Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the end of the year. 2017 has been marked by a multitude of events. Acts of compassion, violence, intolerance and freedom all made an appearance but if there is one thing we have learned is that the values we hold deep as humans are being chipped away. Of course, there have been protests and uprising but this is something we each need to work on. As artists it is our responsibility to push the boundaries, voice the restrained message, celebrate freedom, love and equality. The artists we have worked with on this penultimate issue of CreativPaper all share these values. From Imogen Reid to Jason Clarke, Lee Mohr and Laurene Krasny Brown, through their work and struggles they are making a statement and a stand. Not just got themselves but for all of us. We hope you enjoy reading this issue and will take the time out to follow the artists featured. As always your support means the world to us. Thank you! Jimmy Outhwaite and Jefferson Pires
Healthy forests help absorb greenhouse gasses and carbon emissions that are casued by human civilization and contribute to global climate change. Without trees, more carbon and greenhouse gasses enter the atmosphere. To make matters worse, trees actually become carbon sources when they are cut, burned, or otherwise removed.
08 JAMES PORSCHEN 14 ARTIST TO WATCH - JORG KARG 18 JEROME CHIA-HORNG LIN 26 AURORE OUNJIAN 32 IMOGEN REID 40 DENIS LIANG 50 ROBERT STONE 60 BEATE TUBACH 62 CHANTAL HEDIGER 68 SCHALK VAN DER MERWE 72 JASON CLARKE 76 GINA BROWN 78 DEANE BOWERS
80 DANIEL HERMES 92 JOSIANE DIAS 98 LAURENE KRASNY BROWN 106 MATTHEW WILCOCKS 118 MANSS AVAL 120 WEI TAN 124 KRASI DIMTCH 132 SHO TSUNODA 138 ANDREW SUSICH 142 JO KALINOWSKI 148 LEE MOHR 152 SIMON KIRK 156 KAYLEE DALTON 160 NATALIA PLATONOVA JR
/JAMES PORSCHEN James Porschen’s (b.1983, Santa Monica) work abstracts reality, transcending the literal and focusing on the underlying essence of nature, letting it’s sublime reflection emerge. The psychedelic colors are created by single celled organisms known as halo-bacteria. Using references from Color-field theory Porschen’s large scale images attempt to convey a sense of reverence for the natural world to establish a reconciliation to the divisive milieu currently seen in contemporary culture. In order to establish a common link in which past, present and future are blurred the landscapes remain void of notions that deal directly with time and space. A visual interference and a breakdown of context is intentional. Having a disorienting effect at times, the perspective of the print is transformed by removing references to scale and origin. With the loss of narrative associations, these images may then serve as vessels for contemplation. Porschen’s influences range from the spiritual connection found in works by Mark Rothko, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Zen art, to the emotive power of abstract expressionists, as well as universal symbols seen in Jungian Archetypes. www.jamesporschen.com
ARTIST TO WATCH JORG KARG www.jorgkarg.com
/JEROME CHIA-HORNG LIN Taiwan based artist Jerome Chia-Horng Lin is no stranger to CreativPaper. Earlier this year we interviewed him where he talked about his body of creative work that revolves around water. Since then he has incorporated animations in his work that has resulted in him winning the 4th “It’s Liquid International Contest.” We are excited to talk to Jerome about the implications of this win, how the internet has made the world a smaller, more connected place and his upcoming exhibitions in London and Taiwan. We believe congratulations are in order with regards to you winning the 4th “It’s Liquid International Contest” in June earlier this year, Could you tell us a bit about the whole experience? I started to produce several animations for Art Taipei early in 2012. Art Taipei 2013 is the first exhibition for them. Because animation is so tedious to make, I desperately want to show them as much as I can. Thanks to the internet nowadays, I soon realised there are a huge amount of emerging film festivals
all over the world. It’s entirely a new age for independent filmmakers. I started to submit these animations everywhere at 2014. They end up getting into nearly twenty film festivals and won some awards. It’s Liquid International Contest is organised by It’s Liquid Group in Venice, Italy. In this contest, there are ten categories, my animation “The journey of water within roses” won the winner award of video art category.
Above: The World of Lobster
Above: The Horse is in Need for Two Eggs
This award also grants me some opportunities to exhibit somewhere else, too. My effort finally paid off. It also encourages me to produce more video art/ animation in the future. Artists need these intangible rewards sometimes because the financial return is so unreliable, unpredictable and usually very late. What have you been working on since we last spoke earlier this year? I continue to experiment with techniques to create water-related 20
images. I have a very productive summer as I did all the time. I also submit applications and enter competitions regularly. Luckily I won the award as I mentioned earlier. Also, I got into two art fairs for next year. I am happy that I accomplish a lot during the past few months. Some of your recent pieces incorporate eggs in them, could you tell us a bit more about that? â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Horse is in Need for Two Eggsâ&#x20AC;? is the first painting to incorporates the egg image within.
The yolk symbolises the resources and support for the running horse. The concept originates from my life experience and a general observation that everyone seems to feel insufficient regularly.
with romantic atmosphere. In this painting “A simple wish of an egg”, an egg is the beginning of a new life. As an egg, it definitely wants to grow up as a flying bird soaring freely. It seems to be a simple wish for it. Unfortunately, many We have the desire to thrive and predators simply devour eggs for prosper in many aspects. The their own good. We eat a lot of eggs reality holds us back to some daily, too. I plan to tap into this extent. Many views respond to that topic deeper. painting with abundant comments. I was encouraged to develop the What inspires you? concept further. There are many sources to inspire me including Nature, the stimulus I realised that the yolk resembles and the conversation with others the sun, the moon and other and myself, plus the dialogue with golden objects. It’s also the life my artworks. The stimulus is from beginning period of a bird, a my life experience and the struggle symbolic process in reproductive I am dealing with. The feedback mechanism. In other words, it from viewers also leads me into contains some sexual metaphor if new direction, too. I recently found we define it that way. “Chasing the a new way to develop my art is to ball under the moon” as an look at my past artworks, further example, it appears to be water extending my old idea into drops in several human figures something else. chasing the yolk as if they are playing soccer. It could be a minor modification or a brand new appeal. Originality in The first impression is they are art creation is an extremely difficult fighting for the nutrition and task for virtually everyone. As an resources. You may also perceive artist, I am also inevitably them as sperms competing with influenced by other artists. I think each other to get into the egg under it’s also why there is always some the moon light. trend in any era. Then it means a sexual intercourse 21
Above: If I Were a Lion
Above: The Dancing Flowers
That means I can’t study someone else’s works too often. It may sound narcissus, but I found it useful and helpful to explore my works in different perspectives. Of course, at the end of discussion, I could always turn my eyes towards to Nature when I feel less creative.
advised to repeat more works using the same concept. I learn many predecessors adapted the same approach. I will execute them after the shows.
The whole thing is a slow process since I was little. I always wanted to be an artist. I went through a lot of learning obstacles and circumstantial barriers all the time. Art itself is a wonderful experience except for the reality issue. It’s common for most artists.
I was lucky to go through the jury process and got selected. There are more than eleven thousand applicants this year, and 70 artists got selected globally. Each selected artist will have a room to his/her own to showcase his/her works. I am very excited to have this opportunity.
Are you looking forward to exhibiting at Artroom Fairs in London earlier next year? How did art land up becoming Definitely, I do. Artrooms 2018 fair your main profession? takes places at Melià White House, So far I wouldn’t say art is my main London from Jan. 20 to 22. It’s the profession yet because I still hold a first and only one art fair for teaching job as my source of independent artists to apply for income. But I dedicate my mind free of charge. This is the 4th and energy to art making for sure. Edition of it.
