My works embody liveliness and motion — their lucid beauty deliberately forms a counterpoint to the vicious harshness of contemporary culture and opposes its pain with confidence. Overcoming despair through art is, to me, the highest form of hope.
Since my childhood on the North Sea coast, where the ebb and flow of the tides mark the passage of time, I have been shaped by a love of water and art. Both resisted the vast desolation of the landscape in which I grew up and the emptiness of my melancholy youth, which was affected early on by the confrontation with my own finitude. Nevertheless, I studied political science and German language and literature studies and initially worked as a social scientist until a brain tumor diagnosis in 2016 marked my personal turning point and I returned to painting and, thus, to water.
My fluid technique explores the entanglements of the individual with time and transience and stresses the diffuse boundaries of control and letting go — movement and standstill, overflow and emptiness, constant and volatile components. My own finitude is always in the literal and proverbial back of my head as I negotiate artistically with an invisible opponent: the faster I move, the faster time runs through my hands. But, if I pause, I can conquer it for a moment, wrest a NOW from it and transform it into eternity. In the interplay between stages of creative flows and cautious observation, which defines my creative process, the outside world stands equally still.
“What is time? A secret – insubstantial and omnipotent (…) A motion intermingled and fused with bodies existing and moving in space. But would there be no time if there were no motion? No motion if there were no time? Is time a function of space? Or vice versa? Or are the two identical?” (Thomas Mann)
After a phase of gestural, dynamic application of water-based paste and inks, the liquids develop a life of their own, unfolding in graceful movements and effortlessly taking up space. During days-long drying processes I dissolve into the suppleness of the color gradients. I aid or slow down their flow — always knowing that my impact is limited by the idiosyncratic element of water.
My artistic guidance of the painting’s development is ephemeral. Movement becomes its own static image when the water evaporates. Once it’s gone the transparency of the colors is reminiscent of its previous presence, but their shine and radiance point to a new direction: to a bright and colorful future. It is the interplay between memory and projection – the instant when looking back and ahead blend — that fascinates me.
The fluid dynamics of my work flow anchorless over boundaries of space and time and extend into the moment of perception, where they linger like an obituary to the long-gone motion of the creative process.