RAIZVANGUARDA welcomes the artist Beate Kuhn to the residency. To get to know her and her work, read the interview below.
What do you do? In which field of art do you work? What are you passionate about?
My work is based on reconnecting with nature and re-connecting with the spiritual part of our existence at the same time. As a means of expression, I am using painting, drawing, environmentally based installation and colour design. I love working with natural materials.
Where are you from? What is your educational background?
I come from Germany. I have studied painting at various art academies, Karlsruhe and Berlin in Germany, but also Brussels and Glasgow. Later I have accomplished a diploma in Colour Design in Salzburg, Austria. Working as an artist and colour designer, I am also teaching children getting into the creative energy. Last year I have been travelling and putting emphasis on my installation work.
What attracted you to come to RV as a resident?
First of all, I have been to Portugal numerous times and I have always felt drawn to it in a way. Secondly, I have been interested to experience RAIZVANGUARDA personally… it seemed a creative place with great people and that s exactly what I have found here!
What project are you working on?
I have started two installation projects here in Góis. And when I haven t been busy with installation, I was working on a series of drawings that would refer to the movements of a silk shape in the wind. For the first piece, I was locating the magnetic lines with my rod and then drawing them into the location: with ribbon in a field, with chalk on the street, with tape on a hillside. This work is about making the magnetic energy of the earth visible that you normally can’t see. I have been using the rods for years, but only the night before I came to Portugal I had the idea using them for my art piece. So I didn’t get much sleep…
Since 1997 I have been creating contemplative spaces in which I am dealing with the tension between inside and outside space. As the material, I have been using predominantly semi-transparent fabric, mainly vegan silk. The outer shape of the sewed spaces depends on the site/location or is to be seen in relation to it.The spaces refer to the semi-permeability of the human body. Within this, only for a limited amount of time existing space, the person within the space is deeply connected with itself and with the natural environment around at the same time. In my recent work the installation is being set at very particular places of high energetic value:
Last year in New Zealand I have created a green silk pyramid within a forest amongst the trees, close to volcanoes, a river and a waterfall. So why these locations? Breathing is very essential to us humans and an essential element in the meditation process. But the air we breathe doesn`t only carry oxygen into our cells, but also ionic elements as negative ions which are important for our health and well-being since they make the air more energizing through providing free electrons in abundance, you can find them near waterfalls, rivers and mountains.
Earlier this year in Brazil, I have chosen different shapes, colours and locations. For this work, the sound of the ocean has been very important, so I have chosen various locations by the sea. The colours magenta and indigo refer to the mother’s womb from the inside, the sound of the ocean to her blood flow, all being perceived by the embryo.
In Góis I have been fascinated about a certain part of the landscape, where the river cuts through a very steep mountain range. For the first time, I was thinking about a space that would move, with the stream, slowly drifting on the water. So I built a yellow silk space and we put it into the water to travel along….
The silk pieces can be used for contemplation while being set up or later in time as photographic images to help getting into this ambience. From the distance you can see a „tableau“: the coloured semi-transparent silk is inserting a colour accent into the whole scenery and creating a harmonious relationship with the environment.
What is your favourite part of RV?
The main aspect is getting connected to people that are like-minded. And this has been happening in a way that I can only describe as magic! The RAIZVANGUARDA team has been very helpful, generous and welcoming, it feels like a family… Plus I love the scenery, the surroundings.
If you would like to know more about Kuhn’s work, visit her website here.