Photo Credit: Caren Detje *
SOL was thrilled to sit down with Hamburg-based Visual Artist and Sculptor Magda Krawcewicz as her subtle yet distinctive artworks speak to the personality and guiding ethos of SOL.
Magda spoke to us about the roles that art and creativity have played throughout her life and work, her creative process and daily inspirations and how her painting ‘I draw a line to your heart today 'perfectly sums her up.
To see more of her works, visit http://www.seemagda.com where one can also find and purchase her Artist Book. To keep up with her day-to-day life (and be soulfully inspired!) follow her Instagram @seemagda_atelier
Has creativity always played a big part of your life?
Yes it did, but in a quiet distinctive way- under the surface.I enjoyed spending time in solitude and drawing, writing or sewing.Doing things with my hands with a head full of thoughts.
Did you know you would end up in the Art world?
I wished and hoped for it - but having no artistic background whatsoever it took time to allow myself to turn that desire into a profession.Looking back there was no other way.
One of your earliest memories that hugely impacted you and pushed you to your vocation?
It is not easy to sum this up to a single one - maybe sitting on the windowsill at my grandmothers sewing atelier aged four, watching her create garments out of fabric. This is probably the earliest memory of what I perceived as a process of creating something beautiful.
The second memory is interacting with one of my mentors Merose while training to become a photographer. We were able to choose to work with every possible material during his class. So I decided to make translucent sculptures out of paper that looked like clothes. That was when I knew I wanted to make art.
As an Artist, aesthetics plays a vital role- what does it mean to you on both a professional and personal level?
When it comes to aesthetics’ there is no line between life and art. The joy I feel to surround myself with beautiful things in my studio or home happens very naturally. I like arranging things and collecting things- minerals, feathers, and antique jewellery or studio ceramics.
Your art reflects on the human condition and that which is whole and dissolved- tell us a little bit more about this introspection.
I am fascinated by the realm, which appears through the tension hovering between 'whole’ bodies and ‘dissolved’ bodies. I understand my art as a reflection; as a mirror of one’s own soul and diversity.
What interests me in art interests me in life in general. Emotions, relationships, vulnerability, the ephemeral, impermanence, the unknown, archaic forms, purity, spirituality, good and evil. All this is present when we interact with others, when we look at things, when we create our own rituals in daily life. While time is passing, while we seek to evolve as human beings, we need to find meaning in our lives.
Take us through your creative process coming up with a new body of work.
It’s all about the process, starting with a few marks on a canvas or paper and then step back and look where it takes me. I work very intuitively. During the process of painting for example I engage with text fragments, which I fuse with the pictures’ atmosphere in my mind. I try not to plan that much. I had some Art students over at my studio recently and they mentioned that my way of working is similar to archaeology. I never looked at it that way but it makes sense. I search for lost pieces in the unconscious. Putting together the pieces without knowing what the whole work will contain or look like. The moment you are wiling to fail or to destroy the piece you just made entirely - you create honest and strong works out of that courage.
You sculpt in porcelain- why this choice of material?
I work in porcelain for its delicacy fragility and strength. Porcelain`s willingness to be transformed, both in form and texture, makes it a perfect medium for figural forms and the way I want to approach sculpture. I am nor a trained ceramist therefore I welcome the surprises during firing and the imperfections, the marks, the tiny cracks and and fingerprints being visible.
I find your choice of colours extremely ethereal both in your paintings and sculpture works, how would you describe your relationship with colour?
This is a tricky one to answer because I like to use very fluid oil paint to give it almost a watercolour like appearance at the same time my subject matter is often strong and a bit dark so to find that balance between quiet ethereal tones and the intensity I want to achieve. I choose brightness in small doses or accents of strong tangerine or lilac. While working with the elegant whiteness of porcelain I love the depth and the translucent crystalline glazes.
Can you tell us a bit more about SOLs favourite piece ‘Gedanke’?
Gedanke is a great example of my work process or ‘falling into place‘. I found this poem by Meret Oppenheim and kept it in my studio for ages, it perfectly describes a very sensitive relationship: The woman in the poem arranges white feathers and thinks of her relationship and asks herself if her lover would approve and if a future with him is possible. I recently found black porcelain and decided to make a wall installation of black feathers however at the time I had completely forgotten about the poem. I gathered the feathers and was busy sorting them when I got distracted and found the poem again tucked in a book. It just seemed fitting to bring these pieces together. The poetic meaning of the feather is also ‚the thought‘ which is the same as the title of the poem. There are so many layers of meaning captured in this artwork.
What inspires you on a daily basis and where do you go to find it?
Mostly the hours I spend at my studio and long intense conversations with friends. I love to go out for dinner with them and talk. Sometimes going for a swim or meditating to clear my head.
How do you envision the future role of the Artist?
I try not to take myself too seriously and the future role of the Artist in general. I believe the Artist needs to show up in the studio and work and strive to be authentic. Do not follow trends or try to make a career just create.
Are there any creative you would like to collaborate with in the future?
There are some Artists whose work I admire and would like to be in touch with such as Kiki Smith or Kate MccGwire, but there are so many great people out there. I would also love to collaborate with a traditional porcelain manufacturing company like KPM Berlin or Nymphenburg for instance.
Where can one follow your work?
Any exciting projects on the horizon that you would like to mention?
A short documentary on my work will be released soon! One of my closest friends, Sonja Glass, will compose the music for it. Also a new Artist Book is will be launched this year. I love to work and collaborate with people I trust entirely. There are some group shows but nothing I would like to share at this stage of planning.
Finally if you could be summed up in one art work- what would it be and why?
That’s not easy to decide because all my works are very personal - but right now it would be a painting from 2016 called -'I draw a line to your heart today' (the title is from a PJ Harvey song) and the reason I chose this work is because I want to engage and move the recipients of my work.