Not Random Art - Page 133

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15

Hello Margaret, and welcome to NotRandomArt. The current issue is revolving around the problem of communication and identity. Is there any particular way you would describe your identity as an artist but also as a human being in dynamically changing, unstable times? In particular, does your cultural

substratum/identity form your aesthetics?

Hello, and thank you for having me! I have always been a collector of artistic skills, which is a blessing because I find choosing a medium that compliments the intention of the work is very important in my practice.

I have grown up in a household that emphasized both spirituality and scientific fact, two philosophies that are often seen as pitted against each other more often than co-existing. I myself have not been spared from the tension they can cause, and it has taken me a long time to find a peace between them. It is actually through my artistic expression I have been able to wrestle them together. Because of this, I find myself really interested in practices of divination, astrology, and early scientific processes. All of which have inspired aspects of my recent body of abstract ink works.

Would you like to tell us something about your artistic as well as life background?

What inspired you to be in this artistic point in your life when you are now?

I am a Canadian emerging artist, just recently graduated from the Fine Arts Studio program at the University of Waterloo, receiving my Bachelor of Arts degree. I still live in my hometown of Kitchener, Ontario and enjoy watching it become old and new through the years, especially with the new focus on technology startups interacting with its heritage.

It’s a combination of experiences that brought me to where I am now in terms of my art making. I remember the first time I hiked among huge cliffs and rocks in northern ontario, and experiencing a night sky with no moon by one of the great lakes. I felt small by these things, and it struck a chord in me. I also remember spending time with a few friends who were going through very difficult moments in their lives. They felt defeated and alone in their situation, and I would think about them while staring into the dark windows on a bus at night. This lead me on a track to thinking about chaos, about the kinds of disorder in our personal lives- how it hurts people to not have answers, and how they come about seeking them out.

Could you identify a specific artwork that has influenced your artistic practice or

has impacted the way you think about your identity as a participant of the visual

Culture?

It might be cliche to say as an abstract artist, but I found inspiration from seeing Jackson Pollock's works in their full size, and learning about Rothko’s colour field works. These works own the space they are placed in. They have a sort of life to them beyond perhaps the movement or placement of the paint. They feel alive, like they are also observing and judging you. It made me consider the idea that perhaps the medium could have a life or will of its own, and so I decided to play with relinquishing artistic control in part of the process of making these discs. I found I felt more like an artist collaborator with the work itself, rather than its master, which adds a whole other dimension on to the spiritual idea of the works.

I also find myself inspired by the line works of Sol LeWitt. He created clear systems for the making of his works, and in an art world that often says “there are no rules to art”, I find this an excellent example of rebelling against that idea. An exercise in absolute control, even over spontaneity, belongs in the art world just as much as chaotic abstract works. Both these artists’ works contrast each other, but also helped me come to the realization that I wanted to be an artist that treated art as another entity in itself. It is alive in its own right, a collaboration to bring it out of the air and into the physical world.

What is the role of technique in your practice? In particular are there any

constraints or rules that you follow when creating?

The whole process of making this body of work is a series of constraints and rules developed over experimentation. For my series of disks, (“Seeking Evermore”) they begin with placing the materials in an ordered fashion, setting the scene so to speak for the work to begin. I use the same camel hair brush, same water container, ink, soap/water mixture, and surface, as well as the same order of working. The moment before I start a piece is always the most nerve racking, because I know for this to work, I need to grapple with my need to control the outcome. The spreading of the clean water over the water resistant paper serves as a centering gesture, before I take the ink dropper and begin dropping the india ink into the layer of water. As it pools, I add the agitator, (a mix of soap and water) that makes the ink react dramatically. This and fiddling to make sure the whole thing is level is the only input I have in the work at this point. And then I have no choice but to wait for the water to evaporate. The whole process is quick and disciplined, but not without personal anxiety.

ned by means of the time, that I dedicate to the revelation of what is my summary on the colors and shapes, and through what I have seen and undertaken as, then I transfer it on canvas or sheet of paper. Time is the true protagonist, represented by the technique of the whole represented image.

