Interview: Britta Ortis
Luca Curci talks with Britta Ortis during CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2022, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
“My art is inspired by the world around me. I live in the countryside surrounded by nature and animals. We humans believe that we are superior to all other species. It is true that we are the species on earth that affect the earth most, but as scientists get wiser, they also find that animals have many of the characteristics that they believed were peculiar to humans. Man’s challenge is often that he is only able to view the world from a human perspective. I believe, on the other hand, that in many ways animals are as intelligent as humans if animals are viewed from their own perspective. Animals acquire the skills they need, and when you live close to animals, you also know that animals also have emotions and in their actions are not only driven by impulses. However, my educational background also reflects that it is not only nature and animals that interest me. So does man and the society that surrounds me, and that is also reflected in my art.”
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Britta Ortis – Art is as important to me as breathing. Personally, I only function optimally if I am allowed to use both halves of the brain. This is where I can be allowed to express feelings, thoughts, and attitudes. For the world, art is a necessity because art can be a mouthpiece for the things that are happening in the world. Art can illustrate the world we all have to live in, but also what we lose if we do not take care of the world we live in. At the same time, art can depict people’s lives – joys, sorrows, worries, etc. Art is innovative and gives people the opportunity to reflect on the world, which can help to create change, and at the same time, it is in the art that change is depicted.
LC – What are you currently working on?
BO – The war between Ukraine and Russia has made me think that most people are privileged. This is in contrast to the animals, where most animals live in perpetual fear of being attacked and eaten by other animals. Most animals can fight for territory, but most often one party surrenders, and in the world of animals it is not often that one kills the other. This is the opposite of humans, where we kill not just a single rival, but many thousands and sometimes millions of people. Right now I am working on works where I try to portray these issues without portraying the war, but I want to show that the world is insecure in many ways. This concerns both insecurities for other species, but also for man, who partly fights each other, but also because many other man-made dangers threaten the man.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
BO – No, my artwork is not focused on a single theme. They reflect my reflections on the world we live in and what is happening in the world. The themes, therefore, change over time. I have sometimes been told that my works clearly reflect my views without being directly political, which is probably true because I am a human being who reflects a lot on the things that are happening in the world. Although my artworks are not focused on a single theme, there are things that recur, namely my love of nature, the respect for animals, which I believe are intelligent in their own way, and we must refrain from measuring them from a human perspective man and the human being in the world today that we should learn that there are no human beings who have more right to be here on earth than others, and I believe that we should consider each other as human beings regardless of skin and hair color and regardless of religious beliefs.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
BO – The art world is quite new to me because even though I have been producing art all my life, I first showed my art to the outside world in 2010. The art world is a strange world to enter, and it is depressing to experience the mechanisms that prevail here, for money, in my opinion, plays too big a role. I produce art for my own sake and I do not like to stand and sell my art at the big art fairs, although I am often offered to attend. I find it uncomfortable to have to “sell” my art. The art I produce is in many ways very private, as it expresses who I am – my thoughts and feelings, and I do not want to stand and explain the individual works to the visitors.
LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
BO – I love communicating with people, and I often let myself be inspired by words, but it does not happen in connection with works of art that I have created. My works of art are unaffected by other people’s opinions and attitudes towards the art I produce because it is not based on other people’s opinions and attitudes about my art, as I have written before, my art is an interpretation of the world, my feelings, and thoughts.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
BO – I have participated in the exhibition “Canvas” with two linoleum cuts printed on watercolor paper. I have been invited by Itsliquid Group to exhibit precisely linoleum cuts, and the group has chosen one work of art, while I have chosen the other so that the two works both in artistic expression and theme match each other.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
BO – The two works of art I exhibit are made during the pandemic with COVID-19. The topics are spring and the future because during such a pandemic we need to think about and believe that there is also a lot of positive in life and that there is also a time after the pandemic when we can get our daily lives back without a lot of restrictions.