Interview: Marcela Mannheimer
Luca Curci talks with Marcela Mannheimer during the second appointment of BARCELONA CONTEMPORARY, at Valid World Hall Gallery.
Marcela Mannheimer was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Since her childhood, drawing and painting were her passions. Graduated in Visual Arts and post-graduated in Art Therapy, she worked for thirteen years in public schools in Brazil, as a plastic arts teacher. She worked as a comic book colorist for the following titles: O Homem de Neandertal (Editora Nova Fronteira), Negrinho do Pastoreio (Editora Igarape) and Sete Vidas (Editora Marsupial). In 2016, she moved to Lisbon, where she worked as a volunteer teaching plastic arts workshops with the elderly at the Santa Casa de Misericórdia Day Center. She also worked as a volunteer at the Portuguese Institute of Oncology (IPO), teaching drawing and painting to hospitalized children and adolescents. In 2020, she exhibit her paintings in three group exhibitions in Spain, selected by the Mundo Arti platform: Hotel El Privilegio de Tena, Hotel Casa Palacio María Luisa, Hotel Oca Puerta del Camino.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Marcela Mannheimer – Since I was a child, art has been something very natural for me. I used to play in the sandbox, making sculptures with natural elements such as leaves and stones. Art means my connection with nature. All children are unconditional artists because they are spontaneous. When a kid starts his school life, he learns many rules about colors and ways to paint. Because of it, he won’t believe his abilities. Art is a self-expression process. Unfortunately, most of the teachers are worried much more about the final product than about the process. The pleasure of exploring a lot of material is very important. It is necessary to improve creativity and imagination, not worried about the wonder of the public. It is a special meeting with yourself, to break some protocols. We were taught to follow a rigid system. Now it is time to go against it. When I’m painting, I connect my brain with my body. I pay attention to the place around me, to my breath, and to my heartbeat together, listening to background music. Painting is like mediation. Images automatically arise, the unconscious manifests itself in image forms. Memories of places I’ve known. It happens also with image shapes. Then, I’m composing the images that add up from the Unconscious and the Conscious that are part of my creative process. According to the psychiatrist CG JUNG, arts are an organized way to go inside the chaos. To me, Jung is the main reference. For this reason, I identify myself with surrealism painting.
LC – What are you currently working on?
MM – In 2016, when I moved to Portugal with my family, I’ve enjoyed improving my art skill which was sleepy. Then I studied at some art courses and I discovered the new technique that I’m really loving so much and started using it in my job. That is the embroidery. The embroidery is like a music rhythm, which mixes with my own body rhythm. I remember my ancestors, mainly the women. I feel like a baby being packed. I’m so glad about this new process. The graphic line is an element that I use a lot to give a texture effect. My embroideries aren’t artisanal but a way to express myself. Their lines capture sensations and movement. Now, I’m working on starting my new Atelier: “Deixa Fluir”. It means: “Let it Flow.” That’s my branding. It gets that name because my artwork is inspired in nature, like a circle, without starting or ending. My product joins both languages: embroidery and painting. There are utilitarian objects, like coasters, towels, and something about fashion. My branding’s goal is to take gallery’s arts into people’s daily lives. Transforming an artisanal method to something more artistic but as a unique object. In the future, I want to teach some courses for seniors. It will be a physical studio. The main focus is socializing. It is so important for older people. But this proposal is later, after the pandemic finishes.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
MM – My references are Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Juan Miró, Giorgia O’Kife, Oto Dix and Oskar Kokoska. But nature is my main inspiration. Always is my starting point. I let my unconscious flow, like a river’s course. I just let my brain move like waves from the sea. My hands will embroider by themselves and in an instinctive way, such as a spider. I love the colors. Because of it, I like so much the fauvist movement. I use my colors in an intuitive way. Like a Maestro who conducts the orchestra. It’s my colors orchestra.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
MM – My biggest challenge is the speed of the digital world. Nowadays, there’s a lot of information and stimulus. It’s easy to lose our focus, values, and beliefs. A lot of new tidings happening all the time. Social media are selling the idea that people are not good enough to show new work. They think they’re never already. Most people want to photograph everything about them and work hard to have an impeccable Instagram feed, to be an excellent strategist in digital marketing. This pressure is getting me anxious. It makes it harder to be natural with my creativity also. When I’m working with embodying and painting, I need to rescue my analogous time. That time from our ancestors. The time for talking to each other.
LC – Are your artwork focused on a specific theme?
MM – My artwork is not exactly just only specified theme. It depends on the state of my mind and the emotions I feel at that moment. Two of my artworks could bear with the same starting point, but they’ll never be equal. At this point in my life, themes about childhood, feminine, and nature are present in my creation.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or part of preexisting works?
MM – My pictures on this exposition came to Barcelona Contemporary Festival. I’ve worked on it on the quarantine days, during the worst pandemic phase. in that period, I produced a lot. The art helped me deal with my anxiety.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
MM – When I had the opportunity to expose in Barcelona, I’ve chosen both artworks: Red Florest and Self. I feel glad about their result. In the painting “The Red Florist”, we have a meeting with both languages: painting and embroidery. I built a hot colorful scenery to get a cozy atmosphere. The embroidery creates movement. It has a graphic element. In the painting “Self”, I lived the meeting with myself. It was the mixing of abstracts and figurative pictures. The nature elements came together with my dream elements.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Group Platform?
MM – ITSLIQUID GROUP Platform is really a great way to meet new artists and their artworks from the whole world. Using the platform, we can know so much more about the art contemporary scene.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID Group can represent an opportunity for artists?
MM – This platform is an opportunity to promote new talented artists. A good place to expose and show their artwork to all the world.