Title: After Klein, 2015. Medium: Performance with Clay on Fabriano. Duration: unknown
To give a general idea of my practice, it concerns matters surrounding magic,such as shamanism, folklore, paganism, witchcraft, but more specifically the relationship in between animal, human beings and the Earth. I am also influenced by anthropological studies, the environment, to some extent geopolitics and the Anthropocene. I express these concerns by using materials that I extract directly from the earth or that have a certain natural aesthetic and power. This reaction is the result of disapproval towards industrialisation of mass produced items and the alienation of the provenience of goods such as art materials and advanced digital technologies.
The works produced grow and evolve over a long period of time.The slowness of the process is as well a contradiction to this fast pace life. As a choice of endeavour more than an aesthetic preference, one could say that there is a crave of stripping down the ingredients to their core to feel less alienated to the materials.
Any spiritual themes tackled are approached from a syncretist point of view and do not adhere to one particular belief. The gathering of informations comes from different ethnical backgrounds and regions all over the globe.
The main part of my practice consists of an ongoing project which changed names on various occasions. At the moment being I am calling it ‘The Expressive Force of Nature’. The project is about so much more than abstracted anthropomorphism, meaning Nature interpreting the role of a strong character in this play we call ‘Life’. It touches also a dialectic about how I experience Nature, wishing to be part of it and be embodied in by subtracting my human being form.
All individual pieces are experiments in themselves and are driven by experiential conditions. The reasons behind the making often comes from a source of suffering and want of belonging. I have a cathartic release that is provoked by the process of making. The suffering is more often caused by an internal emotional blockage. Through the act of creativity, it dissolves and acquires its own form and thought. Each piece is an evolution or a reaction from its predecessor. In other words, I work intuitively and instinctively. These pieces, chronologically named, can be exhibited on their own or all together taking part of a composition. These are the Walls of my inner thoughts or the cave of my imagination. In shamanic beliefs, Native American shamans to be more specific, when entering an alternate state of consciousness often use the image of the cave. They travel through the cosmos and meet their Totem Animals and their ancestors to ask for answers to their questions, to be healed from physical and mental injuries and negative thoughts. This idea of a cave is an image that is often contemplated in my practice. It reminds of the place I need be when performing an act of creativity.
The medium can be categorised within the expanded field of painting. My pieces are sitting on the border in between painting and sculpture. Each piece is composed of a structure underneath that pushes against the base which the canvas acts as a support for the image making. In the first phase of the making, the materials are most often collected by my hand and travelled from a place where Nature lives to this ugly cold industrial building that is Toni Areal, the home of the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste. These raw pieces of wood on which moss grows, habited by ants and other living creatures impose a strong contrast to where their brought to.
In phase two I assemble these long and fragile sticks and respect their shapes and give them a body of their own. Once they become frame, I stretch the canvas on top and hammer it down on its borders. The fabrics used for the base of the painting alters, such as cotton, burlap and wool… The third phase is a long dialog between the materials, that become one object, and I. It is then lead by meditation, smudging and thanking prayers. Whilst priming, a conventional step in painting, the structure of the wood pushes more aggressively against the surface and the canvas pulls on the nails giving it a non-linear shape. Subsequently the now anthropomorphised sculpture has a name and sometimes a gender.
We are now entering the fourth phase of the making which is the image making or the act of painting. In early mornings and early evenings the light entering from the windows appears more contrasting on the the surface of the sculpture. The shadows are sharper and more predominant. This atmosphere stimulates a state of mind suited to intervene with paint. When the day has fallen and the studio is invaded by darkness, with the help of candle light I continue to paint. The motives are usually a repetitive conglomeration of dots that transform into shapes of one’s like to interpretation. Some see dinosaurs, some see fishes and some see topographies of natural habitat viewed from Google Earth.com. The paints are made from mineral pigments that are mixed with oils and sometimes a pinch of soil, dirt or grass.
When these Walls are brought in an exhibiting context the medium and the function remain mysterious, which is a detail that amuses me. I like to experiment with their function.
Despite being inspired by cave walls, these artworks are better perceived when the light hits the surface. Depending on the light level, the viewer should experience an altered state of sensitivity. Exposing them to a natural light would bring out their luminous qualities. Furthermore, I observed that they present well on top of derelict, rural, brick backgrounds of atypical Art exhibiting spaces. As I said before each piece is part of a series or a continuation. The goal is to fill an entire room to transform it into a space for celebration of connection to Nature. A magical space where the audience can feel levitated in the materialistic environment in which we live in.