CreativPaper Issue No. 008 Vol 1

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Vol 001

Issue 008

When CreativPaper was founded a few years ago, Jimmy Outhwaite wanted to create a platform for creatives both new and seasoned to showcase their work. We would never in our wildest dreams imagine that this would culminate into an active online community and seven digital issues. For our first print issue, we wanted to feature a selection of artists that have been an inspiration to us over the last year and new ones we have discovered along the way. In this issue, we have featured a wide range of artists ranging from Jason Clarke, Ronald Ownbey and Ziba Moasser to name a few. Each one challenging their creative energy into the work through a multitude of mediums. We would like to thank everyone who has believed in us and shared our vision. We hope you enjoy our latest labour of love. 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.









/JOSIANE DIAS Artist Josiane Dias is certainly no stranger to CreativPaper. Having worked with her previously, we are constantly impressed with her consistent work ethic and creativity. For her latest project, Josiane has decided to focus on the maternal figures that have had an impact on her identity and life. She also talks to us about the intense exhibiting she has been doing lately and how this has affected her work. Could you tell us a bit more about your body of work titled “All About Eve”? This is a very personal and intimate series of photos. It came up after lengthy reflections on the importance of the female role players in my life. In other words, the importance of the role played by women who strongly influenced my identity, who I am today. For better or worse. After my parents’ separation, my mother moved to another city, and I ended up with my father and his new wife, my stepmother. It was a traumatic experience from the very beginning.

However, I could rely on the rock-solid love and support of both my grandmothers, two women who always supported me and shaped me as a person. This was for me a period of immersion in the feminine world with all its hardships. When I became a mother, I went through a wonderful and powerful experience of reuniting with all these women who had been so important in my life. It was an intense, beautiful and transformative process.


Above: All About Eve I 09

Women were essential in my upbringing. I recognise in them the whole legacy of the time immemorial narrative of Eve, the First Woman, which is typical of the Western, Judeo-Christian cultural tradition. With all the positive and negative traits associated with it. There were many different “Eve figures” in my life. Interestingly, Eve, in Hebrew, means ‘source of life’, the ‘living one’, the mother of all life. The impact people can have on us directly or indirectly is unquestioned, what according to you is the relevance of maternal figures on the development of our personalities, blood-related or not? I think that maternal figures play a fundamental role in the healthy development of a child, in enabling the development of the social ability to empathise with others. In my case, the absent mother was replaced by two loving and protective grandmothers. I think that maternal love provides us with the necessary psychological structure to face the challenges of the world. It enables us to trust and believe in ourselves, and above all, it helps us

develop healthy relationships with other people and to interact with society in general. I believe that the lack of this kind of love leaves us with flaws that can seriously impair our personal and professional lives. We really need to be able to prevent these flaws from jeopardising our potential as human beings. You’ve been exhibiting a lot recently, could you tell us a bit more about that? Yes! These last couple of years have been very intense, indeed! I took part in exhibitions in New York, Venice and Tel Aviv. It has been gratifying to see that my work is being well received in different parts of the world. It’s very important for an artist to have this kind of diverse exposure. It is an experience that motivates and inspires us. And when I refer to exposure I don’t mean only galleries but also having my work published in art magazines such as CreativPaper, for example. Some galleries made contact with me after they saw my work in these magazines. As for the exhibitions, I was invited to some of them, but for others,


Above: All About Eve II 11

Above: All About Eve III 12

I was selected after submitting my work.

once chosen, has to pay for participating in the exhibition.

What advice would you give a young artist who may be trying to land their first exhibition space? I think it is important to visit many galleries to have a sense of which ones would be interested in the kind of work you do. Even if they can’t represent you, they might perhaps indicate some other gallery where you could submit your work.

How do you go about naming your work? It is a process that involves both reflection and intuition. When I am working on a new series, I follow my intuition in naming it. First I choose a name, a generic one if you will, for the work I am developing.

Then I start to reflect on why I chose that particular name. It is It is very important to meet people a kind of psychoanalytic process in the art world in their various because I want to understand why capacities to obtain information, go I chose that name in the first place to openings, talk to other artists. In and whether it really represents a word: network with them. the work I am doing. It can be a lengthy process sometimes. Another interesting possibility is the “Open Call�. Some galleries and I try to delve deep into the cultural spaces accept submissions meaning of the title, not only for group shows, and this is always looking at the origins of the words an opportunity worth exploring. themselves, their etymology, but These days there is also an also their significance in a specific increasing number of art fairs historical and social context, their specifically focused on emerging metamorphosis. artists, particularly in New York. Since I have a background in However, this option requires a Linguistics, I am obviously more significant financial fascinated by words and their commitment on the part of the myriad possibilities. I choose them artist. In general, the artist needs to with great care. enter into a selection process and, 13

Above: All About Eve IX

I appreciate their semantic potential and the all the ambiguities it often entails. I also like to discuss with my husband and my kids to see what they think of the title regarding its connection with the work.

This is priceless. I also like very much to travel and discover new places and people. I am very curious, and I always have this urge to learn new things.

Travelling is the best way to achieve this goal of getting in touch with Apart from art, what does Josiane something new, with the unknown, with the Other if you will. This is enjoy doing? very important for my work as an I enjoy being with my family, my husband and two sons, and with artist. my friends. I just spent two months in New York when I had the opportunity to see my kids who live there and reunite with dear friends. 14

Above: All About Eve VI

Coming back to your current project, out of your mother, stepmother and grandmother, who in your opinion influenced you as an artist the most? Both my grandmothers, for sure. Adelina, my paternal grandmother, always encouraged me to draw, to paint and to search for creative solutions for everyday challenges. She also enjoyed a lot listening to music and dancing. So she provided me with a rich and joyful environment during the whole of my childhood.

On the other hand, Adelia, my maternal grandmother, had a passion for cinema and literature. I will never forget when she gave me an edition of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales. I was five at the time, and this is one the fondest memories I have of my childhood. She was always giving me books and taking me to see children features at the movie theatre. Going to the movies was a very special occasion. I cherish to this day these memories and the wonderful experiences they evoke. 15

How has the art scene in New York changed in the time you have been there? New York is always changing for the better, particularly with regards to the art scene.

Manhattan, joining in this kind of an initiative.

What’s Josiane’s favourite place in New York for brunch? Tough question. I have different favourite brunch spots in different When I first moved there in 2011, neighbourhoods. I’ll limit myself to there were just a few galleries on mentioning only 3: Frankies the Lower East Side, for example. Spuntino in the West Village, Now, according to a map of the where you can have great Italian neighbourhood, if I am not food; Storico Café on the Upper mistaken, there are more than 115!! West Side at the New York Historical Society Museum, very Many smaller galleries moved from charming; and Vinegar Hill House, Chelsea to more affordable in DUMBO, Brooklyn, where you neighbourhoods, to run away from can find great and original the relentless gentrification. There American cuisine as well as some was also a great boom of new of the best craft cocktails. galleries in Brooklyn, particularly in Bushwick. It’s an incredibly vibrant place, a paradise for artists. Another initiative that I find truly fantastic is the various “Open Studios” programmes that the city offers, mostly in Brooklyn. They get more interesting every year. I remember going once to a DUMBO/Brooklyn Open Studios and how fascinated I was with the number of artists living in the area. Now there are many other neighbourhoods, such as Gowanus, Greenpoint, in Brooklyn but also in


Above: All About Eve VII 17


/HENRIK HYTTEBALLE Art, across its multitude of branches, fundamentally shares the same components. Different ideas and components come together and align to work together in unison. Brush strokes, the caressing hand of the potter against soft clay and the plucking of the strings of a musical instrument are all vital ingredients in the recipe. Multi-disciplinary Artist Henrik Hytteballe shares his time between painting and creating music. In our interview with him, Henrik talks about his sixth solo album Nebula, the influence of Japanese Haiku poetry and combining different disciplines his latest work. You have always separated your music and art careers, what made you decide to combine the two? I see them coming from the same source. Today the music and the painting have a lot more in common as they both express my way of seeing the world and emphasise my values.

as a part of nature. We are on the edge of a huge natural disaster because we as humans act as if we are above nature. That leads to exploitation, floods, loss of species and destruction of the environment. I see the cruelty against animals as a horrible crime.

