA 001 Cultural Centre, Ljubljana, Slovenia 4. 4. 2018–18. 5. 2018

Text by Alenka Trebušak

The project “Die Grüne” is a visually diversified ambient installation combining photography, ready-made, drawing, and objects. As such, it sheds light on the artist’s practice, which is at once characterised by a masterful play with different media and a confrontation of opposing content layers. The installation likewise offers an insight into Boris Beja’s authorial research on the recent history in the territory of former Yugoslavia. The project crucially draws on the artist’s visit to a remote village in the Croatian region of Zagorje where Josip Broz Tito was born. By investigating the interior of the building that

once housed the Political School in Kumrovec, the installation alludes to the economic and socio-political changes in the area, which transitioned from the socialist to capitalist reality, while the title itself points to the possibility of reading through the illusion of beautiful and good.

Photo: ANDREJ PEUNIK


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The building of the Political School was constructed in 1981 to serve as an education centre for the personnel of Yugoslavia’s League of Communists. After its dissolution in 1990, the building was taken over first by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and then the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia. After accommodating refugees at the end of 1991, the building was abandoned and left to decay. However, the artist’s enquiry into the role that time has played in this process is not concerned with the ravage it has caused, but rather with what it has brought forth. To put it differently, time has engendered life by letting nature reclaim the building’s interior. The said process is reflected in the photographic segment of the installation, which represents a photo-documentary mapping of space, the herbarium containing plants from the above-mentioned building, and potted indoor plants. The absence of human factor has thus materialised through the visible and tangible presence of vegetation, with the sound component embodied in the rhythmic humming of the video projector. The latter, rather than projecting an image merely casts light on the wall to enframe the drawing of the former sports hall in the building. By employing the old technology as well as the notion of the collective conveyed by the above-mentioned drawing, the artist may be said to have transformed Tito himself, a film aficionado, into a sensory perception of sorts. The drawing, however, is rather equivocal: albeit underlined by the absence of individualism and obedience to rules, it is still incorporated into the installation as a whole – which is subjected to inverted rules. Just as the asphalt sports hall and the building are paradoxically reclaimed by vegetation, so too the artist allows nature to take over the closed exhibition space. Photos: ANDREJ PEUNIK

Boris Beja (1986) first graduated in 2009 from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering from Graphic Communications, University of Ljubljana and then graduated again in 2013 from Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts, Uni – versity of Ljubljana. He has had a number of individual exhibitions and has collaborated on several group ones. He has received some awards, among them the 2012 Prešeren Student Award for sculpture and, in the same year, the highest award for a contribution to the sustainable development of our society, the Slovene Human Resources Devel – opment and Scholarship Fund. Beja is also a critic and a curator. In his work, he unites various visual practices into an aestheticised, direct address with an emphasis on social criticism. From 2010 to 2013, he was writing articles on the subject of culture for the web portal Planet Siol.si. He was nominated for the OHO Group Award in 2015 and 2016. He has presented himself in many solo and group exhibitions. From the begining of 2014 until autumn 2017 he worked at Škuc Gallery as assistant of artistic director of Škuc Gallery. He lieves and work in Ljubljana.

www.borisbeja.eu


Verity Adriana

Hull, UK

I am a photographic artist whose work explores how the ordinary can be transformed into moments of extraordinary through sublime forces that engage the viewer through aesthetics and experience. This project Lumen, made along the river Humber in my home city of Hull in England, investigates how light and photography have the power to transform ordinary and familiar subject matter and materials into moments of sublime experience by challenging our perceptions. Light has the power to transform and transfix; photography is a medium that captures light; plastic is a material that holds light, and light itself is our connection to the beginnings of existence.


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When, how and why started your art practice? I have been practicing for around ten years, but it is only really in the last five years that I have ‘found’ what I am truly interested in. I was initially working in a more commercial style, and as a freelance photographer. I majored in fashion imaging for my undergraduate degree which I really enjoyed, and found it came naturally. I knew I wanted to push myself and challenge my practice at a more profound level so did an MA in Creative Practice. This gave me the grounding in a more fine art conceptual approach to making images and allowed me discussion with multi-disciplinary artists and tutors. It really developed me as an artist and since then I have made work that is focussed around light, our existence, space and time. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? Sometimes I can struggle with creative block quite significantly, and this can be quite hindering, particularly if I am working to deadline. It can be very frustrating, but sometimes I have to walk away from a project for a minute- gain some space and some perspective. I find that reading around my subject helps to come up with solutions and new ideas or pathways for work to follow. I am a solitary person so seeking out the voices of others is something that is hugely beneficial to me as an artist, but as a concept I really struggle to put that into practice! But sometimes I will really push myself and seek out the advice of others and this can be hugely liberating and spark massive surges forward with work I am making. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I think as anyone would say, it can be hard to get work seen, and if you are a solitary person as I am, ‘networking’ and making yourself ‘seen’ can be overwhelmingly difficult. What I love about being an artist however is that I have the freedom of expression and what is in my brain can end up becoming a visual. I make work for myself, in a sort of cathartic way of processing my interpretation of the world

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around me. It is always amazing when that work is seen, and even better when it resonates with others. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Up north in my hometown of Hull it can feel a little insular at times but I am hoping this will improve with the legacy of the City of Culture. It is up to the artists now to continue on that wonderful year and make it part of Hull’s identity. I have literally just moved to the Midlands for an assistant lecturing position in photography at Coventry University so I am seeking out the art scene here as we speak! What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? My long suffering MA supervisor Adrian Davies once advised me to not overthink it and to ‘work intuitively’. He recognised that I was at a point of overthinking my work into a complete mental block, through worrying about whether what I was doing (making very early Lumen pictures) was working. I had looked at so much work of other artists and read so much around my subject that a natural synthesis of ideas was beginning to emerge, and I had to trust in my subconscious to let the work make itself. What are your future plans as an artist? I need to make the book version of Lumen, which I plan to do this year. I would like to submit the book to various call outs as they happen. I am showing Lumen in a group show in London over the summer (I don’t have the details yet) and will be part of Photograd’s zine box. I am also running a project called Illuminate Hull which has commissioned four photographers to make a body of work that responds to the theme of the legacy of City of Culture in Hull as we move forward. I am really excited about this project and the artists working alongside me on this. The aim of Illuminate is to raise the profile of photography in Hull `and offer support and help to other practitioners. I am also interested in making new works and starting a new project which I think will be later in 2018 into 2019, again I have to trust my subconscious to let this happen.


verityadriana.com


Myrto Amorgianou a.k.a.

Digital Ruins Thessaloniki, Greece I’m Myrto Amorgianou also known as Digital Ruins and i like to experiment with digital art. I hold a BSc in Applied Informatics (University of Macedonia,Greece) and an MSc in Distributed Multimedia Systems (Leeds, UK). Extremely compelled by graphics and visuals, i like to experiment with digital errors (glitches), databending and creative coding. I mainly work on glitch-art, and generative-art projects. I’m also into digital photography. My projects involve: image glitch artworks, animated GIFs, interactive installations, video-art, generative design, digital photography. Tools i use: Processing, After Effects, TouchDesigner (currently learning), hex editors, Photoshop, Audacity. I am featured artist in GIPHY - and also in ello and a member of the Glitch Artists Collective.


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to hang in there and manage to balance work with creating art. This applies everywhere in the world I think and is not just happening here in Greece. Just that some countries are more artist-friendly I suppose. Or this is just a Utopia I don’t know. Either way it’s a tough call to produce art and to be able to make a living from it at the same time. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I really like participating in exhibitions and events, networking & meeting other artists and curators, people that we are in the same wavelength and have similar interests. The importance of online communities on digital art and their sustainability through social media has been proven crucial; as for example the Glitch Artists Collective a big online community where people show their work, learn, collaborate, exchange techniques on glitch art, or just have fun, which is great because this is a meeting place for so many people around the globe. The most amazing part is when you finally meet in real life the people you’ve been talking to for sometime through Facebook. Luckily there are curators who love glitch art and organize events such as the Fubar Expo event that focuses in glitch art and happens in Zagreb every year. Last year when I visited Resonate Festival in Belgrade, I was quite surprised to meet a lot of people like me: software developers that became digital artists/creative coders. That was quite amazing to realize that there are more people around of this particular genre. I also like the fact that you can be found and appreciated by people who don’t know you but they click with you because they like your art. One thing that annoys me, is that what we call with fellow glitch artists ‘work for exposure’. This is when someone asks you to produce a piece of artwork for them for free. It is quite annoying when it happens. Exposure doesn’t happen this way but rather in a more professional and respectful way. How would you describe the art scene in your area?

