You studied in two art schools. Do you find art education a necessary part of the artistic career? What are the most important inputs art schools brought to you?
I studied fine arts in the class of Michael Reisch at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences near Bonn from 2016-2020 and graduated with a B.F.A. with distinction. I am very thankful for the extraordinary time I spent there and the support, that was given to me through my class, my fellow students and friends and all my profs there, especially the razor-sharp, fine and detailed criticism of Michael Reisch. He was a great teacher to me.
For the first time in my life, I have experienced how it feels to be surrounded by like-minded people. Recognising myself in my artistic process while also noticing that my fellow students are going through the same process, simply made me happy. So I understood which elements are all part of the artistic process. I learned, what are times for
productivity, what is considered part of preparation – and this can even be my contact improvisation dance I fell in love with – and what are times for rest. And I realised that I need everything of it to come into my creative power. That is what I appreciated the most at Alanus University.
2021 I continued my studies at the HBK Braunschweig in the photography class of Natalie Czech. I expected to deepen my photographic focus but in the end, it was kind of a repetition for me. Due to Corona, I could barely be there physically. So I decided to exmatriculate myself and devote myself entirely to my artistic practice.
I think art education is not entirely necessary for an artistic career. But in my case, I gained a lot of development and inspiration. I am sure that I would not have made this progress without studying. After my first year of the art academy, there was this turning point where I switched from paintings and collages to making photography. I have never expected to become a photographer before. I see this as a direct result of my studies. Now I am deeply convinced that change and progression in my artistic practice will always be without limits.
What are you doing as an artist? Could you please describe your practice?
I am searching for the feeling of materials and perception, of everything touchable, sensitive and soft. I love to ask questions which aren't answerable. I love to bring new perspectives into stubborn patterns and sights of views. I love to irritate and make people struggle or let's rather put it that way: I like to make people rethink their own points of view.
I do this with my camera. I try to turn a sculptural thing or an object into a photograph that is able to give you information about your feelings. Therefore I find tiny things and catch them with my iPhone. I also work in the studio with high-end photography. I used to be perfect in creating conceptual settings of still lives. At the same time, I like to break my own concept by getting fast and spontaneous artwork to co-create new spaces when I combine both. Besides, I work with installation, my own body, sculptures and texts that I write. I am always interested in combining different artistic media and expanding my options.
Right now, there's something brand new coming upon that I don't even know what it looks like.
You are a mother and an artist. How do you combine these two roles? What is your approach to a life-work balance?
I am a mother of a 19-year-old, wonderful daughter whom I raised as a single parent. So it was kind of normal to me to deal with the situation of being a student and a single mom. This time it was easier because when I started with the art academy she was already 12 years old. During my first studies to become a social worker, she was a baby and it was really hard to combine being a mom and getting into a profession, always struggling between self-realisation and bad conscience. That was in both cases the hardest point to deal with for me. I had to commute one hour each way to the art academy. I spent less time at home. When I had events on top, it got even more. The positive result was that my daughter was already quite independent at a very early age.
We have a very good relationship and can talk about everything. She still lives with me, but it feels more like living in a shared flat. We share household work and tasks, cook together and love to play cards. My daughter grew up with all kinds of artistic media and handicrafts. In the last years, she started with oil painting and playing the piano. She usually is among the first whom I ask for an artistic opinion. And I do listen to her critics.
My approach to a life-work balance is to have a good connection to my intuition and be aware of myself. The moment I believe in what I'm doing, I radiate something different than when I have a bad conscience all the time. I teach my child that it's important to go for the things you burn for. At the same time, I think it's super important to listen to my Mother's heart and spend as much quality time with my daughter as possible. There's actually nothing more important than to be with the people you love the most.