On the Nebula album, there is a Could you tell us a bit more about new dimension with the vocal of singer Sara Grabow. The human your album Nebula? The music on Nebula is inspired by voice in the electronic, ambient the elements in nature. My sound is an illustration of that we as humans need to find our rightful music has always been about nature, but this time it is about place in nature. finding our place in nature. I see us 18



Nebula is your 6th solo album, how would you say your musical career has evolved since you first started out? I started playing in rock bands with live concerts as the main target. Because I suffer from constant pain after a severe traffic accident 16 years ago, I cannot play live anymore and am now a recording artist. The music has changed into a meditative and reflective style, very popular among people doing yoga and meditation. My physical condition is affected by the pain, and it is kind of healing for myself doing this sort of music. It is not new age music as my music reflects longing, loss, pain and suffering along with beauty and tranquillity. There is an abundance of earthy tones in your latest body of work, could you talk to us about the inspiration behind that? It is true that I have changed my painting from a very colourful to a more earthy tone. It has a lot to do with my condition. As there is no possibility of reducing the chronic pain, I am forced to deal with it as a condition in my life. I found help by reading Viktor

Frankl´s book “Man´s search for meaning”. He survived three years in a concentration camp during the 2nd World war and described the importance of seeing the meaning of life to survive. I am working towards what is the essence of my own life, and I think that both my music and my paintings are reflections of this process. How would you explain The Haiku Project to someone who is not familiar with your work? It is deep ambient music with piano and symphonic washes that allows you to disconnect from the burden of daily life. I aim to share some beautiful moments with my listeners without ignoring that life can be hard, too, and that we all have our challenges to deal with. Haiku, for those not familiar with it is a Japanese form of poetry, was this the inspiration behind your music career? Yes. The haiku poetry is simple and consists of only 17 syllables. It is always about something you can sense, and it always has a relation to nature, And so does my music. 21


/WILLOW BANKS Growing up, the world can seem like a larger than life place. Mammoth mountains, deep unchartered oceans and an array of animals give the impression of a never-ending supply of resources. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Whether we choose to accept it or not we are in the middle of a mass extinction event. And this time there was no asteroid from space or drastic change in weather that caused it. We are to blame. Our actions are having severe consequences for the habitats and species around us, animals that have been around for millions of years before us are being wiped out due to deforestation, pollution and climate change. We still have the power to change this through raising awareness and education. Artists like Willow Banks are using their work to spread the message and start a dialogue. Her latest work highlights the rapid melting of the polar ice caps. Willow took some time out of her schedule to talk about this. For your latest project you decided to focus on the accelerated deterioration of the polar ice caps, could you tell us a bit more about this? This series of prints grew out of my fascination with the Arctic and concern over the alarming, unprecedented rate of ice melt. I wanted to capture the wild,

remote beauty of the region, where the line between sea and sky is indistinct. And I wanted to capture the sadness I feel for its loss — and for the loss of the wildlife that depends on its presence. To the global warming naysayers out there, and there are plenty! What would you say to them? As a species, we are causing rapid, 22

Above: Northern Shelf


systemic, irrevocable pollution of our air, soil, and water. I would try to impress upon the naysayers that our current situation goes well beyond losing breathtakingly beautiful wild areas and the animals that inhabit them. Our treatment of the planet is rapidly becoming a global food, health, and survival issue.

its own shapes and forms. And I carved deep, jagged lines into the ink — the cracks in the ice shelf. Some prints worked, some didn’t, but the process was cathartic.

What elements of the art world frustrate you? It’s difficult for an artist to make a living creating art. Most of us (me included) have to work another You decided to use monotypes for full-time job to make ends meet. It this series, what was that process limits the time and energy we can like? devote to our art. Monotypes are an imprecise and unreplicable form of The U.S has seen an array of printmaking, which seemed fitting destruction caused by climatic for this project. You can only pull change this year, has that changed one or sometimes two prints from the opinion and awareness each inked plate (the second print towards global warming in your being a more transparent ghost of opinion? the first), then the image is gone I can only hope so. Our current forever. Ghosts and loss — the administration’s disbelief in climate colour palette of greys and whites change and disregard for seemed to coalesce in this series. National Parklands, wildlife refuges, and coastlines definitely Ice is often considered inanimate, strengthens my resolve and yet your paintings express them commitment to environmentalism. as living beings, lost under the waves forever. Was this hard to What is the focus of your communicate as an artist? upcoming project? For me, monotypes are a very I’m going to move back into fluid art form. The medium seemed painting. Large-scale canvases. to connect with what I was trying to convey. I tried not to hold it too tight; I let the ink run and create 24

Above: Glacial Calving



/MIRO TRUBAC Drawing inspiration from the paradoxical, absurd and insoluble we have the work of artist Miroslav Trubac. His figurative sculptures might seem typical at first glance, but there is a deeper, darker and profound theme to them. The figures in his work are depicted as protagonists from everyday life, highlighting social, cognitive and political trials that we all face. Could you tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind your series “Heroes”? I made the Heroes series when I was considering the A + E composition. It was the interpretation of the Bible story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. I realised that art history deals with several variations of the theme, but the only thing that changes is the view of this subject. It is influenced by the technological development of society. This series focuses on the man.

The problems he encounters on his journey through life, which determine his value system. One could say that it is an essentially male view, a gender issue. In previous generations skills and knowledge was passed on from the elders in a family to the younger members, how do you think the internet and social media has changed this transition of information? Technology has completely changed our view of life. Everything has become more available. Knowledge is accessible to everyone today. 26

Above: The Little Prince (Rock), 2016, 56 x 44 x 25cm 27

The only thing that technology cannot do is to offer an appropriate context. I think that the presence of a person with experience and real knowledge is irreplaceable. The presence of an experienced adult, for instance a teacher, is very important for the development of a young person. You must either accept or argue and disagree with the person, but you must accept and come to terms with the fact that he is real. The tension arising between the person who transfers information and receives it is unique and irreplaceable by the computer or the internet. Undeniably, there is something cool about villains in popular culture and cinema, how does this relate to your sculpture of the biblical figure of Judas? The figure of Judas is remarkable because of a dual negative character. Some scientific sources hold the view that he probably did not exist. Judas is just a symbol, like the figure. I was attracted to this biblical figure since negative figures were not depicted in the history of Christianity because evil could not be adored and revered in

the sculptural form. I have tried to do it at the time when it is almost impossible to shock society. Yet I did not intend to shock, but rather depict the man a critical situation that does not necessarily lead to redemption. You recently exhibited in your hometown, what was that experience like? It was my fourth exhibition in my home town, but it was different because I did not show sculptures, but it was my first exhibition of prints. I was a little worried because I did not put the prints in frames, but exhibited them in a 10-metre long strip. It worked like a movie, and I think it eventually strengthened the narrative character of the show. Are you someone that gets bored easily? I don’t know, I think I’m bored like any other person. However, sculpture has taught me to be patient, disciplined and humble. I need time to reflect. I love it because it is relaxing. I like going for walks with my dog and this is the time when I reflect and rethink. 28

Above: Judas, 2017, 140 x 105 x 45cm


Above: Untitled, 105 x 117 x 60cm, coloured epoxide 30

Above: Pedro, 2017, 6 x 25 x 8.5cm, silicone rubber

I allow the sculpture ideas mature for a year and then return and re-evaluate them as to the concept and composition.

my work.