When, how and why started your art practice? It happened really suddenly although image manipulation was something I was into from a young age. I’m self-taught and I haven’t graduated from an art school but through my life I have always been an arts lover, an amateur. At some point consuming art was not enough for me and I felt the need to start producing something for myself. I got a DSLR camera about four years ago as a present from my mother who is also an artist, and I enrolled myself to photography seminars. There I was given the opportunity to start experimenting with photos and moving away from traditional photography. At the same time I discovered glitch art and creative coding. It was a whole new world I had discovered and I was totally thrilled about producing artwork with means that suited my skills and way of thinking, achieving aesthetic results that were completely experimental. I’m also grateful for the support I got from the online community. Another thing that happened by accident was the gif-art page i’ve got in giphy. That was due to my indecision to throw away results that came out from experiments by putting them together in gifs. My digital art practice is in a way a combination of photography, glitch art and creative coding.

There are galleries, exhibition spaces and art museums. I’m not aware of any major digital art event happening in my area until now though. There is ADAF in Athens. There are no funds to support artists. The economy is rather weak right now so I don’t see a way for artists to be able to afford a good life standard. For this reason people with huge potential are forced to seek opportunities abroad and leave the country. These people could have make a great impact on the digital art scene by staying in the country but the current situation has made it impossible. Due to the fact that there is an internet community around Digital Art, I’m currently aware of events that happen globally and I get informed about them through the networks I follow. I have participated in exhibitions in the US, Italy, Croatia, Athens and online exhibitions. The fact that there is so much going on around the globe with Digital Art is making it rather easy for someone to break into the scene. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? To be resilient. Never stop producing art no matter how difficult are the circumstances. Your work and the time you devote will pay back at some point. With more practice skills improve and results improve too.

What is the most challenging part of being an artist?

What are your future plans as an artist?

To keep it going. It’s a struggle to combine art with a 9-5 job. The fact that you have to go to work disconnects you from your flow. You lose your tempo, you lose momentum. But then, there are financial issues. How can any artist survive without a steady income? So basically you need

To be honest I don’t know. Everything I do comes as a surprise even to me. I hope to be able to learn new things, which means new tools or new skills. I wish to participate in more events and exhibitions. Maybe one day I will vanish inside an installation I will create.


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ruins-digitales.tumblr.com


JMC Anderson

(Jade - Marie Claire Anderson) Norwich, UK

JMC Anderson aims to reveal and expose the nature of language that is within society, in an era paraded with visual advertisements. This opens up dialogue for the audience to attain a familiar yet unique experience. Researching theories on semiotics and linguistics her belief is that language lives within everything. Language is used in order to translate ideas and concepts. It is an apparatus. In this investigation, Anderson strives to question the construction and meaning that language is made up of through the use of characteristics, structure, design, domestic environments and objects. Through both passive and visual communication she considers sensual capacity and the reading process. JMC Anderson (b. 1994) is an artist and curator based in Norwich. She studied at Norwich University Of The Arts obtaining a BA in Fine Art and MA in Curation. As an artist and curator, in 2017 Anderson curated Narrative Whispers at Firstsite Gallery as part of the ‘We: You, Me’ exhibition as well as Mind. Language.Matter at St Mary’s Works Norwich alongside also having an residency back in 2016. She completed a curatorial internship at the Sainsbury Centre For Visual Arts and co-designed the We Came Here To Conquer publication for the Norwich Castle Museum. Within her practice she investigates language as a piece of visual material in order to explore construction, meaning and exchange.


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When, how and why started your art practice? I had never really thought about it until recently when thinking back to the language barrier I had when living in Spain for a year when I was about 12 years old. To then also finding out that I have dyslexia after doing a whole 4 years of university. I was and am fascinated by language as material, language as gestures and language as artefact. I question how language can be excercised in a way that we can really start to appreciate the formalities it could materialise into. This is the basis for what drives my art practice. I believe that language lives within everything. It can be seen altering and constructing our experience of reality. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? I feel for me is trying to push past the artists block and maybe even the restriction in which I am finding at the moment in wanting to fabricate ideas and being able to find the right place to facilitate these ideas such as tools and workshops. However from also starting a recent 9 to 5 job. I felt it was most challenging when trying find that routine and again I have all these ideas that I want to explore and research and make but yet time is restricted. There is not enough time for me to be freely acting in the moment. What do you like/dislike about the art world? What I like about the art world is that it moves, develops and records moments in time. I find today there is a bigger push to be experimental, to collaborate and to obtain that sense of play within art. I find emerging artists today have a much broader concept about the world which then allows them to look at the world in a different perspective and allowing the audience more importantly to view it with them. In terms of dislike there isn’t much that i do dislike. The one major aspect I can think of is the lack of opportunities out of London there are for artists and curators alike. Even when and if that opportunity comes along it is most probably something you wont get paid for. It is that exposure that I feel should really be pushed instead of looking for what is on your doorstep. How would you describe the art scene in your area? At the moment I am living in Norwich and honestly the art scene here is thriving. It is still all upcoming but it is thriving. Norwich itself just gives off such a buzzing creative atmosphere with its independent shops and cobble roads. Every corner you turn there something creative administering. Not to mention you have the

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Norwich Arts University smack bang in the middle. I have always felt that something big is yet to happen and until then my plans are to stay. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? I have actually been offered by a friend to go to Cyprus and do a residency there for a couple of weeks in July. But since this offer I have never ‘received’ an art trip so to speak. But in terms of myself planning a trip it would have to be going to the Venice Biennale in 2017. It was the first time that I had ever gone to the Biennale and I have to say it is tremendously inspiring as well as refreshing to see all these new works and concepts being explore. It really puts into respect the current movements within the art world today. What are your future plans as an artist? As an artist I feel my plans are to perhaps do some collaborative projects to bring forth new ways of working. I would particularly like to collaborate with a scientist or linguist to capture a new perspective on language as I myself am very theoretical. It is reading theories that I find helps feed my art and curatorial practice. This might be through using new processes or just being able to make new networks. At the end of the day to get anywhere networking seems to always be of up most importance.


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jmcanderson.co.uk


Aliette Bretel

Lima, Peru / UK

From the beginning, her artistic work has been defined by a strong reference to the memory, the past, and the passage of time. The creative process that she early learnt has given her the tools to approach her projects with an analytical filter and a deep understanding of what she wants to communicate and to find the appropriate way to develop and display her images. The same process is used by the artist to choose the right formats for her travel and documentary photography, from the selection of pinhole or analog or digital cameras, the use of colour or black and white, the type of film, the manipulation in the lab or photoshop to the selection of type of paper for prints. Aliette Bretel (Lima, Peru) graduated from El Centro de la Imagen in Lima 2004, where she found her passion for both documentary and artistic photography, which she naturally combines creating a very unique and timeless collection of images. I have showed my work in solo and collective exhibitions in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Lima (PerĂş) and Ankara (Turkey) and recently in London at the Other Art Fair April 2017. I currently live in England from where I continue working on my artistic projects, mixing film and digital photography.


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When, how and why started your art practice?

of those projects are now part of my portfolio.

I always knew I wanted to be a photographer, since I was 10 or 11 I would dream to be a photojournalist and when I finished school the only university career that involved courses of photography was “science of communication” so I started it, in the meantime I found a short 4 month course of photography in what was the Kodak factory in Lima. I really enjoyed hands on approach of taking and developing pictures my self however unfortunately the factory and their course shut down as the era of digital photography started.

I only had a couple of courses of photojournalism there so I decided to continue my studies in ARGRA (The Association of photojournalist of the Republic of Argentina) in Buenos Aires. It was there when I met people involved in cultural events who gave me the opportunity to exhibit my artistic work and that’s how I started developing new themes I wanted to exhibit. After that I continued working as a freelance photographer and having sporadic exhibitions now and then. I moved to the UK 3 years ago and continued working on my own wedding photography business and exhibiting my artwork in fairs and exhibitions.