Where has your work headed more recently? At this very moment, I am busy with the preparation of these two art fairs in both London and Taipei. Previously I was working on the egg-related paintings. I plan to come out more images using the same concept. I usually had one concept in one painting. I was
But life is always full of surprises. Just very recently, I was invited to participate in a new art fair in Taipei city. It’s called Fun International Art fair in Taipei city. Originally I didn’t plan to apply. But they offer me a great deal too tempting to reject. 24
It will be in Hall 3, World Trade centre, Taipei city from Jan.19 to 22. 2018.
be an independent artist with no contract with any British gallery. Artrooms fair serves not only as an art fair but also a bridge to connect Therefore I will have two solo with potential dealers for artists. shows in two cities at the same Since the competition is so fierce time. It’s also a record for me. I will that somehow ensures galleries attend Artrooms Fair in person. have good candidates to choose from. I expect to meet both good What can we expect from you at galleries and collectors to promote the exhibition? my work further. I will showcase the most recent artworks I did this year. I haven’t In some degree, artists are like shown the majority of them before. self-employed business owners. I participated in Art 15 London The difference is the art market two years ago. This will be the seems to be vague and mysterious second time for me to exhibit in for us. Therefore the agent plays an London. I am pretty new for the essential role. I worked with a viewers in London anyway. gallery before. Now I am on my own. The majority of time I am Currently, I am still working on the preoccupied with creative thinking floor plan right now. Nowadays, without the commercial concern. the internet is a convenient platform to take a sneak peek at the Over time, the reality bits me to works of other artists. Readers can remind me it’s essential to juggle easily take a look at my art from with both factors. The art creation my website, too. I always enjoy always remains as the core of my more of the viewing experience on goal. If a prospect agent or site. It’s always better to be there to dealer approaches me in a see in person. I guess this principle harmonic rhythm, I would love to will apply to most people. cooperate with him/her. If not, I will proceed with my tempo to What are your goals for the create and try to exhibit more. coming year? One requirement for artists who www.jeromelin.net apply for Artrooms 2018 fair is to 25
ALWAYS SEARCHING PHOTO STORY BY AURORE OUNJIAN
When she’s not stuck in the van during long drives on a rock n’ roll tour, Aurore Ounjian is trying to get lost in each city, searching for her next photograph. If it was once colorful but now sun-bleached, aged but not quite an antique, or if it’s just a little bit of ugly, Ounjian finds beauty in the bleak and captures it in her photographs, hoping to show others that there is magic in the mundane -- including laundry day and that empty fast food joint at 3 A.M. www.no-allowance.com
/IMOGEN REID Being an artist comes with its own set of obstacles, long hours in the studio, meagre to no financial returns, rising costs of supplies. The list goes on. Yet, as creatives we push forward, reminding ourselves of the reason why we picked our defiant paths, to go against the grain, to express and inspire. Artist Imogen Reid spent some time with us talking about the unique challenges she faces as a creative, the importance of reflection, isolation and drawing a roadmap of where she is headed. We all need time to reflect as cognitive beings, even more as artists. How valuable is reflection as a tool to you as an artist? Very. Every so often I fall out of love with the studio and lose my sense of purpose as an artist. I need to look where I am going and check the map once in a while, or I will get lost pushing the paint around.
inspires new work, but often it can make me doubt my validity as an artist – full stop. At that point, it’s helpful to pick up some of my notebooks and revisit the half-glimpsed projects, inspirations and self-criticisms they hold. When I can still identify honestly with the scrawl, and recognise the intent behind my practice, there’s relief.
I’m trying to share a hopeful perspective of Nature and Man’s place in it, but I am really affected by world events, and with my background in politics it is hard to be optimistic in the current climate. The anger and frustration at the many injustices sometimes
In spite of everything around you visibly falling apart, you can track what inspires you, and what gives meaning to your work. When those trails go cold, you can still pick up the one that says ‘improvement needed’ and work on what you can change. 32
To create without reflecting on your work reduces it to an excretion, and, as my father often said, “Anything worth doing is worth doing properly”. We owe it to ourselves.
and I have a touch of arthritis in my spine. Laudanum might have worked for Turner, but modern opiates aren’t such an inspiration, they just sap your motivation and visual judgement.
Looking back at this year, is there a moment that you have been particularly proud of? It’s been enough just holding my nerve! It’s been a stressful year, not least with the insanity of Brexit the triumph of the ignorant. I used to say we were a third world country within Europe, which was pulling us kicking and screaming into cultural development. Now watch us slide back into the dark ages…
I’ve had to look at ways of making my practice physically sustainable. Like making lightweight pochades out of cardboard and aluminium. Also, I’m considering simplifying my painting technique, so I can minimise the cartilage wear: at least this aligns with my interest in the Japanese concept of form.
In our earlier interview you talked about you’re “In Search of My Northern Soul” series of paintings, is there a project that has encapsulated your creativity and time since? My work hasn’t gained the momentum I was looking for this year: I missed a whole season of working plein air because of chronic nerve pain. Like a lot of creatives I have been pretty tough on my body, so now my back has developed a few issues (most pressing, discs c3-7 are herniated)
But the real challenge is working without moving my head from side to side. Life drawing was excruciating, so I’ve had to drop that for now. To compensate for its loss, I have been working loosely in the studio with graphite and compressed charcoal on delicious Bockingford paper. I’ve been pleased with some of the results. Hopefully, by next summer I’ll be perfectly aligned again so I can get back to my detailed observational work!
Apart from art, what do you enjoy doing? Gifted with an Ortofon Blue stylus upgrade this birthday, I’m hearing my vinyl with a whole new level of detail these days. I’m also a keen gardener, and this year we built a polytunnel for vegetables. We live in the middle of nowhere, below an ancient moorland, and I love the wild walks I can take with my dog. She’s a beautiful and energetic young spaniel, who runs rings around me. Otherwise, I like to entertain myself with fighting greedy corporations…at the
moment my quarry is the structural monopoly of the UK telecommunications industry. Can isolation be counterproductive in your opinion? Oh definitely. I was used to working in large urban artist studio complexes, which come with their own energy. While there is a self-consciousness about being around other creatives, there is a spark of professional competition that can drive the quality and momentum of your work. 36
Being part of a community like that can be very supportive. Open studios invite organic dialogue and bring the opportunity for group shows, collaborative projects, as well as perhaps shared access to production facilities.
Original Art Works. It’s certainly one way of avoiding the polemic. In terms of painting themes.. at the moment, I do have a bit of a fixation on the ‘fallen’, which I’m toying with as a motif. ‘The Goldfinch Revisited (2017)’ takes Carel Fabritius’ masterpiece as an inspiration: I saw the original last winter in Edinburgh. There could be a series in there somewhere…
Losing touch with your peers and supporters just reinforces your sense of detachment, and you begin to question your judgement. You become overly self-critical. Finding a mentor can really help there.
What are you reading right now? I’ve just finished Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, but I shouldn’t talk about that.
But overall, I find the space to think and work without intrusion is best described by the poet Andrew Marvell: “Society is all but rude to this delicious solitude.” Are there aspects of your work or personality that you would like to focus on in the year ahead? Confidence.. It’s my Achilles Heel. I will also be looking to channel my environmental and social interests more positively, which will help my focus. I do donate works to charity auctions, but just as Kurt Jackson uses his practice to support causes he is passionate about, I’d like that ethos cemented firmly into IKReid
Tell us a bit more about your workspace? I built the studio with my husband two winters ago over a few free weekends. It is set into his large self-build larch-timbered barn. Made of wood but insulated on all six sides it stays pretty warm once the wood-burner, a nice vintage French number, is lit. My husband had already put in solar and a battery pack for the barn, but we upped the power capacity with a 0.5kw wind turbine.