My paintings and my drawings to be appreciated in all their fullness, should be observed very closely, in the same way that I conceived them. You have to put the viewer in front of the work and let him to explore it, like you are in a place and if you want to see everything that is around, you have to move your eyes in every direction.

I suggest this way to view and appreciate every work, but especially mine, whatever the way and the mean used.

What in your opinion defines a work of art? And moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

II must admit I find this question incredibly hard! What defines a work of art??? I keep coming back to “originality” and “passion”. I think if someone has created something from scratch with his own hands, with passion, with heart and soul, whatever and wherever that spiritedness and desire stems from, no matter how beautiful or how ugly, you could call it art.

As for the contemporariness of an artwork, I don’t necessary believe there is a specific feature which defines the work modern. All art at one point in time was “contemporary” in comparison to what came before it.

Is there any particular way you would describe your identity as an artist but also as a human being in dynamically changing, unstable times? In particular, does your cultural substratum/identity form your aesthetics?

Definitely being female in this day and age influences my aesthetics. I guess you could say I am a feminist artist, not the bra burning, sign wielding type, but I certainly believe in equality for women, particularly in art. I empathise with women involved in the art world of history past and am awed by their courage and how far female artists have fought to shine through… but it still isn’t over yet. Through my art I believe I am conveying a woman's sense of self. Her individualism, her beauty, sensuality and mystery, her sexuality, strength and heart.

Your art seems to be a quest for “balance between abstract and realism, manipulating lines and colours to create a kaleidoscopic feel while remain a meticulous sense of order using acrylic and mixed media.” What is the role of technique in your practice? In particular are there any constraints or rules that you follow when creating?

The very beginnings of inspiration for a new painting is to look for a pose. I will often troll through images of Avant Garde fashion photography, ballet, dance, naked portraiture and/or body-scapes to find just the right one. Once I have the pose that strikes me (YES!) I take it from there, drawing up a rough sketch adding patterns and geometrical shapes which contrast the lines of the main silhouette.

From there I sketch my plan on to a blank canvas (always making changes and additions to the new layout). Once I am happy with that I start to add colour. My fine lines are all executed without masking; using a small brush, even hand, and steadfast concentration. Then I apply layer upon layer of colour until I achieve beautiful unyielding saturation and impeccable print-like quality.

How do you see the relationship between emotional and intellectual perception of your work? In particular, how much do you consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience?

The emotional and intellectual relationship of my work always begin as two very seperate things. At first glance, my art may seem frivolously aesthetic .The colours are vibrant, and deliciously arresting. But then you look a little closer, even through the simplicity of the block colour and basic lines of geometry and pattern, there is always a story within… and that is when the emotional and intellectual perception of my art merge and the true beauty is discovered.

olted by the Thought of Known Places… Sweeney Astray” by Joan Jonas was one of the first performance installations that really made a huge impact on me. I was living in Paris during this time, in the early 90s, with a lot of influences from different cultures. It became the starting point of my own work. Joan Jonas practice has explored ways of seeing, the rhythms of ritual, and the authority of objects and gestures. Jonas continues to find new layers of meanings in themes and questions of gender and identity that have fueled her art for over thirty years. She is a great inspiration still today.

It is impossible to avoid the topic of body consciousness, embodied emotions and the image of body and personal identity that we see in your practice. What is the function of the identity appearing in your artworks – is it a canvas used to present your ideas or rather the subject of the art? What inspired you to use this as a theme in your practice?

I have been developing my visual imagery since I began studying art and film - from conceptual thinking, composition, using light and colour in different ways, through all the different techniques I've utilised over the years in my work and in my collaborations with stage artists such as dancers, musicians and actors. My approach is always developing through exploring these things. Visual imagery in essence is your way of experiencing what you see and transforming it. This is my world that I want to share and express through my art. The body consciousness, embodied emotions and the image of body and personal identity is part of this visual imagery, the emotional essence in my practice. Always present and always developing in different themes and projects.