What elements of mythology do you find fascinating and how do you translate this into your art? In your opinion how will the art industry evolve in the next Every mythology has its own story, since every one of us has his/her decade? own story and personal I really don’t know, I’m an artist, not an expert on art market. I mythology. For me the story is a create (art) because I really bearer of emotions. I am trying to tell stories through my enjoy it. sculptures. It is a challenge to tell It’s my way of communicating with stories in the way that is society. It is a huge benefit for me comprehensible in the global context. to sell something and I am very pleased about it. It is a great motivation for making progress in 31


/KENNETH SUSYNSKI Exhibiting your work is a vital component of being a professional artist. This comes with its own set of challenges. Finding interested venues and galleries, shipping, marketing the event itself and other logistical nightmares can make it seem like a daunting task, but in the end, it’s always worth it. The feedback, both positive and constructive, potential sales and networking are priceless. Artist Kenneth Susynski recently showcased his work in Lisbon, Portugal. In our interview with him, he talks about this personal experience putting the exhibition together, the evolution of his artistic style from abstraction to figurative expressionism and his latest project centred around motherhood. You exhibited your work in Lisbon earlier this year, what was that experience like? Any time that I show outside the USA, it is a unique experience offering both market possibilities and bureaucratic difficulties.

exhibit this time, yet the feedback and results have been encouraging.

Some of your recent pieces have focused on the perspective of motherhood, what was the inspiration behind that? It has been a combination of toying This was my first time exhibiting in with both concepts and personal Portugal – and for the most part, it experience. Like most of us, I have went well. The gallery was very encountered many varying maternal personalities and philosoaccommodating and resourceful phies, much that I don’t agree with with much of the shipping component, which is often the personally, and in my work, I seek to convey unconventional portraits most complicated part of the international process. I didn’t get a of motherhood that are quite chance to attend the opening nor different than my own experience. 32

Above: How To Truss A Chicken, 2016, 54 x 46�


For example, the mother figure painted in each of the pieces in the series is actually my beautiful wife, who is easily the most wonderful mother I could ever know – yet here she is merely an actor portraying a more controversial, contemporary, conflicted mother - sometimes ill-equipped for the job, at other times a hallmark of parenting: in sum, a 21st century, fragile tiger-mama. There is always some intrusion of chaos, insecurity, a longing for the self, and yet there is always that sweet purity that only is achieved with the bonding of mother and child.

goals, especially in the fickle art world – just too much randomness exists in both the creative and the business sides, and I’ve learned it’s best to be both fluid and savvy about the specific markets for my work. I am now of an age that finds me more appreciative of stepping out of the studio and enjoying my wife and daughter in the rich rose garden of life. If I have a goal at all, it is to maintain my humanity of heart and my humility of soul – and for an ability to translate that consciousness into my work.

As someone whose art has In some cultures across the world, evolved from abstraction to motherhood is still considered figurative expressionism, do you an archetypal role, what are your worry about the perception thoughts on that? people may have of you as an I should think it would still be an artist and your work? archetypal role in any culture or The short answer is not one bit, society – fatherhood, too. I just yet I’m happy to expand. I began choose to focus on mothers my professional career as a pure because their journeys are abstractionist, albeit gestural, and infinitely more complex and that was my natural style for years. difficult, and above all, more And then a few things started to human. dawn upon me that caused me to steer my focus into a different What are your goals for the stylistic direction: 1) there are a upcoming year? lot of great abstraction artists out I find it somewhat counter there, yet there are infinitely more productive to assign yearly art terrible ones. 34

Above: If God Has A Voice, It Is Ours, 2016, 46 x 52�


Above: Mother, Episode 613, 2017, 60 x 48�


2) it became too personally disconcerting when people completely misinterpret the abstraction in question.

for I create work only for myself and the general world at large rather than attempt to tailor my work to a specific market/demographic/gallery to increase sales or 3) I couldn’t see a soulful difference marketability. Paint for yourself, in my work or prints at IKEA or on and true opportunities will a corporate office wall – and that blossom – paint for the market, made me question why I was an and lose your pure identity. artist at all. I guess the change in style would 4) I was no longer pushing myself make previous pieces more forward in abstract, I felt there was valuable? nowhere else to expand – the pure I’m not so certain about that – nor artist in me yearned to develop am I certain I won’t return to a my drawing craft, hone my skills more abstractionist style at some with oils and brushwork rather point in the future. In general, the than hoping that the accidental, value of my work is not something abstract palette-knife swoosh will upon which I focus. inspire some wayward buyer with its movement. What is the favourite thing about your studio? Thus now in my current approach, Solitude. I do not like to work with I’ve taken isolated bits of that others present, except my wife, abstract background and will daughter and studio-chair-sitting incorporate them into what is now cat. The studio is not what it used largely figurative to be back in the day when it was expressionist-based work. I now both artist lab and show space – enjoy having full control of my most folks other than your estabnarratives, and perhaps that lished galleries/museums would perception for people now has rather look at your website or more clarity. Facebook/Instagram page than physically come to your studio to I would refer readers back to my review work, and that is such an third point: as an artist, I will only integral part of a gallery or worry about my own perception, collector forming a relationship 37

with an artist.

always have of being in the studio will last her lifetime. Lastly – it has always been about the journey, not the results. The journey has been marvellous and has opened untold doors in my soul.

What experiences validate you as an artist? Is this validation something one should focus on with the nature of art being subjective? I receive plenty of evidence during the course of my life that provide validation – some of it isn’t art related. For example, my artist life is validated every time I see a guy in a business suit talking on a cellphone.

How does Kenneth take his coffee? Always beside the most beautiful woman, I will ever know.

I’m validated when I compare myself to those I know personally who wallow in poorly-chosen careers because they were too intimidated to follow their true passion, whatever it may be. Seeing my work on another wall that is not in my studio also provides vindication – for example, on one of my collector’s walls, a large piece of mine hangs next to an original Klimt. Other experiences include knowing I made a right decision to work in oils and not in a digitally-enhanced arena. I absolutely love it when my daughter paints with me – she’s only 5, Yet the memories she will


Above: Mother, Episode 274, 2017, 42 x 38�



Above: Nightmare

/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 that the epidemic of mental health issues is getting worse or are people more vocal about it than earlier? It feels like an epidemic, but that’s a good thing. People are more confident to speak out. If you think you are alone and ‘crazy’ its hard to ask for help so by others highlighting their issues especially those in the public eye - it gives people suffering in silence a lifeline.

you turn to in those dark, lonely moments. Art helps me manage my illness but has other benefits as well. I have met some fantastic people at groups and exhibitions who are now good friends. It has given me focus and routine and enables me to feel pride when I see my work displayed, one of the many emotions I struggle with. I believe creative therapies can be beneficial for anyone not just those with a mental health diagnosis.