I quit the university shortly after when I found a place where I could learn everything about photography for 3 years, it was a technical degree in El Centro de la Imagen in Lima in 2001. This is when my artistic practice started, from the very beginning. I was lucky enough to learn from the best Peruvian contemporary artists and photographers like Pablo Hare, Mariella Agois, Luz Maria Bedoya among others, who taught us the relationship between artistic practices and formats of academic research as a method of working. From my very first assignment I had to have a clear idea of what I wanted to communicate and find the best way to do it. Most of my work since I was a student were pieces that emerged from an idea, owned or assigned, that passed through a research process and an analysis stage prior to the creative process and some

What is the most challenging part of being an artist? It would depend of each artist. In my case for instance, I never learnt how to price my work and have a challenge pricing my prints. If I have to speak generally I would say that the most challenging part of being an artist is having to learn to deal with rejection and to not let personal opinions or even art tendencies/fashions distract you from what you want to do. I think there is a danger that tendencies can influence artwork to satisfy the market and fashion at that particular time. What do you like/dislike about the art world? What I like is that there is an art world to start with. Artists have a place where they can develop their art and support

themselves with it if they work hard as in any other profession. What I really grapple with is that the essence of art can be tainted by the market itself. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I’m still in the process of learning about the scene in the UK having moved here 3 years ago. One of my first impressions I’ve got is that galleries in my area still don’t see photography as a valuable form of art and they don’t even receive portfolios. I don’t know if its just a very traditional way to see art or a lack of knowledge about the field, but it is a massive contrast with the art scene of London for instance where art forms are very diverse. So to describe the art scene in my area in a word I would have to say that is traditional. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Not so much an art tip however I learnt this from teachers and colleagues, to never stop learning about different art forms, reading and researching about art, artists and their practices. What are your future plans as an artist? I’ve got some invitations to show my work abroad next year which I’m still contemplating. My main focus now is to find an art gallery that is a good match for my art, also I am currently looking/ applying for opportunities for art residencies/exhibitions to develop and show some projects I have in mind.


aliettebretel.co.uk


Lorraine Cleary Tipperary, Ireland


Cut, sawn and screwed together; utilizing a bricolage approach to construct household assemblages which become domestic tropes that act as metaphors for trauma. Cleary creates mini environments that suggest innocence in their theme. The work at first glance appears to hold a pleasant aura but on closer inspection it alludes to disturbing undertones. The artist does not want to dictate an absolute narrative within her work; it is open to interpretation. Cleary lures the observer into her unsettling domestic circumference; she wants the work to incite a curiosity within.

Lorraine Cleary is a part time tutor in academic English with the Learning Support Unit in Limerick School of Art & Design. A multidisciplinary artist working in the medium of sculpture, photography, experimental film, video, sound and performance. She received a First Class Honours Masters Degree in Interactive Media from the University of Limerick in 2015 and she graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art from Limerick School of Art & Design in 2014. She was highly commended for the 2014 programme of the Undergraduate Awards in the Visual Arts category for her work entitled ‘Mise en Scene’ and was also highly commended for the 2014 programme of the Undergraduate Awards in the Media & the Arts category for her paper entitled ‘A Study of Diegesis and Mimesis in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979) – with reference to Time and the Frame’. She was one of thirteen artists chosen to participate at the inaugural international online exhibition of ‘Aligned’ as part of the Undergraduate Awards. Recent group exhibitions include ‘The Model presents Cairde Visual 2017’ The Mall, Sligo and the ‘Winter Open Exhibition 2017’ at Rua Red Gallery, Tallaght, Dublin. She has work currently on show in The RHA Gallery, Dublin as part of the 188th Annual Exhibition.


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Briefly describe the work you do Simply put, I create mini environments that suggest innocence in their theme. The work at first glance appears to hold a pleasant aura but on closer inspection it alludes to disturbing undertones. Its purpose is to lure the spectator into an unsettling domestic circumference. Themes addressed surround the area of domestic exploitation, explored from a psychological perspective. The aim is to lend a tangible voice to past intangible events; the resultant pieces endeavour to act as vehicles for trauma, trauma that thrived within the perimeter of the domestic sphere. Diegesis is commonly defined in film and literature as the telling of a story by a narrator, a summarization of the plot, it is the environment in which those narrated themes are played out. My practice employs this theory in the creation of work that challenges the viewer’s perception by alluding to the untold stories hidden within the domestic space. My pieces become hybrid objects through their mish mash of domestic memoirs that transcend into the surrounding space. They are created through a process of

cutting, sawing and fixing together in a methodological fashion; it can be said that my work utilizes a bricolage approach to construct household assemblages, which become domestic tropes that act as metaphors for trauma by hinting at a discourse that evolves behind closed doors. Their painted surfaces are unfinished; they are exposed; interrupted and allude to the hypocrisy hidden beneath a falsehood of perfection. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? Having a specific interest in the everyday environment, I work with the belief that space has the ability to absorb events, traumatic or otherwise, and with each onslaught of such an event that space is changed forever. My ongoing investigation into how the residue of a trauma can remain in a space long after that event has occurred is an important concept within the work. In particular my focus has been on the domestic space and the hidden traumas within. The domestic space holds a sinister subtext in my eyes. My practice aims to remove the traditional boundaries inherent in cinema by an expansion of the diegetic space beyond the screen, in the creation of alternative realities centered on the domestic space. My pieces allude to an unresolved trauma and their filmic traits become indicative of the minds ability to create alternative realities that can be crucial to its survival. My work often emulates a desire to break through and overcome the immediate environment. Putting forward the notion that the term ‘haunting’ may be an appropriate terminology to describe a traumatic event that occurred in a certain place on a certain date. The shock of that incident may leave behind a trace where ultimately that place where that disturbance occurred becomes scarred and as a result absorbs that negative energy. The residue left behind by that damaging event begins to seep into the structure of that place, thus altering it to the extent where that space would now move forward in time transformed. In 2013, I experimented with the construction of makeshift shelters, once these structures were assembled I began to tear them back down and then build them back up again. This repetitive action of construction and deconstruction focused on places ability to absorb traumatic events, a means to merge inner conflict with the memories of that place and in doing so brings to

the foreground emotions experienced at a different point in time. My practice is grounded in the theoretical texts of Henri Bergson and his belief that the past exists but in the ontological sense, the past is essentially ‘Virtual’. Bergson’s belief is that through our recollection, we perceive in the present a representation of the past; the virtual serves as a temporal gap between the past and the present as the present becomes past. Technology penetrates the very core of my work, interconnectivity is important in not just bringing the physical pieces of work together but in its invitation to the viewer, making them an integral part of that environment. Ubiquitous technologies have ultimately inserted themselves into our everyday experience becoming almost invisible. Our changing social environment adapts to new technologies on an ongoing basis and this advancing technology emits heavy influence on our everyday lives. Questioning the current state of our everyday in reference to these technological changes, we must ask ourselves, are we as connected as we think or have we isolated ourselves within ourselves? The irony of which is in the past these technologies would have ensured a connection with the wider environment but today because of our complete reliance on technology we may have put in place a means to reproduce this isolation with the creation of a cyber solitary thus establishing a contemporary cultural withdrawal. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Living and working as an artist in a rural valley on the outskirts of a small town has ensured that I have become isolated in my practice. This has its pros and cons. Sometimes artists do need the quite time to get inside their own heads to create work, and been a rural based artist means that you do not have the luxury of sharing a studio with other artists and therefore miss out on important peer feedback. Last year I was awarded a materials grant from the Tipperary Arts Council towards the construction of a piece of work. My immediate locality is lacking to say the least in the art scene. In contrast the city of Limerick where I tutor part time is only an hour away and has a significant participation in the art scene been announced as Limerick City of Culture in 2014.


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In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Contemporary art offers an important platform to open up conversations on certain issues such as socio -political artworks. In today’s society art has become more thought provoking and more accepting of varied art forms, concept is as important as process and the two combined create a balanced artwork. What do you like/dislike about the art world? Galleries have become more diverse in their delivery of varied art forms thus encouraging larger audience participation. The downside is that to be immersed in your practice as a full time artist you are often engaging in a meager existence. At the moment various organizations are petitioning for the artist to get paid but it is a difficult journey. Name three artists that you admire. Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky has been a large influence on my work through his ability to see beauty in the everyday and transform that into a cinematic experience. Tarkovsky’s aesthetic heightens viewer participation by drawing attention to the space beyond the screen. David Lynch has been an early cinematic influence; his ability to create alternative realities has had a long lasting affect on me. Sarah Sze makes large intricate sculptural & installations from everyday materials that incite curiosity in the viewer. What are your future plans? Currently, I am working on a twopiece installation titled ‘Conversation with [my] Mother. In 2019, I have been offered a two-person show in the Custom House Gallery in Westport, Co. Mayo. Within the next couple of months I have planned a studio build and given the way I work with materials this would furnish me with the space to work on several pieces at the one time.

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Ola Dabrowska

Preston, UK

I am a 31 year old artist from Poland live and based in Preston ,U.K. I graduate this year from University of Central Lancashire and I earned my BA (hons) in Fine Art Drawing & Image Making. Since graduation I became a self- employed artist who also looking for art opportunities and collaborations. I was part of Forty - Five Reasons Fine Art and Drawing & Image Making Degree Show in June 2017 and Nominee to Lancashire Arts Festival Awards 2017. Exhibit on Here and Now Hanover Project in March 2016 and after joined other artist on International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair in Leeds in April 2016. In addition, I gained a sculptural experience at Bloc Studios (Sheffield) for the show ‘lay on the land (and other myths)’ by Victoria Lucas. My creations are simple minimalist drawings and objects that I bring together into installations. Measurements and geometric shapes - most commonly cubes, colour avoidance, simple message. In my work I use simple techniques and industrial materials and focus on the simplicity of life, time and human values. I like to re-use materials and objects and find different functions for them. My creative process is closely related to my life and personal development in which I also strive for minimalism. Focus on the fundamentals of life and our role in it. The objects I create are a metaphor, reflecting my actions in private life, and visualizing the future in which I aspire to create an Utopian life in which explore and demonstrate a simpler way to live in response to global crises.


