Luca Curci talks with Berenike during the 3rd Edition of ROME INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2022, at Medina Art Gallery.
Berenike is a Swedish-speaking visual artist born in Helsinki, Finland. Since graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in graphic design in 2020 after attending art/design university both in Jakobstad, Finland, and in Kiel, Germany, she has been focusing dedicatedly on her independent visual art practice, which has led to a minimalistic and abstract visual language in her painting. Berenike has during the past years taken part in art exhibitions and art fairs in Finland, Germany, Monaco and Italy. One of her more recent exhibitions was her participation in Contemporary Venice – The Secret Garden, 2021, with the painting ‘Lean On Me – My Guardian Angel’. Berenike was supported by grants for her artistic work by two Finnish funds in 2022: Svenska Kulturfonden and TAIKE. Svenska Kulturfonden was also the sponsor of Berenike’s recent participation in Rome International Art Fair 2022 – 3rd edition with her painting ‘Amor fati’, 2022. Berenike is currently working on her first solo exhibition with paintings; ‘WILD’, to be held in Helsinki, Finland.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Berenike – I’d rather not go into my background very much, I’m a forward-looking person. But I was brought up with art as a part of life and was drawing from an early age. One thing, among others, that definitely has influenced my motivation to create as well as my creations are to have previously lived in a frequency which was suffocating to my spirit and soul. So I brought myself out of it. It’s the most challenging and rewarding thing I’ve done in life so far. This is also connected to my athletic side of me. I was in aesthetic group gymnastics and dance from childhood to late teenager and movement as an important part of my being has influenced my current work, and way of working and being, immensely, in a positive way. In my free movement, my thoughts are also free. I am free.
LC – What are you working on at the moment?
B – One painting project that I’m working on at the moment is a series of paintings named ‘WILD’. It’s about the feeling of and what happens when one finds the courage to dive into one’s own inner wilderness, the surrendering to and expansion of the truest self, and the feeling of freedom which follows.
LC – How is your creative process?
B – It fluctuates. It’s messy but rewarding. Sometimes it requires me to be by myself in periods which may be mentally challenging. Sometimes lots of time for one project is required, sometimes less. I’ve got no problem with finding topics and ideas to work on, it’s almost like there isn’t enough time to catch them all. The rest of the work is the more challenging part. But it also feels quite magical to create things that didn’t exist before. But it’s a constant mind battle as well when I’m right in the middle of the process. I’m perfectionistic and pretty hard on myself.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
B – The artwork exhibited at Rome International Art Fair 2022 – 3rd Edition is named ‘Amor fati’ which means “love of one’s faith”. The project is about how for one to experience love for one’s path as the external reality one first has to tune into this particular frequency within oneself. I believe it is fundamental that we put ourselves in the frequency of love either consciously or subconsciously in order to experience the frequency of love mirrored as our outer reality. This may be experienced as romantic love but my thoughts were mostly on the love for one’s own path and experiences in general. The love for oneself, the genuine self. Without one’s most genuine self, one’s path would be nothing. ‘Amor fati’ was made before I chose the topic for it, but I had made the pre-work regarding the theme before. So it’s kind of like the artwork chose the topic. Usually, it’s the other way around, I have a topic in mind and work from that but I work freely and let the artwork take the direction it wants to take. So yes, my artworks usually intend to uplift a specific theme.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
B – It’s complex. As a working visual artist, one is also CEO; it’s not “just” about creating a piece of art, there are many components in connection to the artistic practice. It is also very rewarding. And it requires honesty and courage.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the exhibition or as a part of preexisting works?
B – Honestly, I think my initial thought with this painting was that it was going to be part of the project ‘WILD’. But then apparently it took another direction. So no, it wasn’t created specifically for this exhibition but found an excellent place in it in the end. Actually, I have so far never started a creative process having in mind where it would be exhibited, I just start.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
B – I’d say I agree especially with ITSLIQUID’s aim to make art accessible, to create connections and to work in fluidity and motion. ITSLIQUID’s vision of art seems quite diverse so it’s hard to say whether I agree with it or not. I agree with the mission to give artists the opportunity to present work and to create momentum. In settings like this exhibition, many different mediums and styles are presented which also carry its own value. The theme of the exhibition is interesting and after taking the first look at it I immediately get a sense of wanting to explore it further.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
B – The organization of the event was handled effortlessly from my perspective. Questions are answered quickly and the artist has no reason to worry that the artworks and the exhibition wouldn’t be in great hands. The help with promotion and practicalities that I received has been great and the vernissage was a very well organized event.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
B – Yes. It allows the artist to create connections, to show one’s work to an audience both online and in the real world in a professional setting as well as to take in new influences and inspiration from a stimulating environment. It may also allow sales of one’s artwork to be handled safely and effortlessly.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
B – My experience is that ITSLIQUID Group is highly professional, handling things as stated in the agreement and on time. I’ve felt like I’m in safe hands cooperating with the organization so yes,I’ve enjoyed it a lot. It’s given me valuable memories as well.