There still seems to be a stigma attached with regards to discussing and admitting that one is having a tough time emotionally. Do you think we will ever accept and treat it like other socially accepted physiological conditions? Mental health is in the media a lot, and that is definitely helping to combat stigma. We must make the most of it. Once you start talking about it so many people open up because they realise they won’t be laughed at or dismissed as ‘nuts’.

What are you working on at the moment? I am in hospital and drawing lots. This is when I need it the most - to release the pressure in my head but also to pass the time. I am on my third picture already.

Are there any other contemporary artists that have caught your attention? I am a big fan of two local artists. One I met at art therapy, she produces art at an astonishing rate and the other I saw his work at an exhibition we were both in, but I Would you say treatment through haven’t met him yet. I don’t have art and creation have a more any particular well known lasting impact than traditional favourite artists although Escher techniques? and Dali are fantastic. Creative therapies definitely have a lasting impact. It is something 41

How has the positive reaction you have received as an artist helped you emotionally? 6. It took me a long time to understand why people like my work because it is something I need to do to cope. Art is a lifeline for me. It is only recently that I started to enjoy drawing and feeling proud of what I have achieved. Positive feedback lifts my mood and teaches me to ‘allow myself ’ to accept compliments. Obviously, that will generate some negative criticism but that is ok because not everyone will like my work - they often ask about it though and where my inspiration comes from which gets the mental health conversation going. Art can often be reflective and deeply personal, do you think it is important to share and exhibit one’s work? What advice would you give someone who wants to share their work but is scared about the reaction it might get from the public? My pictures are very personal because they are literally the inside of my head. There are images in them that torment me daily. For me, showing them to a wider

audience will get people talking which can only be a positive thing. Exhibiting is a great confidence booster and to any artist thinking about it give it a go. You won’t get in everywhere, but it’s good fun and you will meet some very eccentric people. Maybe start by putting your work online. There are organisations and charities where you can create a homepage on their websites.


Above: Mini Me Below: Inky Depths



/NANCY GIFFORD Whichever part of the world we may come from its hard to ignore the fact that we live in a rather challenging time. Political, economic, racial and environmental issues are just some of the issues we have to deal with. Artist Nancy Gifford uses her work to channel her thoughts on the above issues. Her body of work titled “Crazy Times Series”, perfectly sums up the current climate, especially in the United States. In our conversation with Nancy, she talks about her published art book, the double-edged sword that is social media and what she would do if she ever became president. Could you tell us a bit more about your body of work “Crazy Time Series”? I began the series right before the election for our new president. The title “Crazy Times” is self-explanatory. Also, Leonard Cohen passed away, and his parting album was “Make it Darker”.

coast, “Redaction” is about all the facts we DON’T know and “Heaps of Trouble” is an ongoing series till we are out of trouble.

How do you envision this era of chaos will end? We can only hope for the best though it is difficult to be optimistic at this juncture. I can I took his words to heart and began only hang on to advice my doing pieces in powdered graphite. mother always gave me: This too “Oh Crimey” is about white collar shall pass… corruption, “Oh Oh” is about oil spills which we experienced on our 44

Above: Heap of Trouble Redacted Next Page: The Good Bad Girl


What are your thoughts on our obsession with social media and the degree of influence it has on us? I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I love that I can keep up with friends and what they are doing easily, but I also resent the distraction that social media imposes on my life and work. I am not sure if the positive outweighs the negative in that respect. But, it has been helpful in promoting my film: “Imaginary Novels”:

present concern. I have always had this strange coincidence that when I am working on something it mirrors what is going on. I worked on “Silver Lining” for a commission. I spent two months on it. The day I began the piece it began raining. The day I installed the piece the rains stopped and have not returned. I think I may need to do some more “conjuring” of clouds.

You recently published an art Would you say that working on book called “Mincing Words” your latest series has been a which is a collection of tiny cathartic experience? poems, could you pick three of I am grateful I have my work. It your favourite ones? keeps me somewhat sane in I have been using borrowed and “crazy times”…. But I think my art original text in my work since the is more reflective than cathartic. early 80’s. My “Soundbyte Duets” For example, “The Good Bad Girl are two words, two lines. Series”. I just finished 40 of those pieces when the sexual harassment Part of that collection is now in the scandals broke and unleashed a book “DUETS/ Mincing Words”, torrent of retribution… they now published by Leonard Seastone at play into the #metoo craze that has Tideline Press and Patricia Pistner. swept the nation. The binding is from an amazing woman in Belgium, Loiuse What is the message behind your Bescond. Some favourites: “Age piece “Silver Lining”? Gracefully, Exit Quietly”, “Holy I had been playing with the idea War, Hell Bent”, “Drink Up, Fall of conjuring clouds. The drought Down” and “Checkered Past, Dicey here in California is an everFuture”. 46


Above: Rebekah is to Blame


We are seeing unrest on a global scale, Crazy times indeed, but at the same time there are pockets of people fighting and standing up for what is right. How important is art amongst this? Hopefully, art can uplift us out of the morass and also educate us. I did a text piece out of powdered graphite titled: “Rebekah is to Blame”. It had a performance element where I had printed out cards for people to take with the website www.RebekahIsToBlame. com for the sole purpose of education. The site has no judgement.

of UBI or Universal Basic Income. If we concentrated our resources to help people rather than building machines to kill them. well, wouldn’t that be something to behold? But human nature seems to be devolving not evolving. I hope ART can be part of the solution going forward.

I merely list links. People keep saying, “how did this happen?”… well, presidents do not emerge from a vacuum. I merely hope to shine a light on how the process really works. It is a meagre attempt to enlighten people here on the West coast who were not yet aware of the Mercers and what they represent and want to achieve. If Nancy Gifford were the next president of the United States, what is the first thing she would do? Oh dear, what a dreadful thought… but I guess the first thing would be to implement a rather Utopian idea



/ANNA JENSEN One has no choice of where we are born. Yet, the environment we are surrounded by, both natural and human-made can have a deep impact on us as individuals. Artist Anna Jensen channels her upbringing in the American South through her work. She once said “The more personal art is, the more universal”, this perfectly sums up the crux of her work. Times of heartbreak, challenge and joy echo through her pieces. Situations we can all relate to, no matter where we come from. The attention to detail in your work is refreshing, to say the least, where would you say your key inspiration stems from? There is something so magical about capturing the essence of physical reality or memory into another visual form, either gesturally or with precision and exactness. I think it’s important to allow for looseness and experimentation, but if things get too messy, I feel compelled to introduce an anchor in the form of something recognisable on SOME level.

The patterns in my work most likely stem from the time in my life when I had a living Mom and a more traditional family situation. My mother died suddenly when she was too young. It was, of course, a terrible tragedy and has been very difficult to accept not having her all these years. She decorated our homes with many competing and complementary patterns. At times, it felt hectic, but there was a certain flow and comfort in the partnering and placement. 50

Above: A Prophet is Without Honour in Her own Country 51

I’m a nostalgia junky, so things like that get to me. I can find the ugliest thing drop-dead gorgeous if it evokes a certain feeling. . . That feeling of heartbreak in the name of love. How has living in the American South shaped you as an artist? It all depends really on what version of the American south you have in mind. There’s, of course, the Scarlet O’Hara south. And my brother’s middle name is Mitchell from relation to Margaret Mitchell. There’s the old south you read about in the works of Tennessee Williams or Flannery O’Connor.

old south that still exist, but most modern southern cities all have neighbourhoods and districts that embrace the free thinkers and a vast array of artists. I grew up in a progressive, liberal and diverse borough of ATL and was a minority in my elementary/ middle school...most of my classmates and friends were African American. My dad would pile us all into his station wagon and take us to Stone Mountain, or he’d drop me off to play with my friends in the projects.