It’s not a huge space, maybe 130 feet square, but it has all the features on my wish list. I designed it after visiting Rembrandt’s House in Amsterdam and noting the layout of his understudies’ spaces which had a seat under the window for drawing at, while their painting easels faced into the room. I have a 1970s Japanese dentist’s chair, a prize thrift-store find at £5, set up in front of a floating drawing easel under the north facing window. I would love to have made that even bigger, but
we couldn’t find a larger double glazed unit that would fit the wall, at least not second-hand. I am pretty proud of the wood floor, which I laid by myself. What will Imogen be doing this holiday season? Hopefully painting a bit every day, then curling up in front of a wood fire. Fortunately, I can choose not to be on the road! www.imogenreid.co.uk
PHOTO STORY BY DENIS LIANG WORDS BY DENIS LIANG
After graduating I decided to go with some friends on a road trip through Eastern Europe, Albania being the main dish on the menu. For me this was a good opportunity to see what a (mostly unknown) country has to offer: Beautiful landscapes, decadent displays of wealth, humbling poverty and relatable things that would remind me of other places I had been. It’s the state in which Albania finds itself right now that reminded me of my childhood in Portugal and China, a decade ago or so, when I could see the similarities and feel a slower and laid back pace of life. Yet I was unable to capture everything I wanted. To make such a long trip in such a short amount of time meant we had to constantly move from one point to another. These conditions limited my creative flexibility but at the same time forced me to learn to make the most of what’s given to me. What I want to show in these series isn’t a portrait of Albania, there’s nothing political about it either. It is an impression of my trip, not only through the country of the double-headed eagle, but a trip to places of my childhood from the backseat of a stinking car. www.cargocollective.com/d3d3d3
/ROBERT STONE Out of all our senses it’s the sense of touch that I find most fascinating, the patina on an old chair, cold metal across a kitchen worktop and the touch of a loved one. These are experiences that would be less visceral without touch. It’s this sense of tactility and texture that San Francisco based artist Robert Stone wants to convey through his work. Created using brushes he made himself they have a geometric crystalline precision that images do not justify. Robert recently had a chat with us where he talked about the art scene in San Francisco, the importance of tactility in his work and what excites his the most about art! I can’t even begin to talk about the incredible textures in your work, how does the process of creating a new piece start? Developing and refining the techniques I use today took a few years. I wanted depth and tactility to be fundamental in these paintings, but didn’t know at the outset exactly how that should be created or what the final execution would look like.
my brushes out of some basic materials. These handmade brushes let me build up thick layers of paint that combine gestural expression with a certain amount of mechanical precision.
I experimented with many types of standard paintbrushes and a variety of tools, but eventually discovered the best result came from crafting
Up close, the detailed linear surfaces provide a different level of complexity and engagement, and the effect of environmental lighting
From a distance, the work has a broader scope of impact, often suggesting abstract landscapes, geological formations, architectural environments, or even technology.
On the angular geometry causes shapes to advance and recede, appear and disappear. So the perception of each painting is greatly impacted by its textures interacting with place, movement, and light.
process could progress much faster if I finalised the underlying compositions in advance, so now I spend a lot of time sketching first-by hand and on a computer -before starting in with paint on the canvas.
My compositional vocabulary was also a process of experimentation over time. The first group of paintings began with loose conceptual sketches, then developed organically through quite a bit of trial and error and dozens of layers of paint.
Could you tell us a bit more about the art scene in San Francisco? San Francisco is a relatively small city but has long been supportive of creative people and creative endeavours.
I quickly learned that my intricate
Having lived here for over 30 years, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clear the arts are deeply ingrained into the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s DNA. 52
However, with the exception of a few wealthy individuals who live here but collect art on a more national or global scale, my observation is that our local art scene can sometimes feel contained and insular. Based on my experience, our art scene seems to follow a few parallel tracks. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a young group of emerging and experimental artists; a more organised community-based track, which includes events like Open Studios tours every year; and then also a number of well-regarded commercial galleries. I believe all
of these tracks will continue to be supported here, but as with many other urban centres with thriving economies, our high rents and ever-increasing cost of living are forcing younger artists to move elsewhere. For example, Oakland, a nearby city just across the Bay, now has a thriving emerging art scene of its own. Our proximity to Silicon Valley -and the amount of wealth itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s created for a small group of people in the technology industry -- has expanded our higher-end art market and commercial gallery scene over the past few years. 53
And the recent expansion of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has also brought renewed interest in modern and contemporary art. Have you thought about experimenting with 3D printing or sculptures with your work? When I started getting serious about making art, my initial pursuits were with sculpture, and I studied and explored a variety of materials to see what interested me most. But I also had a few empty canvasses sitting around and casually experimented with those as well, and for no specific reason I wound up focusing on painting over the past few years. Although my recent work has been two dimensional, it does have a distinct 3D emphasis, so an evolution to more sculptural pieces over time feels inevitable. I have ideas about how that transition is going take shape, and that will likely be my next focus. I’m interested in the opportunities that 3D printing presents, but I often steer clear of processes that require too much technology and external manpower. My greatest
satisfaction comes from being totally hands on, so if I can’t make something myself, then my patience quickly fades, and I instead refocus on methods I can more fully control with traditional techniques and materials. What excites you the most about art right now? What’s most exciting to me is just being a part of the art world. Making art is my second career, so after years of working in another field and thinking about making art, I’m finally doing it. My personal dedication is greater today than if I had started this career at a younger age, plus I think I have a broader perspective about the creative and commercial aspects of artistic institutions. And aside from the joy and fulfilment, I get from producing work, just embarking on a new adventure in my 50s has been incredibly rewarding. You recently showcased your work at the Anglim Gilbert Gallery in San Francisco, how was the response to that? The gallery is owned by Ed Gilbert, who runs the gallery now after the original founder, Paule Anglim,
Passed away in 2015. Paule owned and ran the gallery (originally called Gallery Paule Anglim) for 33 years. She developed a great reputation here in San Francisco and beyond, and helped launch the careers of many well-established artists. I’m extremely grateful to Ed and Paule for including me in their program so early in my career.
Have you always wanted a career in the arts? I’ve always been a creative person, and my earliest memories as a child revolve around making things, drawing things, constructing things. I graduated from Art Center College of Design near Los Angeles, and I’ve always worked in a creative profession.
The response to my work at the gallery has been quite gratifying. My very first exhibit was a solo show there in 2014, and I doubt anything will ever beat the feeling I had during that show’s run. It was terrific seeing the positive response to my work, with people I’d never met feeling a strong enough connection that they’d want to own a piece for themselves.
My first career was as a graphic designer and creative director, but I’ve always loved fine art, collected a few pieces here and there, and for many years tried to envision making an art career for myself.
The show also caught the attention of the head curator at SFMOMA, and the museum ultimately acquired a large triptych from that first show. My second show with Anglim Gilbert was in October 2016 and was held in their new gallery space at Minnesota Street Project here in San Francisco. I’m hopeful there will be many more shows with Ed and his gallery in the future.
I finally took the plunge around 2008, studied again at the San Francisco Art Institute, and have been working in my studio ever since. It sounds like a well-worn cliché, but it has been terrific doing something I absolutely love every day and hope to do the rest of my life. What are your long-term goals as an artist? To keep exploring and making art that excites me and that I’m passionate about.
I like not knowing what I’ll be working on over the next 3, 5, 10, or 20 years, and look forward to reflecting back on how it has evolved. Equally as rewarding for me is when other people are excited about what I’m doing. It’s an interesting feeling of connection with people that I have never met, and might never know anything else about.
from the manipulation of space, light, scale, shape, and colour. The work’s tactile quality is an expression of these principles, with the delicate texture juxtaposed with bold compositional form. The intricate detail invites a deeper exploration of the work, expanding a viewer’s perception beyond an initial response.