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When, how and why started your art practice? I’ve been creating since I remember. I could sit on the floor for hours painting and drawing, but the fondest of my memories is when I could hang around in our garage / wood workshop, in which my grandfather and father made furniture for our home. I was brought up in post-communist Poland on a building site surrounded by industrial materials. During these times, we had to deal with limited access to basic goods, so my parents mostly made things for themselves. From furniture to toys, I’ve been lucky that my father and grandfather were very good at working with wood, which is now one of the favorite materials to work with. Busy building the house my parents did not have time to devote a lot of attention to me, so I reconcile to my imagination in creating and drawing the best of my surroundings. It had a big impact on my current practice and choice of media. Industrial interiors and materials are something that I admire and which I like to work with. For a long time, I treated art and my talent as a hobby and only occasionally participated in workshops or competitions until I decided to do it formally, so at the age of 28, I started to study art. Why I decided to do that? I was tired of working for other people and giving my best to them, I’ve been frustrated because my need for creating was unmet. Studying art helped me to develop my skills and become confident in what I’m doing. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? For me as an artist, the biggest challenge in creative work is abstract and colour, because the way I work is very controlled and minimalist. I try to avoid both, which does not mean that sometimes I do not try and experiment. In the past, I used colours gradually to control them more and more, eventually it led me to avoiding colour, and maybe it is the pure ‘not coloured’, authentic message that matters most to me. Each of us artists have a field and technique in which I feel the best but I like to go beyond my comfort zone. In everyday life one of the major challenges, especially at the beginning of the artist’s career, and I am talking about people who deal with this professionally, is inseparable paperwork and business. I can only talk about those who I know and thus visual artists and practically those who create fine art. I think that many artists struggle

with the problem of reconciling the artistic soul with a business person, which is, however, important for an artist who wants to earn a living in art. Our heads are often in the clouds or somewhere far away so it’s hard for us to deal with the bureaucracy. What do you like/dislike about the art world? Everyone and anyone can call themselves an artist. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Good question, the worst part is that I do not have much good to say about the art scene in my area. The main center of cultural events in Preston is the Harris Museum in the city center. One of the artist studios in the city is soon to be closed by the council as the building goes up for sale. I myself am in the group of many artists in my area, looking for a better studio space or some opportunity to cooperate with other artistic groups. A good aspect is that I have a good access to Manchester or Liverpool and it is known there is a lot more going on in the arts and cultural events.

What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? I tried to think about the best ‘art tip’ I’ve ever received and nothing came to my mind. I definitely can share some of my worst tips as to ‘give up my ruler’ or ‘go crazy with colours’, however I decided to not listen to that advice. I have come to my best tip myself and I hope that this will be a good hint for others. Always look for the simplest solutions, follow your intuition and make quick decisions. I know it may sound banal but this is something that I learned during my studies and what has always paid off. Advice for those who are looking for good hints is to read and watch interviews with various artists, you can learn a lot by watching the best. What are your future plans as an artist? I intend to continue to do what I do, what I love and what satisfies me, which is art. I would like to start leading art workshops as soon as possible to help people and, above all, children and young ones to bring self-confidence through art. And eventually, as probably most young artists dream, make it to the ‘big art world’.


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dabrowskaola.wordpress.com


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Marcelle Mad Mudslinger Nanaimo, Canada

It’s a pleasure and a relief having the freedom to frequent a tangible visual language. The engagement of sight and touch draws threads between verbal and vibrational communication. Urns, vases, and amphorae are like multifaceted people with endless variety of attitudes and stories. The sculptural vessel, as a foundation for ekphrasis and revealing of common/uncommon truths, serves to reference my background in functional pottery production. With respect for integrity of material I prefer to display evidence of hand construction technique in the finished work, and to embrace dignified accidents in dramatic firing processes. Much of my inspiration is drawn from shedding rather than collecting. To describe basic human needs and concerns from the ancestral past through the mysterious future, I follow a curious path toward converged views on science and magic. The privilege of participating in the cycle of human artifacts by means of a mineral art gives rise to a sense of responsibility in representation of three-dimensional thought and in messages to archaeologists from the distant future. My ceramic discipline is primarily in high temperature wood fire tradition, but I also work with a spectrum of clays and methods including raku and local terra-cotta. Educated at Malaspina University, Fine Arts Dep (1993-’96) and in Pottery Apprenticeship on Gabriola Island BC (1996-2006), today I work from my home studio on Mudge Island BC, Canada’s west coast. In recent years I’ve participated in a number of art exhibitions on Vancouver Island and Mainland Vancouver. As my scope of audience is broadening, for now I continue to identify as an ‘emerging’ artist.


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Briefly describe the work you do. My ceramic discipline is primarily in high temperature wood fire tradition, but I also work with a variety of other clays and methods including raku and local terra-cotta. I indulge in the freedoms of visual tangible language to construct three-dimensional thought referring, in foundational form, to the vessel. With respect for integrity of material I prefer to display evidence of hand construction in the finished piece, and to embrace dignified accidents as the gifts of dramatic firing processes. In my sculpture practice, it’s important the work does not favour one vantage. I resist cooperating with a front, impressing on all angles equal intent. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? Simple as it implies, my chosen material has been the excitement of my art practice in self- expression and skilled craft for as long as I can remember. Regardless of the function, story, or common ground of an art work, original influence always lives in the properties of clay and my appetite for manipulation of it. Inspired design happens in real time in three

dimensions between hands and clay. Previous envisions from behind the eyes and sketched onto paper are not part of my creative process in ceramic art. In my case, the eyes are present to agree with and enjoy what’s constructed from tactile involvement. How would you describe the art scene in your area? My immediate locale is saturated with paintings of tidal themes generally created by retirees to the west coast from other parts of Canada. Urban centers of the Pacific Northwest such as Seattle WA and Vancouver BC, however, display momentum of powerful diversity in all mediums. Among my favorite of current movements are the murals, building wraps, and rotating public art displays. They serve as comfort and pensive intrigue in a busy concrete society. In city art galleries, I’ve noticed imagery of rabbits repeatedly appearing in recent years. What this means, I don’t know, and the pattern is purely anecdotal. I can’t say I’m offended by a popular rabbit theme if there is one. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? My opinion is that every person becomes an artist many times in a day, with each creative decision. Artistic abilities of individuals are expected and accepted. This flare aligns with progress in general. Utilitarian survival concerns are of the distant past for many in society, allowing inclusive appreciation for art at home, in public spaces and traditional art galleries, and online forums. Today, art of all kinds and media draw people together to contemplate and enjoy common threads in human experience. What is the best book you’ve recently read? The best book I’ve recently read is The Firefly Encyclopedia of Trees. Name three artists you admire. I admire the fearless expression of Tanya Tagaq, a contemporary multi-discipline artist from northern Canada. I admire the thoughtful considerations of Marcel Duchamp on his historical journey into the conceptualization of art. I admire current Spanish painter, Matias Sanchez. My personal interpretation of his style gives rise to permission for mental freedom and deep vulnerable honesty in art making. What are your future plans? I recently began a new adventure into collaborative abstract sculpture. So far, the pieces feel rich with story and commentary on process and stillness, so I plan to continue the collaborations and increase the scale. I also intend on creating much larger sculptural amphorae. With the greater risk comes greater satisfaction and greater heartache. Being of small stature myself, I’m drawn to the courage of large scale art – perhaps to represent my inner self which assumes a bigger stature than my outer self. My future, in general, is a continuation of my pursuit of passion in ceramic art. There’s much to know and to explore yet.