Then when I was eleven, we moved to Connecticut for my mom’s work, and it was about 99% white. Yet I However, Atlanta is really the was called a racist (and thought melting pot of the new south. to be stupid) simply because I was Disillusioned outsiders from 500 southern. Some kids there mocked miles around us come to Atlanta as my accent and my use of words like a sanctuary of tolerance. y’all and skoot. I remember eating my lunch in a bathroom stall many It’s a multicultural epicentre known days. for its progressive stances on human awareness, gay rights, and The topic of North and South is racial equality. Martin Luther King still so convoluted and fraught, but Jr, John Lewis, Jimmy Carter… I think it’s based on a lot of People for the people. The new misunderstandings and false south? REM, Drivin n Cryin, assumptions. We moved back Outkast and beyond... south just a couple years later, but I’ve since lived in NYC and other Of course, there are pockets of the great places. 52

each having special things to offer, and all having drawbacks. For now, I am happy to be back “home”. It’s an exciting time here, and I’m grateful to be a part of it.

Once my paintings are done I love them whole-heartedly yet I often don’t quite understand them or even feel responsible. It makes me happy to have made them, though.

You once quoted that “The more personal art is, the more universal”, I’m sure it must be a trap some artists fall into. But, for better or worse I’m not able to think clearly enough, in general, to even imagine what others want to see. I don’t even know what I want to see.

The titles of your pieces play a pivotal role in your work, talk us through the creative process behind them? I collect phrases that stand out to me: song lyrics, quotations, proverbs, overheard clips of conversation, or thoughts from my own head. When a painting is done, I pour through all the papers and narrow down options that could work for that particular painting.

I just work and then before I know it there’s a creature there which wasn’t before, yet seemingly needed to be born. I have sometimes equated it in a way with Or sometimes the title will come to childbirth...however offensive that me in a flash while I’m painting the might be to some people. piece (as in “I Was Your ProBono Call Girl For Eight Years, And All A mother-to-be can take the I Got Was This Crappy Painting” prenatal vitamins and do all she for example). But, usually, it takes can to facilitate a “perfect” more time and consideration/depregnancy, but on some level, it is liberation. Some of my favourites not up to her what person will exit are probably the more personal her body at the delivery time. She’s ones: “I Couldn’t Bear To Throw not directing the cell Your Antacid Tablet Away.” replication or which genes will be “Someone Might Love Me If Only I carried over from past generations Had A Peppier Phone Voice” on either side. But, she will love “La Quinta Stole My Best Slutty the child immediately once he or Dress” she is ready to greet the world. 53

Above: Finally I’m a Functional Alcholic


But all the titles can’t be so loaded. Sometimes a darker piece needs a lighter title for levity. And other times the opposite applies. I really enjoy how the titles complement the paintings in unexpected ways. The title is definitely a part of the piece as a whole in my work. What was the first memory you ever had about art? When I was six years old or so, I had a vision while at my friend Cecilia’s house. I turned a box fan flat on its back, laid a bedsheet on top and dumped a jumbo container of baby powder on the surface, then turned the fan on.

family photograph or any other found image that moves me at that moment. Or I will just start mark-making and finger painting to see what memories or feelings are evoked. I go from there. I paint and repaint my surfaces an insane number of times until I stumble—often through great effort—on to that perfect balance of funny and sad. It’s a gut thing when I know I’ve found it. There’s no formula. It’s both arduous and somehow effortless. C’est la vie.

What are your future plans personally and professionally? It covered the entire room with a I plan to paint as much as possible delightful white dusting of powder. and to continue to have kick-ass It was glorious and probably in shows soonish and over the years! preparation for a winter play I had I’m considering doing my own in mind. Of course, I was smacked pop-up weekend “happening” here by Cecilia’s mom and sent home in Atlanta or even create a more immediately, never to be asked permanent space as a gallery/ back. But it was worth it. studio to show my work but also feature other artists I like and Elements of joy and humour are admire. often juxtaposed with sadness in your pieces, what are you trying A super cool exhibit is in the works to convey through that? in Nashville in the coming months I generally start painting without as well.And I’m always looking for any conscious intention. A new opportunities moving forward. painting can begin with a figure drawing or me riffing off of a Eventually, I will look into some 55

residencies around the world, but am staying mostly around home for this year. Do you have any other passions apart from your art? My dog child, Beulah, is fighting cancer, so I have her on a pretty time-consuming, meticulous regimen of immune boosters and alternative therapies. It’s almost a part-time job taking care of her right now.

What was Anna’s favourite treat growing up? I was desperately in love with Michael Jackson when I was a child. I would cry because I knew that with his amazing greatness, there was no way he would be single by the time I was old enough to be on his radar. Around that time a Michael Jackson microphone toy was released: this bulky red plastic 80’s monstrosity.

I wanted it badly, of course. I asked But, she’s been by my side through for it for Christmas. My mother thick and thin for ten years. It is was a busy working Mom pulled in my honour to be there for her in many directions, and my father was her time of need. the absent-minded professor type so my request was mixed up with Yoga and running keep me from others and my younger sister going down my personal rabbit ended up receiving the hole, so I try not to miss more than microphone. I was able to recover a couple of days of one or the the packaging, though, and I curled other. I also have a spectacular up with the box every night human partner in crime who I thereafter. As fate would have it, spend time laughing, thinking, and Michael Jackson died on my loving with… I feel very fortunate birthday, June 25th. to have these and other supremely special individuals in my orbit, not to sound too hippy dippy. But, mostly it’s eating, painting, and my little family (and of course music).


Above: Someone Might Love Me



/THOMAS KUPPLER Ever since it was invented, photography has been an invaluable tool to capture a moment in time. But there are a few artists who blur the lines between this documentation and creation of art. One of these is London based Thomas Kuppler. Thomas recently spent some time with us talking about his workflow, the love for his hometown and his dream camera. Where are you currently based and why? I am currently still based in London, as I consider it my home. I try though slowly to detach myself from here and am looking out for new places. Therefore I spend a lot of time in Mallorca. It is an island I fell in love with and quite the opposite of busy and hectic London. I get different inspiration there, and it helps me with my work.

Your work certainly blurs the lines between photography and art. Would you consider yourself the former or the latter? Neither nor. I consider myself a visual artist expressing himself through different media and manifestations. I do not differentiate between the different media. They are just a tool. The merging of photography with painting or other techniques makes it difficult for others to determine into which “category� to put me, which in return makes it difficult to define my art.

Pushing the unconscious and unperceivable into the visible realm seems to be the crux of your work. Do you feel that you have achieved this goal with your work? This is something, which should be 58


decided by the spectator. This goal is always something I am looking ahead to. I do not think, that I have fully achieved it yet - at least for myself, it will be the ultimate thing to achieve. I am never 100% content with my work - always looking forward to developing it more.

was very angry about it. The drawn comparison refers to the destructive character of the bacteria and its pattern to evolve and spread to more and more countries.

In your body of work titled “xylella fastidiosa”, you draw comparisons with the aforementioned bacteria and Brexit in the United Kingdom. Could you tell us a bit more about this? I initially made this link, because I

What does an ideal day in the studio for Thomas look like? I never have an ideal day in the studio. The imaginary ideal day would be to work on a project without interrupting myself.