Repetition and multiples are also My more immediate and tangible recurring themes for me, and I goal is to find additional exhibition usually create and display work in opportunities around the U.S. and groupings of an identical format. around the globe. It’s a little tricky The relationships within one being based in San Francisco, but painting are amplified and I’m hoping to work with a few extended even further within the more galleries -- in New York, Los context of its neighbours. Angeles, and European cities -- to grow a broader audience for my How does Robert take his coffee? work and continue building a solid Iced, please. Thanks. career that has longevity. www.robertstone.art There’s a very tactile feel in your work, is this a metaphor for something? I’m inspired by art that hits me at a gut level. Art that provokes a visceral reaction based on enigmatic qualities, often having little connection to storyline, narrative, or metaphor. I try to elicit emotional responses with my work, purely
/BEATE TUBACH Digital photo editing has been around for some time now; it certainly makes life a lot easier for photographers, not to mention cost-effective. These tools, however, have another purpose. They give us the resources to go beyond editing and create something new, different. Artist Beate Tubach has positively mastered this with her work. Her layered images have a dreamy aura about them. Captivating the viewer and giving them a different perspective on everyday objects and moments. Or as Beate so eloquently put it “I am currently exploring dissolving realities where the unseen is more important than what we usually perceive as reality.” www.beatetubach.com UPCOMING EXHIBITION: International Group Exhibition at Onishi Project in New York City, 521 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001 Curated by Stefania Carrozzini December 12 – December 23, 2017
/CHANTAL HEDIGER As we rush through our lives at breakneck speed, we never pick up the finer details. Always in a rush to get somewhere or meet a deadline, the nuances of life pass us by. Artist Chantal Hediger wants us to slow down, reconnect with our roots, nature and our innermost feelings. Inspired by flora, fauna and emotions her work has evolved over the last two decades from pure abstraction and figurative to an evolved genre combining the two. We interviewed Chantal where she talks about the different mediums she uses and discovering a little more about herself with each work of art she creates amongst other topics. Is it true that you started off as an abstract painter? How did your work evolve as you moved towards a more figurative aesthetic? Actually, my very first paintings had a more figurative touch; then If it is a painting on canvas, I prefer they evolved very quickly to acrylics, because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s characteristics, abstraction. At that time I was fascinated by colours and forms, match my way of working. also different mediums. When I work on paper â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I love to As an autodidact, I experimented use different mediums, like Charcoal, oil sticks, pencils, china with everything that came to mind or what was necessary to express. markers, acrylics, oil colours etc. Like a child, I followed my instincts and emotions, and I was Out of the different mediums that you use, do you have a favourite and why? My choice of mediums are always changing, depending on the work I am focussing on.
exploring the world of art. But after many years of working in that manner, I got to a point where it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough anymore, and my path took me in 2011 to a more figurative way of working, basically back to the roots. My studies as an art therapist and my mentor showed me another level. Now it was not just emotionally expressed what had to be expressed, in addition to this, themes, subjects and personal interests were now flowing into my work. I wanted to tell stories and get a message out.
drawn to beautiful things, and I am passionate about interacting with people. Where has your work headed more recently? My Work merges mythological themes with our daily lives, emotions, the human being and nature. I like to dig up stories from ancient times and find parallels between then and today.
Would you say you discover a little more about yourself as an artist with each piece you work on? Yes, one can truly say that. I not So today my artistic intention is to only create art with a message but I make or pull out something that also experience more about is at first glance not immediately myself. For instance, art showed recognisable and thus generates me the way to stay focussed and a secret. I am drawn to emotions, concentrate on what is important, nature, roots and trees, archaic and to continue and to be patient with tribal references, daily happenings my work and myself. and mythology. My goal as an artist is to instil awareness for our roots, And to dig deeper and deeper. We our connection with nature and have so many opportunities in life our innermost feelings. that we most of the time are just scratching a bit on the surface. But What other passions do you share it is much more important to dig apart from art? deeper because then one will get to Art is my main passion. But I do the source of things and the true love nature, being out in nature treasure. and looking at nature as the truest artist we have on this planet. I am 64
Previous Page: Hingabe I Above: Entwurzelung I
Above: Geborgenheit III
We believe you lecture in painting and design, could you tell us a bit more about that? As I mentioned before it is also a passion of mine to work with people. It is such a privilege to be able to do so. In one way I accompany students on their creative path and on finding their true exceptional voice in art, not copying but digging deeper. And on the other hand, they accompany me as well, because I always get so much in return.
collecting everything which connects with that feeling, then there is the kiss of the muse whereas the subject is getting clearer and all of a sudden there is the idea to put it on canvas. But one can also go the other way round – For me this process changes all the time, and I don’t think one can separate the two.
What message are you trying to convey to the viewer through your body of work titled “Nature”? Nature is a title on my website to When I see that students evolve separate the portraits and and pursue their path, it fulfils me paperwork. But in all my work tremendously. So it is a give and nature plays a pivotal role. Nature take. When I teach, I don’t teach a is the greatest artist on this planet. method or technique; instead, I try Nature inspires me. to create exercises to get students to get to the bottom of their souls, I have a series of work where I their inner voice and courage to show a connection between trees carry it out into the world. Because and the human body. My message in art you can only be unique by in those works is, that we should remaining faithful to oneself, take care of nature and our planet. everything else has already been Because without nature we humans out there. are lost. Also, when you look at the psychological aspect. A tree is What would you say comes first? comparable to a human, roots vs The subject or the idea? feet, stem vs body, crown (treetop) That is a tough question since the vs head, etc. So even when I paint a creative process never follows a face, there is nature showing up in strict rule. I think that there first is one way or another. something that you are interested in, that evolves into www.chantalhediger.com 67
/SCHALK VAN DER MERWE Schalk van der Merwe’s visceral portraits have a directness about them,yet are underpinned with a tangible fragility. Ambiguous features can morph from immense beauty into utter despair, with hints of the eyes breaking the surface beneath layers of paint, charcoal, turpentine, expressive brush strokes and often the physical DNA form the artists’s fingertips. Schalk’s work explores the concept of taking the mind out of the creative process to allow for a more honest expression. His art captures a vast range of emotions and often provokes a strong reaction from the viewer. Schalk’s work is arresting, intriguing and oddly attractive. Each portrait has a delicate, melancholic expression with a coarse and visceral application of paint. Each face offers some deeply personal recognition of the subject even though the features are blurred to the point of anonymity. www.svdmstudio.com
Opposite: 36 Degrees 68
“My work is not reliant on a cognitive process. I believe over thinking can destroy originality. My portraits aren’t about realism, perfection, gender or race. They explore and attempt to capture those qualities and emotions often hidden from view.”
/JASON CLARKE For all the advances in medicine and clinical care mental health is still a touchy subject. Social stigma and ridicule force people who are in genuine need of help to try and deal with their issues themselves, often making things worse. When the workplace is involved this can complicate things further in an environment that values performance over employee well being. No stranger to CreativPaper, Birmingham based artist Jason Clarke talks about the rising awareness of mental health in the workplace and its implications. Changes are being made, but we still have a long way to go.
Do you think we will ever reach a stage where mental health will be accepted and given the same recognition as other illnesses? I think we will reach a stage where mental health is accepted alongside physical illnesses and seen as part of everyday life. We can’t see diabetes, but there’s no stigma attached so what’s the difference. To achieve this, we must keep mental health in the spotlight and show that it’s a chronic illness like many others that people manage and live with.
That said, there are some fantastic employers who work with their staff, running courses such as mindfulness and encouraging people to talk about their issues. Some have staff psychologists which is just awesome. If a company creates a good working environment, it benefits everyone.