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Lisa Kuglitsch Rotterdam, The Netherlands In my works I endeavor to establish transmedial dialogues with imagery and objects. The pictorial quality of sculptural language and the sculptural quality of pictorial compositions is an ongoing field of interest in my practice. Working with two- and three- dimensional elements and relating to sitespecific surroundings is central to my interest in creating multi layered spatial installations. I deal with questions of staging and representing – the exhibition of objects, the production of space and the (re- )presentation of objects in terms of individual and collective ideas. I play with common imagery, materials and objects, transforming them by physical manipulation and different techniques. I combine found objects, personal material as well as self produced sculptures and arrange them into sequences. It is essential to my practice to source from unusual coincidences, moments of rapture and the banal of the everyday. The experimental moment due to working with diverse materials, techniques and media is crucial in my artistic practice. I am not following a strict working process but focus on a practice of phases – collecting and gathering material, arranging and combining elements, re-producing and imitating objects, selecting and displaying. This phases can repeat several times, it is an ongoing switching and remixing within those steps. Playfulness and intuition are key aspects as well as conceptual intensions within my works. I would like to see my work as invitations to observe and discover. To wonder in space, scan it, to capture constellations and connections and to get lost in certain details.


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When, how and why started your art practice?

What is the most challenging part of being an artist?

I started studying at the University of Applied Arts Vienna in October 2011. After trying some other studies, I was hungry to make and produce and work on what I was interested in. I always enjoyed working in my families workshop, play with different materials, experiment with techniques and try new things. Within my fine art studies I could combine and focus my interests for spatial arrangements, relations between body and space, as well as aspects of social and cultural phenomena.

I think it is a combination of things which you are challenged by as an artist – for me at that point it’s the struggle handling your art practice and develop your work and finding strategies to finance your living. Sometimes it can be really frustrating and exhausting to keep yourself motivated and going and not get distracted from your aims. It can be also quite challenging to deal with


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the fact that you have to be flexible and that you chose a way which is not consistent and predictable at all. This is not only to be seen in a negative way though, it’s definitely a big freedom you have as an artist. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I think the art world is not existing as a singular unit. There are so many different scenes and niches which exist parallel to each other. Of course there are certain mechanisms and rhythms that are operating in a similar way. Unfortunately these are mostly still packed with outdated dynamics, clichés and preconceptions. There is definitely a reorientation happening at the moment, but it takes a while until the deadlocked models are getting reorganized. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Currently I am based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. I moved here a little over a year ago. I experience Rotterdam as a great environment for young and experimental art, the cultural programing of the city is offering a broad spectrum. There is an interesting local scene with a diverse range of artistic practices. There are quite some institutions, galleries and artist-run spaces which are providing platforms and formats for local artists. Right now the city is changing quickly and some political developments are concerning me, but there is a collective cohesion within the creative scene which is hopefully getting even stronger in the next years. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Broom your studio once a week ;) What are your future plans as an artist? The last year I was traveling and moving quite a lot. I moved into a new studio, so that took a lot of my time and attention. Now I am looking forward to spend time in my studio and work on new projects. I have some shows planned for this year and I am working on an exhibition series.

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Milena Raczkowska Manchester, UK

Passion for visual arts and academic skills allow me to paint custom works of art in an abstractly unique and expressively colourful style. I turn my imagination into reality with acrylic palette using many different tools such as paint brush, spatula, sponge or palm. Constantly learning and evolving I create spirited illustrations and painting on high-quality canvases and various sizes of boards, fabrics or walls.


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Briefly describe the work you do. Passion for visual arts, equipped with an acrylic palette, allows me to turn my imagination into spirited artworks in an abstractly colourful style. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? My mother and grandfather were my biggest influence, in both my life and art. They rooted in me the timeless values, which help me be a good person. Thanks to them, I have the courage to follow my heart, not be defined by my mistakes and in everything I try to find inspiration. All these have a huge impact on everything I do, including the art. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I am currently based in Greater Manchester area, where you can experience art in so many ways. Manchester is a lively city with a wealth of galleries and exhibition spaces showcasing local and international artists’ work. Textiles, jewellery, ceramics, prints, fine art, sculpture and more from most talented artists, designers and makers. It’s easy to take a part in a workshop and hear about their materials and processes or learn a new skill yourself. Available space, ongoing events and creative minds make contemporary art, craft and design accessible for all over here. There is plenty of possibilities for creative people as many places are supporting local education and community participation to pave the way for next generation of creatives. For sure Manchester is a place, where artists can afford to live, practice and exhibit. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art is a kind of binder between the times that pass, last and will come. Art allows you to put the whole process of humankind’s development into one frame, which makes contemporaneity not a separate part but a continuation of antiquity. If the culture, in general, refers to folklore, languages, mores, and to the stuff that we do that isn’t essential for survival, the art is a dialogue between all of these, with a very responsible role. Contemporary culture can be capricious. It’s dynamic. It comes and goes. It’s fashion. Very often culture is unjustly confused with pop-culture, which is in my opinion, just like a “waste” of true culture. The art helps to identify, who we are, shape the moral value we uphold and refine a way we think. What is the best book you’ve recently read? Every book you read from cover to cover is the best because you can learn something from each one. But if I had to recommend one, I would definitely choose Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by C.L.Dodgson. What is great about this book is that its simple tale

that anyone can connect with. Regardless of the age of the reader, described story of young girl who tumbles down a rabbit hole, it’s like a water and shapes into the experience of each of us. Moreover, the way it’s told is incredibly layered, rich, and full of puzzles, questions and quizzes. I like to think about my art as a journey to the other world, but unlike Alice, my portal is not in the kennel but in my paintings. Name three artists you admire. I respect Leonardo da Vinci most for his discoveries, ideas and curiosity. I really like Bjork for her music and creativity. I admire Salvador Dali for his versatility and imagination. What are your future plans? Despite the fact that I graduated already twice, it does not cease to learn and develop. I am constantly searching and expanding new ways of expression, and allow them to correspond with each other. Apart from the painting that has always been with me, I am currently working on new projects and intend to design and sew my next fashion collections. I will definitely focus on developing myself in what I am doing, deepening my passion for art every day.


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www.facebook.com/milafineart


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Eleonora Scalise Edinburgh, UK

I graduated from the College of Fine Art Academy of Bologna in 2004. After my graduation I gained valuable work experience in various positions and I participated in several artistic exhibitions and competitions. I am very passionate about painting, sculpture and photography and I worked for many years in a customer’s focused environment. Due to my strong interest for arts, I also worked on a volunteering basis as gallery assistant for the Collective Gallery in Meadowbank during the Fringe Festival. There I was in charge of providing customers support, assisting with the venue set up and ensuring the smooth running of the event. I was also in charge of providing information about the exposition and about the different artists exposing in the show. I worked for 1 year as Gallery Attendant at the Scottish National Gallery where I had the opportunity to be in contact with a broad range of people. Equipped with my keen interest in the arts, I have worked as a volunteer art tutor for the Zoo Arts & Zoo Arts Extra projects at North Edinburgh Arts. Zoo Arts is a series of visual art sessions for young people aged 9-14 years, while Zoo Arts Extra (ZAE). Eleonora was born in Calabria, in the south of Italy and she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. Here she dedicated herself to the study of painting, carving, photography and restoration. She became particularly fond of wood engraving and photography. For a extended period she works as photographer, creating stories and capturing them with her camera. She also travelled a lot, she live in California, Spain and in Rome. During this period she develop her photography style, she learn a lot and she absorb many aspect of these places. She rediscovers her love for painting during the year she lived in Edinburgh, Scotland. Here she creates imagines and sculptures with the paper, material that takes on a strong meaning in her works.


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Briefly describe the work you do. Describing what I do in my art work is not easy. I am always researching for new and interesting things to do, as I try not to repeat myself. I have a degree in art and I have experimented with lots of different  things in all these years since 1999. I tried wood carving, photography, collage, painting and different materials as well. In my last work “Tales from the sea” (that you can see in the magazine) I chose  to use charcoal and video. This collection recounts the different stages of a tragic and complicated love story. My initial idea was to project all of my thoughts onto a paper hat. The hat is a pretext for describing and giving expression to my thoughts.  However, as the idea evolved and I began to think about images in motion. As a result, the idea of using a stop-motion animation was born. 

But something changed once again. I work in a library and each day I come into contact with a lot of books that influence and inspire me. Hence, I started to draw a story with different chapters. In each work, there are dialogues that take place mostly under the sea, among ancient Greek statues and improbable fish.  One of the reasons I wanted these dialogues to take place under the sea is because I love the sea and am deeply attached to it as it brings back many memories from my childhood. At the same time, I see parallels between love and the sea. I believe that often love takes your breath away. It doesn’t let you breathe, like when you are underwater.  Love sometimes suffocates you, misleads you. It clouds your eyes and covers your ears like when you are underwater. And you don’t hear the world around you, you just hear your heavy heart, you just hear and see that omnipresent LOVE. The Greek statues used in the story have

two different meanings. One is tragic; the Love that breaks you in hundreds of pieces and hurts you badly. But, on the other hand, the statues are emblems of beauty and perfection. And this brings us back to the sublime and positive aspect of Love. Because even if it breaks you into pieces and makes you cry, it is still one of the most amazing things that can happen to you, and the pieces of you glimmer with the pain. (I love this, it is so true and so beautiful.) These works describe sad and painful feelings but at the same time they show some irony. This can be seen especially in the dialogues between fish where they only exchange a collection of ‘blah blah blah’. In the end, I realise that only irony will save us. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? My  ideas are always a product my own emotions, the darkest and most dramatic  ones. I try to work with and on them. It does not matter which kind of media I use, the important thing is that it can talk, and give voice to my feelings.