It though seems to refrain to certain regions within those countries and is very dangerous. This is one of the aspects that the The same danger caused by range of work I am doing is so politicians and the overall diverse and keeps on changing. The evolving nationalistic, homophobic thoughts and set of mind behind it and racist tendencies arising remains the same - the execution within our societies. Of course, though keeps on changing. politicians or globalisation does not only cause these tendencies When did you begin experiment- they are caused by the crumbling ing with your work? structure of society and loss of I always was experimenting with identity. my work. It became more and more important to me after I The bacteria are changing the started working with photography appearance of landscapes through and wanted to explore how far I its destruction of woodlands. So can push that media into new do the above tendencies: changing horizons to “destroy” its and destroying the appearance of representational character. countries and societies.


Previous Page: Veil Above: Nail


Above: Xylella Fastidiosa


This is quite impossible because I constantly have new ideas and inspirations, which I have to write down in order not to forget. Therefore my days in the studio are always quite fragmented.

territory for me, but at the same time an opportunity and venture to execute something “traditional” in a new way. This project has still a connection to my ongoing theme of “the veil”, the hidden, and is dealing with cultural residues and layers. I am at the stage of finalising the concept. This is a long-term project, and I am aiming to finish it within the next six months.

Just as a polaroid goes through a transitionary phase while being developed, is your work about taking viewers on a journey from the invisible to the tangible? There will always be an invisible part within my work, which Do you have a dream camera? becomes tangible through the Hasselblad medium format camera viewer’s mind. This is my intention with a digital back. - to provoke a tangibility through abstractions and or the context the work needs to be seen in. Have you always wanted to work with the media you currently work with? Yes. The only media I would like to work more with is the “moving image”. I also would sometimes like to work on a bigger scale of things and do installation pieces involving different media. I am currently actively working on the “Xylella Fastidiosa” project, which is developing into a multimedia installation piece. I am also working on a very complex “documentary piece”, which is new



/hERO Doughnuts, love them or hate them there’s no denying their popularity. Emblazoned with chocolate, icing and all forms of sugary treats they have a certain irresistible draw, even if it’s from a visual point of view. Artist Helen Roowalla or hERO as she is known has chosen this renowned treat to be the focus of her latest work, creating dialogue around the fact that although we might appear different, we all have a shared core. Almost every country has a political fraction that seems to be hell-bent on driving divisions between the population, what would your advice be to people in times like these? I’m just an artist and not an expert on the current geo-political state of affairs, but with my new This image is represented in different ways throughout the collection, I would like to inspire collection, but it’s the connecting people to cherish other people for their differences instead of fighting link between all the pieces. In a greater sense, this collection wants them because they are different. to express that we are all unique individuals, but we are united in our commonalities. Could you tell us a bit more about your new body of work titled “Unique & United”? The collection revolves around the visual concept of a doughnut of which the centre is a mouth with a tongue sticking out.


Above: Donut in Space


There’s an abundance of tasty doughnuts in your current work, What was the inspiration behind that? The shape of the doughnut came very organically, and I was instantly attracted by their roundness and also that it’s a rather simple, shape but that it can be customised in endless ways.

What do you love the most about your job as an artist? I love that I’m able to express a part of me visually, without using words, which I often feel is a more truthful expression of how I feel and what I think.

If Helen would be a doughnut, what flavour would she be? That is a great question that I have What would you like to achieve never thought about. If I were a professionally as an artist? doughnut, I’d be chocolate glazed I would like to be recognised as an with a raspberry filling. What’s artist for my style. I’m very inspired outside doesn’t necessarily reflect by other pop artists such as Keith what’s inside. Haring and Britto. Both artists have very distinct styles, and their name immediately conjures up very specific images and places. Your work always has an abundance of colour in it, has this always been the case? It hasn’t always been the case. My background is in drawing therefore the artwork I produced was predominantly in graphite or black charcoal. As soon as I started picking up painting, initially using oil paints, I started experimenting with a variety of colours. 66

Above: Break



/MARTINA FURLONG Ireland is a country rich in heritage, culture and natural beauty. All these elements have had an impact on artist Martina Furlong. Born in Co.Wexford Ireland, Martina’s work reflects the beauty, charm and ruggedness of her surroundings. After spending sixteen years living in London, she moved back to Ireland after the birth of her daughter in 2013 where she spends her time painting in her studio in the ever beautiful Irish countryside. We interviewed Martina where she talks about her steps into the art world, the impact of Irish folklore and myths in her creativity and how her work is a constantly evolving process. Could you talk us through your early steps into the world of painting? I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. When I finished school at 17, I did a portfolio course and then went on to study Fine Art Painting at Limerick School of Art and Design in Limerick, Ireland.

What was it like growing up in the picturesque countryside of Ireland? Is it as beautiful as one imagines it to be? The Irish countryside is every bit as beautiful as people imagine it to be. To grow up with such freedom in this magical, rugged landscape made for a very special childhood and encouraged me to use my imagination and creativity daily. 68

Above: What More Could I Have Seen, 2017, Acrylic on Paper, 25 x 30 cm


Above: Once Upon a Time, 2014, Acrylic on Canvas, 76 x 100 cm

Irish legends, myths and folklore play a part in your inspiration, if you could name a favourite, what would it be? Irish legends, Irish history and the Irish landscape all play a part in my inspiration.

What was the best advice you were given? The best advice I was given was to paint or draw something every day, and when other artists ask me for advice, this is the first thing I tell them.

My favourite legend would be The Children of Lir as this one stands out from my childhood.

It doesn’t matter if it is only 5 or 10 minutes. Other valuable bits of advice I was given was to buy the best materials I can afford and to not be afraid to take risks with my work. 70

Above: No Ruler of This Realm, 2015, Acrylic on Canvas, 70 x 90 cm

If you could live in another part of the world, where would it be and why? There are lots of other places I would like to visit but nowhere springs to mind that I would like to live other than Ireland. If I had to pick a place, it would be s omewhere remote with a house overlooking the sea.

regularly and paint my way around the world.

You continually experiment with textures and layers in your work, could you tell us a bit about the process? I usually have sketches prepared for each painting before I begin. I don’t always have the colour scheme planned, but I will have some I would love a holiday home by the colours in mind. sea in Iceland, Canada, France, I sketch the scene in paint on the Italy, Jamaica and many other countries so I could visit them canvas/board and start applying 71

paint of varying thickness with different tools as well as brushes and pallet knives to build up the layers.

contact me as it was easy for them to get to my studio, view my work and transport it to their gallery or home.

I continue to apply paint and scrape some of it off to reveal layers underneath until I feel the painting is coming to an end. Then I will bring the colours, textures and images together to create a finished painting I am happy with. I am always on the look out for things I can use to apply paint to add new textures to my work.

What are the four most fun parts of working for yourself? I wouldn’t necessarily describe working for myself as ‘fun’, but the best part of working for myself is being able to do a job that I love, dictate my hours and not have to answer to anyone else. I feel very lucky to be able to paint for as many hours as I want each day.

Which three artists have most inspired your work? Pascal Magis, Francis Bacon and Victor Willing.

You lived in London for 16 years, what was that like? Living in London was fantastic. It was great to be able to visit exhibitions, shows, concerts and museums whenever I wanted. It is an inspirational city, and a creative person couldn’t ask for a better place to live to further their career. I found that being based in London gave me so many opportunities to exhibit my work. Gallery owners and potential buyers based in London were also quicker to


Above: You Know How to Listen, You Will Not Fall, 2017, Oil on Canvas, 40 x 40 cm



/TRINE CHURCHILL As a species, we have constantly migrated from one place to another. Often in search of better opportunities, environment and in many cases, survival. When artist Trine Churchill’s parents decided to emigrate to the United States when she was 19, this has long-lasting implications for her as a person and her creativity. In our conversation with Trine, she talks about her time between the United States and Europe and the importance of mistakes in creation. What led you to move from Copenhagen to Los Angeles? When I was 19 my family emigrated to the US. I could have stayed behind, of course, but I decided to come along for the adventure and the new start.