In today’s increasingly performance driven age, the desire to succeed trumps the impact it has on mental health well-being, can we ever find a balance? ‘You get out what you put in’. When How important is the acceptance society understands this, we will of mental health in the get a balance, and we are workplace? getting there slowly. The world has Having mental health accepted in a ‘throw away’ culture now where the workplace is crucial. One in we want stuff immediately and lots four of us will experiences mental of it. Productivity and cheapness health issues during our lifetime so over quality that will last a lifetime. employers need to implement policies that will support their Is there a personal goal you would workforce. If staff know they can like to achieve apart from art? ask for help at work, it will reduce I would love to stay well enough to the stress in an already difficult travel again and away from a situation. clinical environment, there is so much to see and savour in the Also, there are so many talented world. people out who would love to work but are limited by some employers unwillingness to create a work environment that caters to all. 73
What advice would you give someone who is struggling with depression and anxiety in the workplace and is afraid to approach anyone for help? If someone is struggling and unsure who to talk to I would suggest their General Practitioner first. Once they have that support and a plan for treatment they may not need to tell their employer and may be able to work with coping strategies in place. For long-term issues I would contact mental health charities and maybe disability rights groups who will help with employment rights. Also, the mental health community are best placed to offer advice from their own experiences. Could you tell us a bit about Arts All Over The Place and the work they do? Arts All Over The Place is a charity that champions creative therapies in mental health. Based in Birmingham, UK, they hold a festival of art, music, theatre and poetry every October that encompasses World Mental Health Day on the 10th. This much-loved event showcases talent from the local community,
and they celebrated their tenth anniversary this year. They also hold events throughout the year such as spoken word, music and comedy nights (there is a lot of comedy in MH!) It is the highlight of our year. What fascinates you these days? What still fascinates me is how the mind works. What is Jasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s idea of a perfect breakfast? My favourite breakfast is a cereal from my childhood Kelloggâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Country Store - which I have rediscovered at the hospital I was recently in and for brunch at the weekends a full English with all the trimmings and lots of strong coffee. www.jasonclarke-bipolarart.com
Above: Mini Me Below: Inky Depths
/GINA BROWN During our short time on this planet, humans have a habit of collecting souvenirs that mark significant moments of their lives. Old photographs, a present or something as simple as a postcard can bring back a barrage of memories to the owner at any given time. Artist Gina Brown taps into this compulsion, using photographic sources, she works using layers of oil paint and muted colours to stay faithful to her source material while circumventing details to make it her own. In doing so, she is creating a sense of attachment for the next viewer, some might say a new lease of life. www.ginabrown-artist.co.uk
Previous Page: Flamingoes Above: I Have Been Momentary 77
/DEANE BOWERS Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no denying the impact of consumerism on modern society, giving us an insatiable appetite for the latest and greatest, discarding perfectly fine objects and goods. Artist Deane v Bowers wants us to break away from the cycle and reverse it. Consuming less, living more. Deane scours the local beaches and streets of Charleston, where she lives to find discarded pieces of wood, metal and other objects that she re-purposes into works of art. By doing so, she eliminates the negative impact these objects have on the local environment. Her creative process is guided by two principles. First and most importantly, produce art that makes people happy. Second, strive to be an environmentally conscientious artist whose work has a positive impact on the environment and celebrates recycling as an art form. www.deanevbowersart.com
NUOVO CORVIALE PHOTO STORY BY: DANIEL HERMES
During a trip to Rome, Italy I decided to set some time aside to go to “Nuovo Corviale”, Europe’s longest skyscraper and document what I would find there. Corviale was built on the outskirts of Rome in the 1970s. With a length of nearly one kilometer and 11 stories it houses around 6000 people. The fourth floor was originally intended as sky corridor for shops and public services, which never materialized. Instead, the areas were gradually occupied by squatters. For me this place is about how some plans are incongruous to what reality has in mind. It’s about how people repurpose space, about taking control. How people create a living situation in what was not meant for that. How utopian ideas often fail and become something else. In the end, people found a home here. www.dhermes.com
/JOSIANE DIAS As an artist itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always hard to find a balance between finding the time, space and energy to create and market your work. This is something most artists tend to struggle with. This can be a more significant obstacle if you live in a remote location which has all the attributes one might need to create without the opportunities to showcase your work to a broader audience. Brazilian artist Josiane Dias circumnavigates this by spending most of her time creating in Tel Aviv, Israel and New York City, USA. Her time in the Big Apple is spent rushing between meetings and clients and her family who reside there, once she is back in Tel Aviv her creativity can blossom again. Poetic in nature, her photography work gives us an insight into the unknown and rarely seen. The colours, textures and depth in her images are captivating, to say the least. www.josianedias.com
Opposite: Flora XIII 92
“The Floating World series is based on the Japanese Ukiyo-e culture that represents the transient and ephemeral nature of life and also the realm of worldly pleasures. Interestingly, the term “ukiyo” in Japanese Buddhism also represents the sorrowful world with its endless cycle of birth, life, suffering, death and rebirth.”
Opposite: Flora X 95
â&#x20AC;&#x153;I try to capture the poetic dimension in everyday life. I look for something hidden, unseen, and not obvious. I like things that are not evident; I search the extraordinary in the ordinary.â&#x20AC;?
Opposite: Flora XXIV 96
/LAURENE KRASNY BROWN New York City has for long been the melting pot of art, culture and people from all around the world. The list of creatives that the city had produced are endless. Ranging from art to sculpture and music they have left legacies behind that inspire us even today. Yet, it is not often you come across an artist who was born and brought up in the city. Laurene Krasny Brown, a native New Yorker spent most of her childhood surrounded by this inspiring city. She has broad academic and professional experience in education, the arts and children’s cognitive development. She has also previously authored sixteen popular children’s picture books. In our interview Laurene talks about her favourite media, the influence of technology on us as a race and her memories of growing up in New York City. You’ve been commissioned by individuals in the past, how do you go about incorporating elements of their personality and life into your work, could you talk us through that? Responding to commissions for artwork presents ripe opportunities to bring my vision and art-making skills to bear while listening to a collector’s request. As a process, I like to have enough exchange back and forth at the beginning of a new
project to ensure that I make art they will love. To that end, we begin with conversation and try to focus on what they have in mind, often referring to my website or other references to my work as models or guides. I always make a sample for the art buyer to see, possibly revise, and then approve. 98
Above: Cage of Thorns
What led you to choose your favourite media? From the start my passion for paper has helped lead the way: Unlike experimental work that is there is the very friendliness of this totally uncommitted, working material, i.e., it cooperates in toward a piece of art or another myriad ways with my efforts. It has project that I know someone wants been a daily presence in my life for is a lovely secure experience... so long, something of a comfort. though I wouldn’t want to limit myself to commissions either. It can be transformed into a novel, elegant form and even remember Examples of commissioned the creases and folds that shape it. projects include: a painted Depending on its content and patterned floor in the client’s front surface, it can absorb gouache entry, for which I constructed a beautifully, be soaked in a saturated paper collage sample, a completed wash of paint and come out ready work in it’s own right; a monoprint to be dried, flattened and put to lithograph for a residence based use. upon earlier work made and exhibited on Paros, Greece during The crux of it is that I savour using a residency there; and a large, materials whose aesthetic value we paper woven artwork in which the might otherwise overlook. Thus the collector’s family photos have been addition of threads, metal literally woven into the warp and screening, tape, hardware store weft. finds, small toys, and millinery supplies. These materials are so I would like to do more evocative in their simplicity that commissions in which the even a tiny scrap on the table and collector provides, or I suggest the way it creates a shadow can personal objects that would be suggest a whole new piece. incorporated into the artwork. It’s both a design challenge and a source of personal satisfaction to the client. A simple written contract usually describes the project, it’s price, the schedule and asks for a deposit.
