Interview: Mathilde Berry
Luca Curci talks with Mathilde Berry during VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2021 at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello in Venice.
Mathilde Berry is a French painter based in Hamburg, Germany, working with acrylic paint and mixed media on canvas and paper. Art is her spiritual path. Mathilde has been a creative all her life and has always loved bold hues. In her formative years, she gained experience in music (voice and piano), dance (ballet and improvisation) and the performing arts (acting and directing). Life’s circumstances however led her to a professional career as a business consultant. She was reconciled with the visual arts through motherhood in 2010. Her daughter’s budding creativity and the gentle guidance of women artists reminded Mathilde how much she loved painting. A major breakthrough on her creative path was The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and the discovery of intuitive painting in 2015. Mathilde embarked on a personal healing journey, undertaking trauma therapy and participating in nervous system healing training and workshops, building resilience and a good basis to support others on their healing journey. The divine feminine, collective trauma healing, light and love are at the core of her artwork.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Mathilde Berry – Art is nourishment for the soul. For me, art is a manifestation of the creative force that inhabits each and every one of us. The artist and the visitor of an exhibition meet for a moment through the artistic creation, connecting in unspoken ways. I find this connection between two human souls through art magical.
LC – What are you currently working on?
MB – My current paintings are exploring vulnerability and authenticity. I’m currently reading “The gifts of imperfection” by Brené Brown and I am planning to make a series interpreting the concepts that she approaches in her book such as courage, compassion and connection.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
MB – I find inspiration in my observations of the world around me. I’ve always found solace and peace in nature, watching the waves of the Atlantic Ocean …or the North Sea or Baltic Sea now that I live in Northern Germany. I get inspired by the dance of sun and clouds in a stormy sky, the shades of a single flower, or the contrasts between shadow and light. My life experiences are also a source of inspiration. Moved deeply by moments that will never be again, I lock them in my heart and release them on the canvas when it feels right.
LC – What is your creative process like?
MB – Vivid colours often characterise my paintings. I start a painting intuitively, attracted to a particular colour in the moment. Colour drives the painting, transmitting an energy with it. Golden hues, various shades of white, yellow and orange translate different aspects of light: a spiritual flame, sacred beauty, sunlight, femininity or pure creativity. Red, magenta and purple may convey strong energy fields and life force, from anger to power to sensuality, deep healing and eternal love. Blue and green bring forward my relationship to nature, from the rawness of the ocean to the immensity of the sky and the mystery of the forest, also symbolising unknown territories, physical or emotional in darker shades. I use dynamic brushstrokes, my hands and fingers, or found objects as tools to mark geometric shapes, form organic lines and give structure to my creations. The canvas emerges layer by layer, sometimes undergoing significant metamorphoses in the process, until it feels “finished”.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
MB – Yes indeed. The divine feminine, collective trauma healing, light and love are at the core of my artwork. I experience the divine feminine as a powerful spiritual energy, rooted in the body, the source of my intuition, empathy and creativity. My deepest longing is to convey in my art our inner light, our capacity to love and heal, and to examine the shadows that we carry inside. This is my authentic way of relating to the beauty of the universe and to address collective trauma in all its intensity. Feeling the light and welcoming the darkness allows me to connect deeply with our common humanity in a sometimes raw, sometimes lyrical fashion, always truthful and open-hearted.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
MB – I very much relate to the concepts of fluidity, motion, connection and accessibility. I found the two themes of this year “Liquid Rooms” and “Future Landscapes” intriguing.
LC – In which way the artworks presented in our exhibition are connected with the festival’s theme?
MB – I connect with both themes at different levels. Regarding “Liquid Rooms”, I am also fascinated by the “labyrinths of our consciousness and the infinite ways of expressions” as you describe them. As an artist, I am always curious to explore how brushstrokes and the use of various tools can translate emotions and thoughts. The works that I have had the pleasure of showing for this exhibition are a glimpse into different facets of my personal expression. As to the theme “Future Landscapes”, which focuses on the “borders and the structures between body, mind and soul, the human identity and the city, the space and the ground”, I relate to this by exploring new dimensions, where the structures dissolve, space becomes infinite and we are one with the universe.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
MB – I find that it’s a great platform for contemporary art, offering a great opportunity to emerging artists (like me) to share their creations with a wide audience.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
MB – I felt very supported throughout the process. Your team dealt with the uncertainty around the pandemic gracefully. You assembled a great variety of artists from all over the world for this edition of the Venice International Art Fair. This is impressive under the circumstances. Of course, I wish that more visitors would have been able to visit the exhibition and enjoy the beautiful art in person.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
MB – I have found the ITSLIQUID GROUP team very responsive, friendly and professional, prompt at answering my questions and solving my logistics issues. I would love to collaborate with you again on future events.