Marina Abramovic stated: You see, what is my purpose of performance artist is to stage certain difficulties and stage the fear the primordial fear of pain, of dying, all of

which we have in our lives, and then stage them in front of audience and go through them and tell the audience, 'I'm your mirror; if I can do this in my life, you can do it in yours.'Can you relate anyhow to these words?

de-identify myself, by losing my roots, my culture, I would be very happy. Unfortunately the human being does'nt choose the place where he is born. He grows up in a society that automatically identifies, through education, culture, family... More than ever I think it's more important to go on a way of self-knowledge with the aim to meet “the other”.. This other without which we can not exist. It's the same for the artist. It is more important for me to be focused on my practice than to try to define it according to esthetic criteria of identification. It's probably the reason i like to remember the painter Matisse who said or wrote that an artist must never be prisoner of himself, prisoner of a style, prisoner of a reputation.

Would you like to tell us something about your background? Could you talk a little about experiences that has influence the way you currently relate yourself to your artworks?

All my way is influenced by encounterings.

It began by the meeting with my professor of literature at school. More than giving French or Literature classes, she brought us to discover texts, movies, plays, visual artworks and to think about on what we saw or read.. Thanks to her that I met Pierre Vincke, a theatredirector who was worjink in the tradition of Grotowski ... Both of them have led me to go to theater school. In this school I had meetings. Meetings with artists but also and especially human beings that made me discover. I always need o discover rather than to master a practice. It's probably the reason my encounter with Monica Klingler and Boris Nieslony was decisive for me and led me on the path of Performance Art which is a form still difficult to define. Each performance artist has a different definition of what it is...

Could you identify a specific artwork that has influenced your artistic practice or has impacted the way you think about race and ethnic identity in visual culture?

No I don't have a specific artwork that has influenced my artistic practise but many.

I'm influenced by some philsophers as well as poets or musicians or dancers or visual artists but also by some places or landscapes or atmospheres ... For some years, I was used for example to go to India where I was used to follow some traditionnal muscians or to learn bharatanatyam and practice vipassana meditation... Of course this experience has impacted my art work.... This brought me to think and work differently... My experience in India brought me to discover traditionnal strong art and paradoxally to the way of Performance Art. But there I see one common point: to make no separation between art and life and to be here and now, without projection on the future.

It's difficult for me to speak about race and ethnic identity. But I can say that today we miss more and more this notion of “to be here and now” which is more present in some cultures ... By practising Performance Art, it's my way to be connected to this way of thinking. And even in this field actually it's more and more difficult. The society and the art world brings us more and more to plan in advance, to define our work, more than to do. Just to do. To do what we deeply need.

And of course, my encountering with Black Market International and later the notion of Open Source or Open session via PAErsche have also a big impact on my work. When we go on that, each of us perform by sharing time and space but without trying to convince each other on some common way. This is for me a wonderfull way how we can meet each other, regardless of our origin, our race or our “identity”...

Many of your works carry an autobiographical message. Since you transform your experiences into your artwork, we are curious, what is the role of memory in your artistic productions? We are particularly interested if you try to achieve a faithful translation of your previous experiences or if you rather use memory as starting point to create.

My memory is clearly a starting point to create. I don't have any autobiographical message. I use my personnal experience ( what I feel , what I see, what I learn, what I ear...) to work. It's a motor or a material. I'm not able to paint, so I can't do something with red or white or yellow or black colors. All I have is life, a body alive. And I need to do something with that...

My sensation about life sometimes is too intense then I need to transform this intensity in some action. Some artistic action... If people can take something from this action this is great... but I don't want to give them “a specific message” or to control the translation of my experience.