You were born in New York City which is considered to be a creative hub for many around the world. Growing up, would you say that the city lived up to this reputation? Wherever you grow up, that first place you call home occupies a special domain of memories and feelings for most people. Lucky for me, I lived in New York City until age 16, when it was time to leave town and attend college. Especially during high school, which I reached by the A train to Harlem, being in NYC added abundant cultural resources to the school’s curriculum and our lives.
instruments. It was a terrific place to grow up. Before your career in Fine Art you authored and in one case illustrated, sixteen popular picture books for children, what brought about your transition to art? I distinctly remember sitting at my desk late summer over ten years ago, reviewing a contract from my publisher to author two more children’s picture books-clearly a lovely invitation. And yet I sat there, doubtful about signing it.
Having just illustrated my first I can remember skipping several children’s book, The Vegetable days in senior year with a friend Show, left me feeling a bit just to wander streets in Manhattan emboldened to go on with paper that were new to us, excited by the collage, only without any of the thought that we could never know restrictions that book publishing all the city at one time. Our idea of necessarily places on the requisite a good place to meet was the artwork. Museum of Modern Art. Or possibly a café in Greenwich I went to see our editor, then in Village, though at that time in my Boston, and explained that I life I had no interest in coffee. I was wanted to try fine art full-time. a music major in school and played It felt like jumping off a cliff. She violin in one of the orchestras. was so gracious and encouraging, though. “You should do that,” she We attended Carnegie Hall offered. “And besides, the door here concerts and listened to Leonard will always be open.” To seal the Bernstein introduce all the promise, several days later 101
I received a tiny key in the mail. The truth is that the greater fear than possible failure was the fear of future remorse for not giving art a chance at centre stage. It had been waiting in the wings for a long time. And I have never looked back.
minds and influences their views, their values, their beliefs, their imaginations. That is why we need to share with them the best cultural products that the civilised world has to offer.
How important is it to incorporate art with regards to the well being and cognitive development of children? There may never be enough research to convince sceptics about the myriad benefits to young children of firsthand unmediated experience with the world and also with opportunities to express themselves creatively in all kinds of ways. It is by expressing our feelings and experiences of life that we begin to understand what it is we know about the world.
Do you think technology and social media is making this harder, especially with regards to attention spans and focus intensive work? Every time a new technology is introduced, there are educators who worry about the ways it will impact childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s learning and cognitive development. And rightly so. Every technology, be it the printed word, radio, film, electronic media, they each taint, if you will, the content they help to deliver.
It is every childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right to make their own versions of all the arts as they grow, not only to better know the world through all their senses, but also to better know themselves. Where else will we find the next generation of artists and creative minds? At the same time, exposure to the arts - pictures, music, drama, video, literature, dance-feeds young
And we need to understand what is gained or lost in the process, to maximise its usefulness as a tool. My own doctoral research at Harvard Project Zero concerned itself with how the sharing of a story with elementary school children was differently perceived depending on the medium in which it was delivered.
The trick is in the balance.
Learning now in the digital age is no different, in that we need to monitor how childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s uses of the computer affect their knowing of a thing, when it is a help and when it gets in the way of what can be learned from firsthand experience with the same thing. And the younger a child is, the less world experience they have, the more important it is to ask these questions.
underway). All of these I consider intimate statements which can be enlarged to fit a given space completely.
Do you have any personal and professional goals that you would like to achieve? This is a question that needs visiting on a daily basis. It is becoming clearer to me every day that I want to bring up the subject: The several approaches currently underway are as follows: affordable housing-these are tiny models, three dimensional and of mixed media though mostly paper, metal screening and string; object portraits/still life-using painted papers with ink, colored pencil, other interventions, showing the things at home that I never want to overlook; domestic dramas-telling stories with paper works in relief, suggesting fantasies, playing house; and faĂ§ades-fronts of structures with adornments of various sorts (just getting
I would like the opportunity in a public setting such as a museum to take over a space completely and create a domestic setting more persuasively and on a larger scale. A museum setting could also allow for the possibility of interaction with both child and adult visitors. What does it mean in your opinion to call a place home? In as many ways as I know how, I intend to express my values and experience with the life at home -especially what it is that I cherish. I hope that the work touches viewers, almost any viewer, and reminds them that everyone needs such a place. However there are exceptions, such as prisons, temporary refugee camps, shelters for the homeless, for example. So itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not quite that simple. At its finest, home is where you find not just basic shelter and safety-with a roof over your head, but where you find respite. Comfort. Security. A sense of belonging. Privacy. Love.
Above: Model Train
When you have the luxury of making choices, home is a reflection of yourself, your taste in things, your culture and way of life. Home is a place of domestic rituals and routines, daily efforts. It is where you sleep, eat, bathe, clean house, spend time with family or whomever you live with. It is the baseline, one’s headquarters. It might be your workplace.
Part of what makes it fascinating to explore is the duality of so many people having a place they call home, but that each iteration is distinctive, even unique in some way, i.e., home as a ubiquitous feature of most of our lives and yet extraordinary in its presentation.
What was the best advice you were given? My mother always said, “do your best.” That seemed like enough to At its worst, it is a place of troubles, say, by way of council. I took her message to heart. a place you want to leave behind. But that is a perversion of its mission and role in human life. www.laurenekrasnybrown.com 105
PHOTO SERIES BY MATTHEW WILCOCKS www.matthewwillcocks.com
of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plants and animals live in forests and are losing their habitats to deforestation. Loss of habitat can lead to species extinction. This is not only a biodiversity tragedy but also has negative consequences for medicinal research and local populations who rely on the animals and plants in the forests for hunting and medicine.
/MANSS AVAL Combining photography with mediums such as acrylic and oil on canvas and mixed media is just another day in the life of San Diego based artist Manss Aval. Inspired by the abundance of nature around him his work is known for its transformation of inanimate objects into faces, designs and complete figures, giving our world a more personal representation. A winner of many national and international awards, he has exhibited in over 50 juried solo and group shows in New York, San Diego, Laguna Beach, La Jolla, Los Angeles, Miami Beach and international venues, including Barcelona, Florence, Merida, Paris, Rome, Tokyo and Toronto. His museum shows include the Louvre and San Diegoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Athenaeum Museum. www.manssaval.com
Above: Pastel Assembly
/WEI TAN The emotion and act of painting can manifest itself in different forms, aggressive strokes, gentle brush movements and reflection in between are all part and parcel of the creative process. Artist Wei Tan has a varied approach when it comes to creation. Precise strokes and graphite stick markings are all in a days work. Playful yet skilful, with cherished accidents and revered disasters take form in pieces that are fresh with every produced piece. Having started with taking lessons with artist Gina Bonati in her apartment in East Village, New York, Wei has continued to explore and experiment in her right, with some fantastic results. www.tatawaart.com
Above: Land of Imaginary Objects II Next Page: Gross Coincidence 121
/KRASI DIMTCH There’s no denying that language as we know it is constantly evolving. From the way we communicate verbally and using technology, with each passing day new words are introduced and replaced. Some might argue that a language is a form of art in itself, spanning millennia it’s helped us connect, express and understand. Artist Krasi DimtcH creates art using language, turning text into non-speech sounds and musical abstractions using custom software. In our interview with her, she talks about her patented software, how language has influenced her as an artist and the role that technology plays in our communication. As someone who’s art revolves around language, how do you feel about the changes occurring in the way we communicate because of digital communication and the ubiquitous use of social media? We are all aware that the Internet and social media are reconfiguring our world, for better or worse. I personally view digital communication as part of the evolution of Language. Language the way it shapes our thoughts and the way we communicate through
it digitally or otherwise - is like the Force “holding together good and evil, the dark side and light” to use the Star Wars analogy. When did your fascination with language begin? Language became my spiritual guide and my liberator during a period of retrospection when I stopped making art and began searching for ways to disrupt the boring predictability of my pre-learned answers to a number 124
Above: Futility is an English word
Is there an artist who has had a profound influence on your work? For me, Human Language is the greatest artwork ever created, and the collective human mind is the greatest artist of all times. In my My constant attempts to escape my search for answers and original mental prison were ineffective until ideas, I have explored thousands of I decided to devote myself to the sequences of English synonyms of practical development of the idea various lengths and complexity. that every possibly sayable thought could be found in a semantic net I still remember how surprised I formed by sequences of was when I realised that one of the synonymous words. definitions of art that I found in one very long sequence of I still remember the moment of synonyms could be used as a “revelation” when I found a proof textual description of actual of the fascinating powers of contemporary art installations. For Language in the sequence of me, the evolving semantic structure English synonyms: of Language is not only the place DEATH syn. event syn. result syn. where all human mental RESULTS IN + completeness syn. experiences are being encoded but OMNEITY”. At that time English also the place where all human was a language I beings including artists and makers barely understood, but with the of ideological narratives find their help of Microsoft’s Bookshelf ideas. Thesaurus I gradually became almost fluent in it, wrote a patent Am I correct in saying that you application, and in 2013 was own a patent with regards to the granted a patent for methods for software you use for your art, how language generation and did that come about? representation (CIPO-PatentMy linguistic explorations made 2704163). After that, I started to me realize that artworks in digital make art again. age should not be necessarily defined by their mode of presentation - whether as computer codes, of existential questions plaguing me. At that time I was desperately trying to overcome preconceptions and belief systems I was thought to comply with.