How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in Scotland precisely in Edinburgh, and I’ve been living here for five years now and I am still try to  understand with kind of art I am surrounded by. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art means struggle as I believe most of the time it’s locked and exclusive. What do you like/dislike about the art world?   I love the magic that an exhibition makes in a gallery. I like to imagine what the artist thought when they were making a painting or a piece of art. For me art is imagination, colours. It makes your head dirty. 

What I do not like in the art world is that there is still not enough space for women and that there are still lots of discriminations.  Name three artists you admire.  Phyllida Barlow, I saw one of her most amazing  exhibition a  couple of years ago at the Fruitmaket Galley here in Edinburgh and I was totally mesmerised. Orlan. I love the way she is reinventing herself.  Picasso, because Picasso is never, ever boring.    What are your future plans? To Travel, because travelling is one of the most important thing for me. A journey is like the food and the water that feed my art and it help it to grow.  


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facebook.com/EleonoraScaliseArtist


Image courtesy Sigal Kolton


Image courtesy Sigal Kolton

Bianca Severijns

Ramot Hashawim, Israel

My art is a physical representation of my ongoing reflective journey. It is paper art, molded by instinct and an intellect influenced by intuition. My art begins with virginal white paper, on its way to becoming something else, an alteration, a complex form. My medium is paper pieces, hand-torn with a gentle physicality that removes the newborn softness and creates a unique ruggedness that contains encounters, travels, reflections, love, loss, and happiness. Each layer is composed of paper pieces in all shapes and sizes, which serve as a basis for the next layer, minute, day, year or experience. Everything is dynamic, a manifestation of the patterns, rhythm, and exploration that is life. Everything is stop, regulation and boundary-free. It is a process steeped in femininity and labor, which attempts to reach the ultimate goal of purity and peace, not settling for anything less than the glorious artistic multi-dimensional adventure. Bianca Severijns is and Dutch-Israeli self-taught paper artist that 5 years ago established her “Peace of Paper” studio in the Tel Aviv area. Severijns creates her artworks through a conscientious exploration of paper. Her self-developed techniques to manipulate paper is based on layering, merging and weaving rough hand-torn pieces. This year, 2017, Severijns participated in her first group exhibition of 27 Israeli artists theme: “Innovation”, at the Trade Center offices of Electra. She graduated the University of Amsterdam social studies, the Netherlands in 1991. She explains her avid affection for paper: “Paper is as vulnerable, fragile and humble as a material, as it is strong, decisive and powerful! For me, paper is a material that can be freely worked, with an unlimited amount of possibilities and challenges”.


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Image courtesy Sigal Kolton

When, how and why started your art practice? Piet Mondriaan and Jan Schoonhoven were among the first artists I was exposed to while growing up in Holland. Their works moved me - the minimalism, non-complexity and simplicity were values I wanted to live by. I admired the modernity and abstractness of Mondriaan’s Neo-Plastic paintings. Still in my art today, you can find traces of them.

Before I immigrated to Israel in 2007, I had my own design studio together with my life-partner. We designed children concepts for both international and Dutch brands. Our daily existence was surrounded by creativity and creative people. In Israel, the design business was different and difficult. We were forced to make new choices and while my partner went back to his former profession, I began my first experiments with paper. What a life changing surprise it was! Paper turned out to be a perfect me-

dium for my contemporary art - a wonderfully versatile material with which I could develop my own various techniques. Art for me began as a study of the cycles of nature and progressed to social and humanistic themes. My artworks maintain a pure and hand-made feel that tell stories which carry imperfections symbolic of life itself. My early works were monochromatic, mostly white. In the “Earth Skin Series”, my artworks focus on paper texture and


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from time to time a gallery. My studio is located close to Tel Aviv, which as a vibrant city, has a dynamic art scene. The Contemporary Art Museum, Eretz Israel Museum and the Holon Design Museum are among my favorites. The South of Tel Aviv developed itself as a growing center of contemporary Israeli art in the recent years. Renowned Galleries like Gordon, Rosenfeld and Raw Art moved from the city center to the South of Tel Aviv boosting and regenerating new energy into these older areas. Recently on show (and creating ooh’s and aah’s) is the exhibition “All or Nothing” by Ron Arad - the Israeli London-based architect, artist, writer, and visionary. This is his first exhibition in a gallery.

Image courtesy Sigal Kolton

abstract compositions that are inspired by nature. I was especially intrigued by the cycle point at which there is total bareness, vulnerability, decay and disintegration. I captured these temporalities by photographing nature, mostly in a contrasting urban setting, and I used the images as a source of inspiration. In my recent works I seek to explore the theme of displacement and how the stages of nature intertwine with human conditions such as being uprooted, nesting and revival. In the “Uprooted Series” I depict basic elements of tension, separation and isolation that express our fragility and vulnerability when uprooted. I feel a strong correlation between my work process and chosen theme: hand-tearing technique functions as a metaphor of being torn away from all ties and belongings. The color used is often monochromatic – free of any symbol, association or values, much the same as the uprooted feeling of no longer belonging to one’s native cultural and emotional soil. Simultaneously, I have been working on a “Nesting Series”, the logical continuation of rebuilding ones “nest” (home) after being displaced. An abandoned bird nest inspired me to give life to paper nests woven into paper tapestry murals. Within the “Nesting Series” I also created paper nesting vessels, that explore the 3D effect and push the limits of paper. The paper head vessels I created in the “Sisters Series” can be read as a quest for a deeper and more profound exploration of the uprooted identity theme. I have used the faces of my three daughters as canvases for these paper head vessels.

What is the most challenging part of being an artist? Well, there are these romantic notions about artists, that they are free, eccentric, passionate, visionaries. But the though reality is that being an artist comes down to managing a small business. You need to be knowledgeable in various skills that go beyond creating art –developing promotional strategy, managing finances, packaging and transporting etc. These for me are the most challenging (but necessary) components of being an artist. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I love art, it evokes emotions, new insights and forces me to think or rethink my being and the reality I live in. My biggest dislike and critique about the art world is that it is still elite, mostly white and exclusionary! As an autodidact female paper artist, I find it difficult to get accepted in the elite art scene. But times are changing and last year’s Sotheby’s prize winner during the Fresh Paint event here in Israel (platform for emerging artists) was given to an Ethiopian female artist, Nirit Takale. That pleased me tremendously! Another example is African-American contemporary artist Mark Bradford who was the highlight of the last Venice Biennale 2017. So, I do believe we are heading in the right direction! How would you describe the art scene in your area? To fuel myself with new inspiration I often visit museums, exhibitions and

The museums in Israel present local as well as internationally famous artists such as Ai Weiwei, Louise Bourgeoise, Michel Borremans, Jaime Hayon just to name a few. So, art-lovers don’t necessarily have to fly out of the country. The Tel Aviv Contemporary Art Museum has recently appointed Doron Rabina as Chief Curator of the museum. I have high hopes that he will drive the museum strategy in a different direction. It is not only a place for collecting and preserving but also a platform for social and cultural interaction and creative activities rather than being a storage house of art. Tel Aviv’s vibrant art scene of course doesn’t only take place in museums and galleries. There is the annual “Fresh Paint” event providing a platform for emerging young artists. There are the open studio days, in which Tel-Avian artists open their ateliers and studios for the public. And art schools like Shenkar and Thelma Yellin share graduate student projects with the public. So, yeah, there is a lot going on! What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? “Keep on doing, what you are doing!” I guess that is exactly what I do! What are your future plans as an artist? I am tremendously pleased to announce that I have been selected by the GAA foundation to participate in the Venice Biennale 2019! So, I will be working on a social/humanistic project for the coming year and see what will happen from here. I welcome you all to visit my website: www.biancaseverijns.com Great thanks to Art Reveal for this interview!


