Artist Talk 21 Sept 23 | in flow - the magic of dynamic motion
Why am I participating in this exhibition?
Works of art that are not seen do not exist.
Do you understand why that is?
The reception is important, things that are not perceived do not exist, everything has to go through the thinking and feeling of the human being. Plato teaches as early as 500 B.C. that if we do not perceive = see anything - we cannot think about anything.
Therefore, I was very happy Rama chose two artworks for the exhibition. I find the theme "in flow - dynamic movement" exciting. When I'm working, I'm "in flow", so to speak - suddenly I don't notice if the music is playing, if I'm hungry... everything is subordinated to creativity.
Whereby I would like to make a short excursion to the word "creative". You can read more about it in my current ART Letter.
The word creative, referring to artistic creation, was first used by the philosopher, theologian, mathematician and physicist Nicholas of Cusa, also known as "Cusanus" (1401 - 1464), who stood during the transition from the Middle Ages to modern times. He is known for his "De docta ignorantia" (On Learned Ignorance).
He made a distinction between the macrocosm and the microcosm.
A Platonic distinction that sees the world as a whole and the world in miniature. Just as God created the world as a whole, as creator, as creator of the whole, man as artist should now also create this world in miniature, in the form of a work of art. And in doing so, man realises his likeness to God, because the only thing we believe we know about God is that He is the Creator. And if man is his image, then he too must be a creator. To be creatively active is analogous to God's action, just as God makes the world on a large scale, so as an artist to make a world on a small scale. This analogy was originally understood as "creative".
I also see my work in this light: I want to create works of art that carry something numinous, something inexplicable, and are living worlds in the microcosmic. They should point beyond the images of the everyday. The mundane has to be widened and stretched to become free again.
How can this be done? For this we need three pillars: colour (= light), form (= space) and movement (= expression). I try to capture the movement of beauty together with a sense of play.
I believe we need to shape our world, be enchanted and make a positive contribution. By creating artworks that capture a feeling, a mood, something spiritual, I give the gift of hope, because we need more than the mundane.
As an artist I love to work in the range between very close to nature to very far from nature, but without leaving nature completely. We always need a remnant of nature in a work of art because we are also of nature and otherwise have no access to the work. Because only what is known can relate.
"Movement" is obviously an abstract work. I have read the texts of Wassily Kandinsky, among others - here, at the dawn of abstraction - he and Franz Marc stated that it is not possible to think up a picture in one's head of the picture I am about to paint.
Quite simply: because a picture in the mind is purely mental. But a picture on the easel is matter. I cannot transform spirit into matter. BUT I can lead matter to spirit and dematerialise it. I can learn to balance, to get a feeling for the work and then, without a mental prototype, put it on the canvas.
Colour is always immanent to form. Meaning as soon as I put a colour on the canvas, this patch of colour has a form.
That's what I work with. What goes with it? Which colour, which form? Where is the light?
I stretch and prime my canvases myself. I only use European linen and high quality gesso. Each canvas is fixed by nails - I want to do as much as possible by hand - craft is a crucial part of my inspiration. Talent does not open without any effort, but only through craft. I am convinced that art is made by people for people and that we must learn to appreciate the human element again.
Susanna emerged from a project for the SGBK. I called the series of four women in wood print "Reclaiming the Feminine | Women in Wood".
I grew up in England and regularly commute between the UK and Switzerland.
In London it is normal to draw in museums, you are even encouraged to do so! Since studying in Manchester many years ago, I have always drawn, wherever I am, whatever inspires me. Since I was president of the Woman's Career Network in Vienna, I have been interested in women's issues and this is always reflected in my work.
Reclaiming the Feminine is my attempt to bring women back to women. In this work I have explored women who have been portrayed by men and abused by men. They all need to reclaim their feminine identity, re-imagine themselves as powerful personalities and be reinvented by women for humanity.