Above: Meaningless Gloats
which gave me the idea of formulating the methods and the algorithms for the generation of English sentences and their transformation into visual structures and sequences of sounds representing them. Before applying for a patent, the methods and the algorithms had to be tested by a computer program written by my husband, Svillen Ranev. Now, with the help of the software, I create language-based artworks that can be read, heard, or looked upon, all of them differently representing the contents of possibly sayable speculations about human existence, aspirations, truth, art and death.
executed in a way possible for the first time in the 21st century. Could you tell us a bit more about “Dibillion dibinfinities”? What is on the Internet now is only a cryptic symbol of a dream project and work in progress called Dibillion dibinfinities.
Dibillion Dibinfinites - Digitally Immortal BILLION of DIctionary Based INFINITES - is a generative system for measuring time not in our traditional time units of equal duration but in dibinfinites. Dibinfinites belong to a class of appearance-shifters that can take the forms of electromagnetic signals, binary codes, novel sentences, sequences of synonyms, My working process starts with the sequence of sentences, images, compilation of a text composed of sounds or sequences of sounds. sentences generated by the software. The sentences are then All dibinfinites are of variable digitally converted by the same durations- some sound-based software into sounds for my sound dibinfinites can last millennia. Each art or different visual patterns to be individual dibinfinite is a unique used by me for my visual art. The event which once manifested is visual “translations” of the text I never going to re-appear during the create manually by using computer lifetime any of their mortal mouse instead of paint brush and observers (unless it has been generated by the software patterns preserved digitally). instead of acrylic paints. This is a highly subjective process
Above: Alien Forms Reveal the Meanings of Life
The Dibillion Dibinfinites generator is based on the software for generating English sentences and transforming them into visual and sound compositions. The Dibillion Dibinfinites generator should be able not only to produce infinitely many nonrepetitive dibinfinites but also like the physical universe should be able to go on and on long after I am gone.
still surprise you? Endless are the possibility of differently representing texts as images or sounds. From time to time I develop a new set of transformation rules, and some of the results really surprise me. But what always surprises me are the results of the manual transformation of sequences of English synonyms into thesauri poems.
What message are you trying to convey through your work? My art is the expression of my belief that everything, no matter how incomprehensible at the moment has a meaning in itself. My artworks are the result of actual intellectual pursuit and have at least two components: a text and its visual or audio representation. The interpretation of the text and the image and the sequences of sounds representing it I leave to the audience.
Take for example the verse: targets titter in their coffins setbacks pose as aims. Can you believe that I found it in the sequence of synonyms: TARGET syn. chase syn. cry syn. TITTER IN + chase syn. goal syn. focus syn. coffin syn. grave syn. death syn. SETBACK + grave syn. POSE AS + goal syn. AIM?
What are you working on currently? I have just had an exhibition the title of which was “Every letter is For me, there is never one way of a sound, every word is an image”. interpreting art because I think that One of the pieces there “Every no artwork is complete without its letter is a sound” was a viewers’ intellectual and emotional demonstration of the process of input into it. transformation of English sentences into sequences of Do the results from the non-speech sounds. translation from text to imagery 130
Above: Silly Talk Explains Away the Book of Universal Logic
I understand Bulgarian, English, French, Polish and Russian but I think only in two of them Bulgarian and English. What is I should add however that a interesting for me is that although Bulgarian is my mother tongue all constant for me these days is the â&#x20AC;&#x153;aimlessâ&#x20AC;? creation of digital art just of my linguistic thoughts now are a combination of English and for the joy of it and the search for Bulgarian words. thesauri poetry just for the intellectual challenge of it. www.krasidimtch.ca How many languages does Krasimira speak? I am currently working on a polyphonic sound installation based on the same idea.
/SHO TSUNODA Each artist has their reason for creating content; sometimes itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a personal message they are trying to convey, highlight an issue they hold close or decipher the contents of a dream. Japanese artist Sho Tsunodaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work analyses the range of visible and invisable light and attempting to visualise the invisible metaphorically and literally by using fluorescent colours. creating a complex array in modern society where we are all trying to carve a place for ourselves and our identity. Overall, his work carries a theme of innocence, a virtue he holds close. www.shotsunoda.com
Above: Just Begun 133
Above: Space Expo
Above: Motive Below: A Bright Season Opposite: Open Eyes, Bare Hands and Naked Mind
/ANDREW SUSICH Andrew Susich has spent a life devoted to the creative process with a focus on producing works that are both truthful and aesthetically pleasing. Being constantly on the move as a child from the east and west coast of America as well as Europe taught him the value of an open mind and to appreciate the beauty in the small, fleeting moments of everyday life. Eventually settling in The San Francisco Bay area from the mid 90â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to 2010 allowed the influences of the free speech movement, the collapse of the psychedelic era, the failure of post World War Two American idealism, independent journalism, the rise of silicon valley, sociology, class inequality, feminism, and the power of the all mighty dollar to take hold. With a background in music, graphic design, photography, improvisation and film Andrew has attempted to document the world around him with a focus on giving back to society. His previous gallery shows include partnerships with and documenting The Commemorative Comity of The Black Panther Party and Occupy Oakland. Having just relocated to the UK he is continuing to attempt to tell the story of the world around him while donating his time to positive social change, equality and raising awareness and funds for charitable organizations. www.theurbanist.me
PHOTO SERIES BY
JO KALINOWSKI www.jokalinowski.com
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Having lived in many cities, I have always been naturally drawn towards the architectural structures that surround me. Drawn to their shapes, lines and patterns, and the play of light, shadows and of their colours. I have often lost myself in local industrial estates, seeking out the beauty in the mundane of spaces and scenes around me. Originally from London, my extensive travels eventually led me to the city of Melbourne Australia. Now living in rural Victoria, I have developed a certain affinity with nature with its gentle forms and calming beauty. The contrast of both urban and rural living has created two inspiring worlds for me. I have become particularly interested in the relationship between architecture and nature, the interaction of the man made and the natural. This is something I strive to capture with my camera, expressing this connection with a minimalistic view. I am a self taught photographer and not so long ago I had a great desire to challenge myself. I bought a DSLR camera and the challenge began. I have not put the camera down since. When not out and about with a camera, I work as a music coordinator implementing individualised programs that are designed for residents in dementia-specific care.â&#x20AC;? 143
/LEE MOHR As a species, humans like to believe that they are different from the other species that inhabit our planet. Privileged, wasteful and insensitive, our ego can sometimes get the best of us. But, if you look closer we arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that different. Just like the trees that surround us, we are singular, protected, bruised, resilient and collective. Born in Alaska, artist Lee Mohr uses trees as a metaphor for human experience; Her painted landscapes are inspired by nature all around her in the Pacific Northwest and her very own inner landscape of emotions, layered and rich. You seem like the kind of person that is deeply connected with the environment around her, how has this relationship changed through the years? I have always had a deep connection to nature; nature has always been a place of calm and solace for me. That connection to nature has become more nuanced over time with greater skills of observation and appreciation. You refer to trees as a metaphor for the human experience, could you tell us a bit more about this? Trees have many similar
