“I am fascinated by the rhythms, structures and cycles that underlie all natural things, both living and nonliving.”
Who are you? What do you do?
I make paintings, drawings, assemblages and objects and take analogue photographs. Most of my works are informed by my experiences of different landscapes, exploring notions of displacement, transience, the Intangible, and the relationship between body and land. I am fascinated by the rhythms, structures and cycles that underlie all natural things, both living and nonliving.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Cologne, Germany. After school I moved to London to study art, where I lived for many years until I felt the need for a less busy lifestyle (and an affordable studio). I am currently based in Manchester, UK.
Your style in 3 words?
sensitive, exploratory, abstract
Your weakness? Your strength?
What makes you different?
I don’t consider myself to be different. Everything is connected.
When did you decide to become an artist?
I have always enjoyed drawing, dancing and music, and was lucky that my parents supported my interests from a young age. My dad loved art and often took me to see exhibitions. When I was around 12 we visited the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin to see works by Cy Twombly, Anselm Kiefer and Joseph Beuys. I still remember the experience vividly: studying these works closely and sensing that there was a greater reality out there, that through art you could somehow access a hidden world. I found Beuys’ fat sculptures and Kiefer’s paintings of burning fields puzzling and mysterious and I knew I wanted to be part of that world.
What do you find most fascinating about your work?
Being on a journey without knowing the destination. The continuous searching and getting lost in the process. Finding endless possibilities within humble means. Being able to make work anywhere and with whatever is around me. The way a work changes over time and reveals itself to you.
A few words about your favourite creation?
My favourites tend to be the works that look least like I intended to make them. It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes a work seems to have come out of nowhere, effortless, surprising you. These moments cannot be planned and often happen after long periods of experimentation.
Someone else’s work that inspired or inspires you…
Paula Modersohn-Becker. I saw an incredibly moving and intense retrospective of her work in Hamburg last year, which I am still thinking about. I just read her journal and letters, she was fearless and free and committed to her own unique vision. She did not want to conform to conventions in her work and in her role as a woman and wife. Her art and thinking was really ahead of her time.
I am also inspired by poetry, in particular Paul Celan’s. Celan described a poem as ‘lonely and en route’ and as a ‘place of encounter”, like a bottle thrown out to sea, posing questions into the void. I see a lot of parallels between poetry and painting.
A new project coming up or an idea you want to work on?
Right now I am building up a new body of paintings on aluminum and small objects in plaster inspired by a recent trip to the Arctic. I am hoping to work more in the landscape, using found pigment and materials and to blur the boundaries between the studio and the outside. I would also like to try animating my drawings with sound.
Finish the sentence „More important than my career is…“
Building meaningful relationships. Empathy and kindness. Being true to myself.
2018: Where are we going?
In May this year I travelled to Svalbard for a residency in the High Arctic. I felt like I was in a dream, the sun never setting, going on boat expeditions to glaciers, walrus colonies and Russian mining towns, or climbing down ice caves in a snow storm. I learned so much about this fragile part of our planet and met some fascinating people. I will be thinking about this experience for a long time.
When the going gets tough…
I always feel better when I go for a walk, both in nature and in the city. I try to pay attention to things I may have overlooked before and see things from a new perspective.
Your city’s favourite spots?
My favourite place is just outside of the city, high up on the dark moors of the Peak District.
In Manchester I love all the old industrial red brick mills and artist-run spaces such as Paradise Works and Bankley Studios (where I have my studio).
Do you have a vision?
I believe that sincerity is really important and undervalued in the arts. I try to always stay true to myself and accept that things happen in their own time.
Tell us about your future plans…
I just want to keep working in the studio as much as possible, setting myself new challenges, in terms of scale and working with new materials. I am hoping to move out to the countryside some time soon, where I can work with fewer distractions and with nature on my doorstep.
Last but not least: what is your favourite Song?
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