I don't see humanity as different kinds of people, but rather as different sides of the same idea of humanity. We all need love to live, we all need relationships, and no human being is an island. So why do we need to highlight our differences, emphasise our sexual desires and dress according to the group we feel we belong to? We only have one world, we are one people. Why can't we just embrace our differences, because they make the world so much more interesting, joyful and creative, rather than alienating or separating ourselves from those we believe are not like us? Let's be proud of who we are without fear of discrimination.
Reclaiming the feminine is important because for centuries women have been oppressed, ignored and we have been told we are "irrational and therefore no good for real life". Women are often not noticed in art and rarely appear in art books. Why is that? Art history has been written predominantly by men. In the last 10 years, public galleries and museums in Germany have acquired ONLY 10% of art by women (it is no different in Switzerland, as a feature on SRF Kultur showed)! Women artists in Germany still earn 24% LESS than male artists with the same qualifications. A few figures from the Arte TV report on why it is important to me that as a woman artist I also have a fair chance - to be noticed and seen.
The Swiss Society of Women Artists (SGBK) was founded 120 years ago because women were not allowed in the Swiss Art Association at that time. Fortunately, things have changed, but it is still important not only to value women as equal members of society (regardless of their age), but also to fully integrate them into the dialogue of art to reflect their experiences and history. I am 100% dedicated to my profession as an artist and she defines my life.
In Reclaiming the Feminine, I did not want to create copies of the images of women made by men, but to reinterpret, reinvent, recharge the ideas of these women made by men - and present them in a new way, by a woman.
Susanna and the Elders
Inspired by "Susanna", sculpture by Frank Dobson (1888 - 1963), c. 1925, bronze.
Susanna was observed bathing by two elders who then wanted to have sex with her. She replied that she was married and that this was not possible under any circumstances. The men, angered by her refusal, accused her of meeting her lover under a tree and said she was an unfaithful wife. David, as judge, asked each man individually under which tree she had met with her lover. Each elder answered with a different tree. Therefore Susanna was pardoned, as it was obviously a lie.
Reductive woodblock print using pine wood, hand-printed without a press. The elders are represented by the two red dots.
Do I want to say anything else about my work?
What am I working on at the moment?
I am currently working towards my exhibition "Myths". I have been reading texts and books by Dr Sharon Blackie for years - she is a CG Jung student and the stories of archetypes and myths have inspired me madly. You can find invitations here.
I have also just completed a pilgrimage to St David's in Wales and am working on putting my impressions and inspirations from it down on paper. I will be showing various works at 3 galleries in Wales over the next 12 months. (by the way: according to Pope Calixtus II (1123), two pilgrimages there are worth as much as one to Rome!)
Thoughts on time
Gedanken zur Zeit
Exhibition talk "Myth" | November 23
Rede zur Ausstellung "Mythen" | November 23
Artificial Intelligence & the Absurd Part III
Künstliche Intelligenz & das Absurde Teil III
Künstliche Intelligenz & das Absurde Teil II
Artificial Intelligence & the Absurd Part II
Künstliche Intelligenz & das Absurde Teil 1
Artificial Intelligence & the Absurd Part 1
Artist Talk 21 Sept 23 | in flow - die Magie dynamischer Bewegung
Artist Talk 21 Sept 23 | in flow - the magic of dynamic motion
The Painted House | Willkommensrede
The Painted House | Welcome Speech
Warum brauchen wir KUNST?
Why do we need ART?
Über das Verhältnis von Kunst und Naturwissenschaft | Teil III
On the Relationship between Art and Science | Part III
Über das Verhältnis von Kunst und Naturwissenschaft | Teil 2
On the Relationship between Art & Science | Part II
Über das Verhältnis von Kunst und Naturwissenschaft | Teil I
On the relationship between art and science | Part I
Reclaiming the Feminine | Women in Wood
Meine Willkommensrede, Open ATELIER Party, Freitag, 21. Oktober 2022