characteristics to humans such as individual strength within a community strength, together against the elements. Yet, each tree is unique but also the same, and they all move together in the wind. I find it a subtle but powerful observation. Apart from creating art, what do you enjoy doing? I love being out in nature, whether it be hiking, skiing, golfing or riding my bicycle. Opposite: Cannon Beach Rain
You spent some time being mentored by Alaskan artist, Joan Kickbush. Could you tell us about your time with her and its influence on you both artistically and personally? That was a long time ago; I was five years old when I first met Joan. She was my teacher and a friend of my parents. She noticed my creativity and began giving me art lessons on Saturday mornings. The influence of her character was profound; she was very talented, very kind and very encouraging. What fascinates Lee on a daily basis? One word — Resiliency. They say that it is often in the extremities of the earth that we can feel changes the most, how has climate change impacted the Pacific Northwest in your opinion? The effects of climate change in both Alaska and the Pacific Northwest have been measurable for more than two decades. Alaskan glaciers have experienced a noticeable increase in melt rate since the 80’s. The Alaskan tundra is thawing, and arctic shorelines are changing due to ice
melt. Since moving to Seattle in 1990 the weather has changed, seasons are warmer, and the weather is more intense. The weather has been an influence on my work; I am interested in painting the atmosphere as a result of the weather. My favourite seasons are fall and winter when I can experience the cycles of storm and calm. What is the most important lesson you have learnt in your career as an artist? I’ve learned so many valuable lessons, but most importantly I’ve learned how to, “let go”, so that I can be authentic in my being and my work. What was it like growing up in Alaska? Does it live up to the stereotypes people have of it? Growing up in Alaska was a unique experience that cultivated a spirit of freedom and possibility. I am grateful that I was able to grow up in such a wild and beautiful environment. The residents of Alaska have an independent streak, and this attitude does lend itself to stereotypes; so, yes, some of the
Above: Beach Dusk II
stereotypes are true. Alaskans are identified by their willingness to assist others; as an example, in Alaska, one would never drive by someone broken down along side the road. Stopping to help is what Alaskans do.
If you could change one thing in the world today, what would it be? I would add, Compassion, to everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s being. Compassion is the ability to feel someone elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s joy and suffering. The world would change precipitously. www.leemohr.com 151
/SIMON KIRK Artist Simon Kirk started off his career as a figurative painter. This gradually led to him introducing text into his work, at the same time incorporating elements of collage. Initially working with sketchbooks, he struggled to translate the relative freedom he found in them into wall pieces. This was a constant battle for him throughout his university years. Building content and concepts together but struggling to materialise them into tangible work. Gradually, he found his style by treating artwork like a sketchbook, building up layers of paint and collage, ripping bits off and painting over areas. His work is a constant conversation and collaboration between the literary and artistic worlds, the text being an integral part of his art and not just captions. His works being a synergy of poetry and painting, text and image, abstraction and figuration. www.simonkirkartist.gallery
Above: Rain King Opposite: The Puppeteer
/KAYLEE DALTON Nature doesn’t just provide a source of sustenance for us but a bountiful, neverending source of inspiration. From the visible to the unseen, flora, fauna and it’s violent yet nurturing weather systems have all inspired us at some point in our lives. Artist Kaylee Dalton’s work is her whimsical interpretation of the garden landscape, not just the visible elements above ground but also the soil, roots and earthly formations. Layers of encaustic form the base of her work with insertions of watermedia painted papers and textiles. The layers and textures in her work mirroring mother nature. www.kayleedalton.com
Above: Half Hardy
Above: Subterranean Playground Opposite: Lush No. 8
/NATALIA PLATONOVA JR From the packaging on your favourite brand of cereal to the news, illustrations play a vital part in our daily lives. From their creative style to the use of colours, messages can be conveyed through a variety of emotions. Russian artist Natalia Platonova Jr expresses her creativity through her illustrations. In our interview with her, Natalia talks about being an artist in modern Russia, the importance of composition and David Bowie. Your illustrations have a very concise structure and layout to them, do you apply this structure to your everyday life too? My illustrations are laconic indeed, and I apply this principle in my life, I’m trying not to complicate things.
News newspaper. I don’t know if you know, but there is a book about Bowie’s journey.
We absolutely love your “David Bowie Across Russia” illustration, How did that come about? This is one of my oldest works, which I made, as an illustration, to accompany an article in a Moscow
What is it like being an artist is modern Russia? I think that being an artist in modern Russia is the same as in any other modern country.
My editor gave me a timeline of events that were either important or funny landmarks of his trip. Therefore, besides the trip to the I leave only functionally important key Russian cities that he visited by train in 1973 itself, you can find things in both. My teachers have always told me that the main thing jokes about vodka, bears and the KGB. is composition, not details.
Above: The Last Supper IIII
If you are not a genius or just a lucky person and you don’t have means to do classical paintings all day long - you work in design or illustration. I’m lucky because I’m more of a designer and I like what I’m doing. And sketches, painting and graphics are a hobby for me.
I start to work, I don’t even know how it will look like in the end. It’s always a surprise.
Where has your work been heading recently? My last works that I can be proud of are: the colouring book that I did in collaboration with the Russia has this aura of mystery Australian brand, we created an that surrounds it, What is it like unusual format that I like, and they on a daily basis for you? gave me creative freedom, which I can say that everyone who lives was cool. And my stickers that I outside of Russia believes that there released for no reason, I’m just exists a mysterious Russian aura, drawing characters with but in fact, all people are more or watercolours, usually during the less the same, they only have whole year, then I scan everything different living conditions and and pick the best ones for the mentality. Of course, Russians package of stickers that I sell or have their unique features, and the give as a present. country has its traditions, but in fact, the mysterious Russian soul Could you tell us a bit more about is more like a Loch Ness monster the inspiration behind the “Soviet - everyone has heard of it, but no Arcade Machines” illustration? one has seen it. Also, it’s very cold That was one of the oldest pieces here. that I drew, as an illustration, to be published in a Moscow News Could you describe your creative newspaper. My editor and I process? visited the museum of old arcade My creative process works like a machines, gathered statistics and plaque for calling spirits, I’m just collected material (my editor did taking a tablet stylus pen or a this, of course). regular pen, and I think in the direction of what should happen, and then my hands do the rest themselves. In the beginning, when 162
Above: Soviet Arcade Machines
Above: Last Supper X Opposite: Collection of Sticker Illustrations
And then I drew this infographic, and it appeared in the newspaper as an illustration. And later its elements were used as an ornament for the clothing brand. Do you pay attention to trends in the art world? I pay attention to art trends; I like to watch mainly graffiti and its development, and some visual phe-
nomena in design and illustration. The rest, as I see it, doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t develop, but degrades, and I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to follow this. What does Natalia do for fun? I play music and sing - just for fun! www.behance.net/pedalja