You can say I grew up in a family of people who are dreamers and who believe in following your heart. It does have its down-side in a world that adheres to realism, but in the end, I feel fortunate to have inherited the impossible trait of being a dreamer.

What caused my family to move in the first place, was a life-long dream of living in America, where my dad (Werner Wejp-Olsen), who is a cartoonist, found a like-minded spirit in some of the American cartoonists and colleagues, like Dick Brown of Hagar the Viking, and Mort Walker of Beetle Bailey.

You studied art both in Los Angeles and Paris, how did the training style differ from each place and how did that affect your art? The two places were like night and day! Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles was all 74

Above: Mother and Child


about concept, the idea behind what you were creating, and why you were creating it. Although basic skills were taught, there really was not much emphasis on it. Figurative painting was still unpopular. There were a few “unfortunate” components in that for me - one being that I was a figurative painter, and the other being that the young me was a bit of a pleaser, needing my work to be liked.

clean his brush with - he had none - a student lifted the cloth bow out of her hair and gave it to him. He thanked her and wiped his brush. I giggled thinking others would too, but everyone was really serious about it.

My paintings at that time were more illustrations of an idea. Énsb-a in Paris was a really amazing place. The building itself on Rue Bonaparte was like stepping back in time. Figurative painting was very much a natural way of expressing yourself there, so it was embraced by the faculty.

While figurative painting was celebrated there, American artists were not! But both places taught me something very valuable, and that is you are who you are, and that you’ve got to shake off the notion of being accepted or not.

Also, there was an ongoing life-drawing workshop the students could just stop by for, which I loved. Students were assigned a particular Professeur whose atelier you became a student Then there was the having to know of. It was more like a mentor what it was all about. This caused program. Here, on the other hand, me to approach the process in I ran up against being viewed as an reverse: know ahead what I wanted American, since I spoke no French to say, then create the piece to of virtue, and had arrived from Los support that. Angeles.

I remember one teacher giving an hour-long demonstration on how to paint the shadows on a nose, from the side of the nose, to below the tip. When he needed a rag to

My study in Paris was only one semester, and admittedly came with a bit of distraction by Paris itself and a French boyfriend. But I believe I started making paintings here rather than illustrating an idea.


And by the time I returned to LA for my final year at Otis, I had worked through some of these kinks of insecurity, and I ultimately had my best year at Otis, doing what I loved to do and caring less about what other people thought. Mistakes are an inevitable part of the creative process, how do you personally deal with them? Mistakes use to make me feel uncomfortable, like I had ruined a perfectly good painting. Then I realized that what was a perfectly good painting, had the potential to become a great one once I had made that mistake.

Where do you get your reference matter from? I get it mostly from photos I take usually with my phone. Some of it can be mundane, to begin with, but if I find something in it, it tends to find its way into something mystical, symbolic, sometimes psychological or commenting.

Using my photography allows me to have my own immediate connection with the imagery and then it also frees me up to not think about the why I am painting it. I have to trust that it will reveal itself soon enough. The photo, in other words, becomes the stepping stone into the process, which also entails loose handling of the paint The mistake shakes things up, and and areas that are pure abstractions forces you to think of the piece in a along with those areas that are different perspective, a fresh look. more rendered and realistic. It asks of you to sit back and let it take over. This learning has freed Another source of reference, or me up to now almost hoping for perhaps more a source of mistakes to happen and has taught inspiration, is my Weekly Journal. me that even if you paint I send out a drawing once a week, something over, the soul of all the typically a watercolour or colour layers beneath live on, and makes pencil drawing. The image is of art art - that unspeakable truth something current, either going which can only be felt and on in present time, or it is simply experienced, and not really something that is currently on my described in words. mind. 77

Above: American Cheerleader


I go on to describe what I have drawn or painted, almost as if I am describing someone else’s work. And then I share my own thought or feelings about it. It is an interesting experience to send this out, sharing it with my newsletter followers. What I am finding out, is that something that is really quite personal, to begin with, takes on a shared experience, or memory, that people sometimes share back with me. Moreover, what I use from this “exercise” is the direct link between you as an artist and the immediate source of your inner being. What is art according to you? Art is the particular fibre of our existence on this earth that helps us connect to a deeper level of being. Art connects you to your own story, your current and past one, and it sharpens your ability to imagine. It also teaches you to be comfortable with not knowing what it is about, but rather just being in the feeling of the artwork, and take it from there. To me despite all the hard work to make art purely conceptual - art is most advantageous when not super

intellectual. I am not a fan of having to read an explanation of what I am in front in order to “understand”. We have so many occasions in our set-up of society to be intellectual and “brain” our way through life. But here you have the chance to experience your soul and your heart. Why not take it? Most artists tend to build on the work of others, if this was true for you, who were the artists whose work first inspired you? The first artists to inspire me were the Surrealists - first Magritte, then Dali - for their dream-state of mind, and non-rationale. Moving to the States, to California I became familiar with Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Later on, I got into the Renaissance artists, no-one in particular, it was more for their compositional simplicity and colour. Then Michael Kvium, a current Danish painter of grotesque people with a dark sense of humor that appealed to me. I have had many more sources of inspiration. As of lately, I look to painters like Peter Doig and Hernan Bas whom I find both balance the abstract with the realistic really well.


The combination of the representative with the abstract has really gotten me excited about going into the studio. You get to show some of your skills while having freedom in applying paint and not to be too concerned about spills, drips, wrong or the end, it becomes complete. It’s like opposites attract within the same piece.


How often do you go back to Copenhagen? How is the art scene over there different to the one in Los Angeles? I try and go back once a year. I lived in Copenhagen mid-90’s right after art school for 2-3 years before returning to LA. I shared a studio with some great artists some of which I am still in touch with. Today with Facebook I have connected with other artists who are like-minded in one way or another, like Heidi P and Linda Bjørnskov. Linda and I met in Los Angeles briefly many years earlier, and we reconnected via email rather than Facebook. Nevertheless, the three of us somehow ended up working together across the Atlantic and created friendships through the

I can’t say that I find a big difference between the art scene here and there. Perhaps in Copenhagen, there is still a little more weight on a painting tradition. Darker colours perhaps, not so colourful as in Southern California where the sun is out almost every day. But it really comes down to relatively small differences. Could you tell us a bit about your 30 Paintings project? Yes. I came up with the 30 paintings 30 days project as a way to find out what would happen if I had a very a limited amount of time to create a lot of paintings. Kind of a way to out-smart myself, so that I wouldn’t think too much, or second-guess the approach. I gathered a handful of photographs I had taken from recent travels in Europe, and from the city I live in, Los Angeles. Then I lined up three rows of 10 blank canvases (30 x 30 cm) on the wall. I did not do one painting per day, but rather I worked many of them simultaneously, and over the course of 30 days (which became


