Here, Art Pharmacy talk to “Breathing Colours” artists Elefteria Vlavianos, Nuha Saad and Micke Lindebergh about their inspirations, their techniques and their studio style.
Where do you create your art and what is your workspace like?
Nuha Saad: I work in a studio complex in Rozelle with approx. 20 artists. My studio looks out onto White Bay with its ever changing view of cargo ships and cranes.
Micke Lindebergh: I do most of my drawing at home, I feel most relaxed then, sometimes on the roof in the sun. I paint in my living room. I have a desk and a big box full of paints and posca pens. I make all my printing at the Rizzeria studio in Marrickville. I’m part of an artist collective who share the only risograph printer in Sydney.
Elefteria Vlavianos: I create my works in a studio – I see my practice as being a profession – I treat it as such. My studio is orderly – and there is always a processes of order even in the chaos.
What can you tell us about your work? What is your practice?
Elefteria: My painting process is long and involved – I build up my surfaces through a multiplicity of layers – a painting can have anywhere between 15 to 30 layers. Time is a big player in my work. I generally work on bodies of work at any one time I have 5 or 6 works on the go at once – plus works on paper etc etc.
In addition any processes – also involves research – testing and development – so works that evolve can take from 6 months to two years – the processes is ongoing.
Micke: My process is an never-ending drawing. I do a lot of doodling and pick things i like and use them for new compositions and images.
Nuha: As my practice has extended over a number of years I find it is often the case that one series of works may lead to the next through the process of making, discovery, research and intuition. Sometimes I find that when I am completing a work or series the one already seems to be developing and suggesting themselves.
At the end of the day – whichever approach comes into play – the work all seems to speak to each other and build upon the underlying narratives of my practice.
What materials and tools do you prefer to work with and why?
Elefteria: I like paint and all that comes with it. I also like to work on paper, working in watercolour, oil and acrylic. I use certain materials because their materiality resonates with both the way in which I work and the subject matter I work with.
I am also interested in how a cultural aesthetic can be translated from one time and space into another. My goal is to bring something of beauty, which once existed in the past, into present time.
Where, what or who do you draw your inspiration from?
Elefteria: I am always thinking about the visual. Thinking about painting, the materiality of paint, colour, line, composition and structure – the formal issues. This coexists with other issues and approaches that I draw inspiration from such as my multicultural heritage (being of Armenian and Greek heritage) and of having being born in Africa (Zimbabwe) or having grown up in South Africa, as well as of having lived in Europe. So, I would say that there are a plethora of elements that provide inspiration – including being in this place Australia.
Micke: Traveling is a great way to find inspiration. I’ve also discovered that a lot of art and interior items from my childhood has inspired my choice of colour and composition.
What is your creative background and how long have you been creating your art?
Micke: I have been drawing and making music forever. After art and music high school in Stockholm I moved to London where I studied illustration at Camberwell College of Arts. I’ve worked in music for many years and had a kids clothes label too. I was taught from a very early age the express myself creatively through drawing and music.
Can you share one thing with us that most people wouldn’t know about you?
Micke: I wanted to be a gardener when I was a kid, and have a big yellow Volvo for driving around all the flowers I grow in my garden.
Nuha: I went to art school, I thought to become a painter and came out a sculptor!