biancaseverijns.com

Image courtesy Sigal Kolton


Maja Spasova London, UK / Berlin, Germany

My work shows both elements of installation, performance – episodically reconstructed events in a milieu which is often city, and the character of more or less integrated forms found in the urban landscape. The point of departure is an idea where the message has both poetic and existential character. Aesthetically I am at home in the conceptual traditions of art and I always address a larger part of the beholder than merely the cognitive and reflecting aspect. I contemplate the fundamental conditions of life in my art. Sound is an essential aspect of my work, but not the only one, because I use many different matters. I do not produce esthetic objects. My art is more a way of producing relations and processes even in the cases when the final result is an object or an installation or a book etc. My works are always in relation to a certain room, physical or mental, and to those who take part in it by looking, moving around, listening, feeling, speaking. I have located many of my projects in urban public places; my expressed desire is to reach people who are not part of the professional art system while also being connected with a more fundamental desire to eradicate the differences between art and life. In the numerous art works for public space, as well in installations and performances for the white cube, I put a lot of careful work in which I assume the double role of initiator and project leader. The advanced technological elements that I often use mean that the works develop in dialogue with technical expertise in accordance with accepted scientific methods, but together with interaction by audience, public, nature etc. – the unpredictable chance. My recent work explores the ambiguity of language, the dynamic between polarities in meaning and searches for alternative ways of expressing meaning. How much do we understand each other, when communication is loaded with continuous misreading, misunderstandings and misinterpretations? At the moment I work with projects related to big cities’ multicultural environment and to the coexistence and conflicts of different social, ethnic and religious groups. The theme of these new works is GLOBUS HYSTERICUS/HISTORICUS and my aim is to explore several phenomena, some of them being the character of anxiety and paranoia in the society today. Maja Spasova has been presented at international exhibitions and festivals such as Venice Biennial, ARTEC Nagoya, Dak’art Senegal etc. She has more than 100 solo shows at art museums and galleries in Europe and overseas. The artist has realized numerous art projects in urban public space and is represented in public and private collections all over the world.

RUBY, 2015 Photo: John Nelander Courtesy: Vandalorum Art Museum, Sweden Site-specific sound and light installation, Vandalorum, Sweden. PVC inflatable, cotton ropes, Dolby sound system, sound composition 30 min played in loop. Diameter 6 m, height 8.5 m.


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Briefly describe the work you do. My fascination is the public space, from the ancient concept of Agora to the present realm of social media, the collective social space where our paths meet, a place dense with memories, emotions, questions, dialogue, conflicts. My works are always in relation to a certain room, physical or mental, and to those who take part in it. I’ve realized numerous art projects for the public space: filling the fountain at Plaza Callao in Madrid with bread dough; spreading Last Judgments from a helicopter above Stockholm; installing giant lifebuoys on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. The ideas arrive from an unknown place as revelations, as grace. They appear with an immediacy and power, which defies any resistance. The only possibility then is to accept and welcome them and to begin the process of their materialization. So to me art is a means of transportation, an endless journey between worlds. I work with many different matters. I contemplate the fundamental conditions of life in my art. The idea, the content always has a leading role, it defines the formal issues. I’d like to stay free and unattached to materials, to preserve the ability to explore and employ any possible medium or techniques, from drawing in the sand to using high tech. Often my work invites participation by the audience and involves the unpredictable chance. Sound, fire, light, water, birds, wind, human voices, secrets, dreams, names, laughter, lonely heart ads, longing. Also the Bible and the Swedish statute book took part in a performance at the Royal Art Academy in Stockholm once - the two books were transformed into raw material for a new Bible and a Statue book of the future. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? In the beginning was my family - my parents and maternal grandparents with all encouragement and support they gave, especially my father: Follow your dreams, work with dedication and discipline! And my children, always a source of great inspiration, teaching me love, courage and strength - crucial elements in both life and art.

BINDU, 2014; Photo: JUJU; Urban performance, Durbar Square in Kathmandu, Nepal. White chalk, 3 kg hot chilli powder, diameter 3 m, duration 3,5 h.

Bernie Kirshenbaum, professor at Royal University of Fine Art in Stockholm - under his guidance I entered a new universe, he has a lasting influence on my art practice. Leaving my country of origin and the experiences I made as a refugee caused a dramatic change in me and certainly had an important role in my artistic development. My art practise is influenced also by: - Literature, especially poetry: Hafez; T.S. Eliot, Josef Brodsky, Tomas Tranströmer, Wislawa Szymborska. And fairy tales: the best those written by Andersen and Grimm. - The teachings of: Buddhism, The New Testament, Tibetan Yoga, Sufi. - Actually I’d read anything: newspapers, encyclopaedias, scientific reports, catalogues, recipes, commercial ads,

graffiti. The written word is a magician. - Music: most of all the unique Bulgarian folk music and the yoik of the Sami people of Scandinavia. - Travelling, vagabonding, meeting many different people and listening to their stories, night dreams, daydreaming and other simple idle pleasures, busy urban places, but also the vast nature without human presence, bird songs, the song of grasses, mountains and seas, winds and rivers, fog and clouds, the stars. So all becomes one: art - expression of life and life - expression of art. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I frequently travel between London and Berlin and work in several countries. I’d


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say that my area is Europe and not a specific country or a city, but it’s a difficult task to give a statement about the art scene of a whole continent... Anyhow a collective picture, an European art scene, doesn’t exist - art world is preoccupied with categories based on nationality. A global European village hasn’t been established, not yet. And still I’d say: I’m European! I stay outside the commercial system of art galleries, my work is financed by public funding, commissions and other means. To deal with institutions is to face a slow and often conservative bureaucracy and a lot of limitations to overcome, but this way becomes part of the creative process itself. Public funding is a powerful actor in forming the art scene. Berlin as an example: the subsidized studio rents have created one of the most vibrant and exciting artist community on the continent.

or Contemporary art of the West were non-existent. My earliest admiration was for the generations of anonymous artists who had created the tradition of Bulgarian Orthodox icon. Then in a competition for children chalk drawing in Sofia, at the age of 7 I won a prize - The Dresden Gallery, Old Masters by Michael W. Alpatow. This book was my first contact with Classic art. I’d spend hours and hours contemplating the reproductions: Giorgione, Titian, Rembrandt became my favourite. Years later I’d finally stand in front of the originals, overwhelmed by excitement and awe. In 1984 I could visit Prado for the very first time: Goya’s Black paintings moved me to tears, my whole existence shock. Later I fell in love with the work of Zurbaran And others followed: Pierre Bon-

nard (the greatest colourist on earth!), Giacometti, Max Ernst. Museums, galleries, books - everything was suddenly open for me! The admired artists became more and more - Joseph Beuys, Robert Smithson, Boetti, Hans Haacke, Anselm Kiefer, Walter de Maria, Christo. But most of all artists I do praise my sisters in arts: Hilma af Klint, Rebecca Horn, Louise Bourgeois, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Kiki Smith, Mona Hatoum. What are your future plans? To work, and work, and work. To stay open - waiting for the miracles. To continue to Ask questions. First thing in the morning: What shall I come up with today? To always cherish the great adventure : art = life = art.

What do you like/dislike about the art world? What does art mean in contemporary culture? Art is quite marginalized in contemporary culture. The art world is rarely allowed to enter public or critical discussions, though it’s an essential element of social and political changes - art, whatever it may look like, is always political. Instead of being considered as the source of vital ideas nowadays art is diminished to objecthood and the artist has become entrapped in the mechanics of art business - a small, sick and tired system hung on a larger, equally sick and tired system. A new society based on creativity, not greed; fusing art and politics was the objective of Joseph Beuys: Man, you have the strength for self-determination. I meet more and more artists who refuse to be enslaved by the present society and its mechanisms of control and repression. Artists take the initiative in their own hands. I believe that the real issue for us - as artists - is to destroy the ethic of the system which exploits us and to create models for possible futures. Name three artists you admire. It’d be a big injustice to name only three artists as I love many! I grew up in Bulgaria behind the iron curtain, without access to the European museums, separated from the rest of the world as even publications about Modern

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IN THE BLUE, 2001; Photo: Maja Spasova; Series of 10 objects, ceramic, blue glaze. Edition of 10. Produced at EKWC with support from EKWC, Netherland and IASPIS, Sweden.


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THE DIAMOND OF SANCY, 2009 Photo: Maja Spasova Site-specific sound installation on the top of volcano Tartaret, France. Synthetic mirror, metal, wood, solar cells, sound equipment, sound composition 20 min played in loop. Diameter 4 m, height 3 m. The solar cells provide electricity for the sound equipment, sound composition based on the surrounding. The surface mirrors the landscape and reacts to the slightest changes of light.