Above: Roots 81

34 days to be exact) all of the empty canvases were now paintings in their own right. They were not a series based on the same theme, but rather they were 30 individual pieces. And funny enough they became a re-introduction of the figure into my painting. Not that I had abandoned the figurative, it was always present in the form of an animal or a figure used now and then. But these new paintings became very much centred around the person. And one thing that I find successful about this is that even though the figure is very much present, these paintings are not portraits. Instead the figures work as elements of a storyline that involves all of the painting and the environment in which the figures exist. They take on more of a symbolic presence in the overall narrative. Do you have a favourite memory from growing up in Copenhagen as a child? I grew up in the suburbs of Copenhagen - about 30 min north of the city, a small city called NivĂĽ. Our house was the last house in a row of identical looking houses in

the complex we lived in. Outside of our windows and the backyard was an open field, a small forest, and a river running through. It had once been a viking settlement, and I remember finding a small flint stone in the soil. The nature we were surrounded by welcomed our imagination and gave us the opportunity to play and create while being part of it. For instance my older sister and her friends build a whole settlement out of clay bricks, digging out for floors and walls. They did bon fires and had meetings. There was a boy camp and a girl camp who competed with each other. I was a little too young to be part of their gang, but I would come visit. What I ended up escaping as a teenager, the suburban life, is what has become a fond memory of growing up, and a realisation just how unique it was that we had the freedom to run around like that and lead fairly independent lives. As long as we came home for dinner time. And stayed away from the train track.


Above: The Wisper of Now



/MARIE BUKOWSKI As a species, we have been using art to communicate and catalogue for millennia. Some of our oldest works of art were simply a way for people to record what they saw around them, using rudimentary tools and pigments. These, in turn, have given us valuable information about their lives, experiences and in some cases demise. Artist, Marie Bukowski uses see’s her work as a diary, a time capsule of a moment in her life, difficult or calm. We sat with Marie where she talked about her new work, her bedtime routine and literary and visual art. For as long as we can remember, humans have been archiving and cataloguing in the form of pictures and words, how important is art in this aspect? Art is extremely important in this regard. All artists have their strategies of collecting, storing, cataloguing, and archiving images, objects, and documents that we can recall and trace to shared memories and histories. This archiving and cataloguing is central in today’s culture in order to investigate history, memory, and our own identity. It is so significant 84

because art interprets the general characteristics of the society that had produced the pictures and words that were archived. For me, I am creating my own hieroglyphics to create a narrative that comes close to disclosing experiences that are universal and personal, at the same time. The images or words have a specific history and meaning by relating their appearance in my work to each other through space and circumstance.

Opposite: Cold Memories Warm Dreams 1

One might say that secret thoughts translated into art might not be so secret anymore, how do you approach that dilemma as an artist? It is difficult. It depends on how the artwork is ultimately portrayed. Snippets, memories, personal mythologies, and historical and natural references inform the imagery. This allows the artist to explore relationships, experiences, and lineage.

that involves renewal and regrowth in contrast to deterioration and destruction on another level.

My own private refuge isn’t necessarily given away in a visual work of art. Creating symbols and personal iconography allows me to capture ideas as a way to explore secret thoughts, rather than exploiting them and revealing the secret. This doesn’t make the work deceptive, but rather it is unapologetically honest and compelling. What has your latest work been leaning towards? I have had more interest in biological and natural forms lately. I’m thinking more about the biological life cycle, considering that an organism goes through a series of changes, returning to its original state. I am mindful of the dichotomy between the transition

What do you think holds more value? Literary or visual diaries? Both hold equal value because they do the same thing: it is a place that allows for critical reflection where I can learn to understand myself and the society in which we all live. It is a wonderful process where it allows us to remember, take stock, and gain awareness and perspective. Anne Frank said it best: “…paper is patient…” So long as I can write or draw, it is a way of bringing up all the things that I hold close to my heart. My visual diaries help me to make sense of my own conscience. Would you say that your work helps you give structure and meaning to your subconscious thoughts? Absolutely. Making art is a way to make a direct connection to the subconscious. It helps to take ideas and create a linear narrative. Much like the diaristic approach to making art, it is a way to keep my mind open and honest, and it defines the meaning to me, as it is slowly revealed in my work.


Above: Cold Memories Warm Dreams 7 87

Above: Cold Memories Warm Dreams 4

Could you tell us a bit more about your new work titled “Cold Memories; Warm Dreams�? This work is about opposing ideas. It implies, specifically, that the past does not always hold nostalgic memories, but the future holds warmth; something better. This work is a meditation practice that presents peace to the viewer.

The subject matter, while organic is different to your past work, could you elaborate on that for us? My latest work is more personal than it has been in the past; focusing on recovery. Thinking about cell death, a form of cellular destruction, I am implicating myself in a range of biological processes. 88

Above: Cold Memories Warm Dreams 5

I am considering how these processes affect disease, immune responses, recovery, growth and progress. The idea is that recovery is not a final destination, but a continuum with multiple stages and dimensions.

I plan to go to bed, I shut out all electronic communication like email and social media, including turning the television off to start to wind down and clear my head.

Does Marie have a bedtime routine? I don’t have a specific routine, except that thirty minutes before 89


/MEGAN HURDLE The clothes that we put on our back are an important statement we unconsciously make on a daily basis. They, to a degree, define us in the public domain whether we like it or not and tell a story. The choice of materials, cut and textures all add to the overall image. This becomes more pronounced in costumes created for theatre and film, adding to the narrative itself. Artist Megan Hurdle is tapping into the beauty of these pieces for her latest body of work simply titled “Ethereality”. Known for her detailed three-dimensional pieces, Megan talks us through her fascination with costumes, the inspiration that was her grandmother and lessons she has learnt on her journey through art. Could you please tell us more about your brilliant series of “Dress” paintings that you have been working on lately? I have always been interested in painting dresses and costumes. For this show and series, I am focusing on lace and patterns and marks. I wanted to try different transparent parchment papers and layer them so the viewer would see the three dimensional quality. I have a daughter turning 13 this summer. I am watching her become a woman before my eyes.

As always, she constantly inspires me and my creative outlet. This dress series has let me explore innocence, ethereality and my memories as well as others. What is it about the intricacies of period clothing that captivates you? I try and capture a memory or a special moment in these pieces. Each dress represents a special time in one’s life such as a baptism or a wedding. For me, these are memories that I want to portray in a dream like setting. 90


The more ethereal , the better.

My grandmother would let me spend hours in her studio. She Your paintings have a three-diencouraged me to try all of her mensionality that is lost in mediums, papers and materials. images, is this something that was She would tell me to paint what easy to master as an artist? I feel and there were no rules in With all my paintings, I use layers making art. and layers of painted paper cut out and adhered to panel. The final What is Megan passionate about process is an epoxy resin glaze. apart from art? This process gives my paintings a I love spending time with my 3D affect. family and friends foremost. I also love being with all my animals. I These dresses have layers of love being outside and exercise. transparent papers with painted Listening to music is a big part of lace throughout. When you my day too. layer these papers, the final product gives you a sense of no beginning Art can often be considered a and no end. solitary profession, long hours spent in the studio, how do you Are your dress paintings based on find the balance between being a real pieces that you own? wonderful mother and an artist? A few dresses from this series are Being an artist, mother and wife christening gowns from friends are all intertwined for me. My kids that I borrowed. I also painted lace know where I spend most of my veils borrowed from loved ones. time and they are constantly coming in and out of my studio. What is the most important lesson you have learnt as an I love for them and their friends artist? to join me in creating. Again, my The most important lesson I have grandmother was always learned is to just my intuition. My encouraging us to create and I want grandmother, also an artist, told to do the same. me this as a young girl, but I don’t think I new the full impact until now. 92


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