Fiona Stanbury Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

When I was three I went to live in Lagos for a year and this influenced how I feel and see colour and its place in my work. Further influences are my 14 years living in Cyprus and my love of Chinese ink painting. My three trips to China affirmed my need to explore brush strokes and calligraphy, and I work between rice paper using ink and canvas using oil and acrylic. I often work in series and will work from ink paintings onto canvas, taking clues from the marks made by ink with calligraphy brushes into imagery that then evolves as a separate entity on canvases. My paintings often explore the line between figuration and abstraction and take the form of personal landscape poems. I like to find the image rather than forcing an idea onto the painting and I like to be surprised. I am currently exploring both colour and calligraphy on both a small and large scale. I have exhibited extensively: Cyprus, Greece, Malaysia, Belarus, China, Latvia and the UK (London and nationally). I represented the UK at the 2015 Beijing International Art Biennale (as one of three artists from the UK, in a 98 country exhibition), and again in 2017 (as one of three artists from the UK, in a 95 country exhibition). Both times I received a personal invitation to attend the exhibition. |I was invited in 2016 to do a month’s painting Fellowship at Mutianyu (by the Great Wall of China) by the Schoolhouse Residency, and made a solo exhibition at the end of the residency. My current work reflects these three trips to China. In 2012 I was one of 15 international artists invited to do a Mark Rothko residency at the new Mark Rothko centre in Daugavpils, Latvia, and my completed paintings are now part of the collection at the Mark Rothko Centre along with original Rothko paintings. In 2017 I have exhibited in Malaysia, China and taken part in exhibitions in London, Tunbridge Wells, Crawley and Kings Hill, Kent.


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When, how and why did you start your art practice? I have painted since I was three and lived in Lagos, Nigeria. Though we were only there for a year, the bright colours and intense light stayed firmly imprinted on my memory and were pivotal to my early artistic vision. Since that time painting has been an exciting journey and has extended my feelings about the world around me. When I was 11 I began copying Chinese ink paintings from library books, delighting in the way that a few simple brushstrokes could suggest a landscape or animal. This was the beginning of my love of materials and realising the magic inherent in the painted mark. Every time I begin a painting, paint-magic calls to me and a few lines or brush strokes take me into a new territory. I was also deeply influenced by living in Cyprus from 1984 to 1999. I used to paint Nicosia from rooftops, making paintings that focused on patterns and vivid colours. Seeing art from all over the Middle East changed many of my perceptions about colour and composition, and there were many international exhibitions in Nicosia. The art scene was and is very lively. I had the chance to travel to Latvia as part of a Mark Rothko international painting residency, and to China, and absorbed different cultural influences. I was invited to China in 2015 and 2017 to participate in the 6th and 7th Beijing International Art Biennale (which showed artwork from over 100 countries), and in 2016 I was invited to do an art Fellowship by the Great Wall of China. These trips have been hugely important to my developing ideas, and cross-pollinated new ideas with elements from past work. I studied original Chinese ink paintings in Beijing galleries and brought back rice paper and calligraphy brushes to explore working with ink. There is a terrific freedom in working with calligraphy brushes and ink on rice paper on the floor, when you can turn the paper around and respond to unexpected forms and the liquid qualities of ink. This experimentation resulted in many large ink paintings on rice paper which led to paintings on large pieces of canvas pinned to the wall using ink, acrylic and collage. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? I find interruptions of any kind challenging to the rhythm of my practice and I organise my studio time quite carefully. When I am working I like to be intensely engaged in the clues the medium is suggesting because much of my work is intuitive. I often start with ink and rice paper on the floor and take some of the spontaneous liquid forms and brush strokes onto canvases to explore their potentiality. Working in series is important to me because it enables me to keep a working rhythm and to evaluate and extend imagery. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I think that the ‘art world’ tends to be very biased due to marketing needs and the promotion of certain artists, and it can be very closed to new artists. At the same time there now seems to be, through the proliferation of social media platforms, many more chances for new artists to be seen and to network directly with galleries. I tend not to think about the art world generally, as it is so large, though I follow contemporary art and read reviews with interest. I dislike much art criticism I read because it tends to fix narrow

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parameters on art. At times there seems to be a bias towards either figuration or abstraction but I feel that there is not an issue whether art is figurative or abstract – neither is better than the other – and I am happy for my own work to take aspects from both. I used to write art reviews for the ‘Cyprus Weekly’ and dislike art being categorised. How would you describe the art scene in your area? A few years ago I helped to manage a gallery in an empty shop in the shopping mall along with a group of local artists. We ran this successfully for two years, and I enjoyed meeting many wonderful artists with varied practices and approaches. I eventually stopped being part of the gallery to have more time to make work for exhibitions wider afield and internationally. Recently I have become a bit more isolated as possibly the more experimental paintings do not suit my locality well as there is a bias towards figuration. Sometimes artists need a period of isolation in order to assimilate a new direction. I have a very wide network locally, nationally and internationally on social media and discuss work frequently across several social media sites. I like to be involved in national and international art scenes as well as following local art scenes. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? A major influence on my work came when I was living in Cyprus and painted with my artist friend and mentor the late Glyn Hughes. Watching him paint taught me so much. He worked with such a freedom and had many approaches thematically and compositionally in his large, colourful paintings which helped me gain the confidence to trust my own ideas and to take more risks. We often talked about our work and worked together on workshops, and the most important thing he ever said to me was: ‘Paint what you want to see. I only do what I want in my painting, it is for me. It has to fit my rules which are that there are no rules.’ What are your future plans as an artist? I want to work on much larger sheets of paper and rice paper to explore further the paint elements that are interesting me and to simultaneously develop them on to large canvases. Colour and brush strokes take on a whole new meaning on very large canvases. In the next few weeks I will be setting up a new studio in order to start some larger paintings . While my work incorporates both abstraction and figuration, some of the landscapes veer towards abstraction because I like the idea of visual poems. I am becoming more and more interested in the contrasts between liquid paint, calligraphy and large marks and areas of colour. At the same time, figures sometimes filter in to some of the paintings, especially when working to a brief, and then those elements will filter back in to the abstraction and inform it in a new way. This approach will continue to be part of my future plans, as far as you can plan because as artists we also allow the unexpected! The main thing is to be open to the potential for new directions. I will also continue to write about my thoughts on painting in my artist’s blog because it helps me to evaluate past and present ideas. I plan to continue submitting work for both national and international exhibitions.


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Stavroula

Spyrou

London, UK Stavroula Spyrou is a Costume Designer, Fashion Designer, Illustrator and Digital designer based in London. She studied digital design and later graduated from the Athenian Artistic and Technological Group - AKTO in collaboration with Middlesex University London in Athens with the adeptness of Fashion Designer and Costume Designer at 2004. She has created theatrical costumes in collaboration with directors, scenographers and costume designers for Performances in theaters and Concert Hall in Athens, such as “Crime and Punishment”, “The Diary of a Scoundrel”, “Atreides”. Stavroula has worked in well-known branded apparel companies such as BSB fashion as Fashion Designer since 2005. She has experience teaching Fashion Drawing, Costume History, Digital Design, Textile Design in higher education. She has participated in group exhibitions, in galleries and cultural centers such as the 2014 “Body & Politics” displayed at Embros Theater in Athens. Her artwork is in private collections. FORMOLI With the title FORMOLI I would like to show the importance of our history, roots and local tradition which is present and preserves the mind and the soul. The clothes, which are sometimes used to dressing people and in some other cases are not, are creations which come from pictures and studies based on Greek rural life, roots and history. Animal skins, fleece, materials whose source of inspiration is the mythology such as the depictions of the traditional bell carriers. Black, woolen, rough fabrics. The myth and the fairytale through everyday reality. Embroideries and symbols. Influences from the mainland peoples and their rich woven and knitted textiles. While studying both life in the countryside and the theatrical prose, I realized that all these characteristics coexist. The felt, the cotton shirt, the wool, and the linen material become alive when I observe photographer’s Nelly shepherd, the fustanella and the modest bridal clothes, the bond which connects the past with the present and becomes our future generations legacy. Our roots are in all these items and become alive, having a constant presence.


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When, how and why started your art practice? Growing up in an artistic milieu, having artistic stimuli, I discovered painting and then attended lessons, studied and evolved in a digital way. Along with studies of costume design and fashion design, the garment became visual - installation. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? Expression of emotions and ideas, new techniques and discovery of myself. What do you like/dislike about the art world? Art should be true. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Every art form through detail indicates the majesty of the culture of Greece, from antiquity to the present day in architecture, clothing, woven, poetry, theater, art, jewelry. Greece, source of inspiration. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? To be myself. What are your future plans as an artist? The next section of my artworks is installation and concerns the human character. The empty character. The religion.


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Profile for Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine no. 39  

Verity Adriana, Myrto Amorgianou, JMC Anderson, Aliette Bretel, Lorraine Cleary, Aleksandra Dabrowska, Marcelle - Mad Mudslinger, Lisa Kugl...

Art Reveal Magazine no. 39  

Verity Adriana, Myrto Amorgianou, JMC Anderson, Aliette Bretel, Lorraine Cleary, Aleksandra Dabrowska, Marcelle - Mad Mudslinger, Lisa Kugl...

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