Interview: Rika Maja Duevel
Luca Curci talks with Rika Maja Duevel, during the 10th Edition of CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2022, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Born in Stavanger, Norway, Rika Maja Duevel grew up surrounded by the icy fjords and mountains; they reminded her that there was always a new adventure to be had just over the next mountain or path. Now as an adult she carries this concept as she journeys forward. Her journey has now taken her to Amsterdam, the Netherlands and she was lucky enough to have an atelier in Treehouse, a creative space for artists in multiple disciplines located in the NDSM neighborhood of Amsterdam. Rika Maja Duevel is a global nomad and this triggers the nucleus of her work. With each new adventure, she finds new inspiration. Her artwork manifests from her daily experiences, the idea of capturing the moment. She allows herself to embrace or let go of each experience by sharing a piece of it with others. Her wish is that the observer might be able to pull their own experience from each piece. She often uses vibrant colors and patterns to document this story. A sketchbook always at her reach, is her portable way of capturing each idea as they come. This process has taken her all over the world and with each destination she documents a different story, a different moment.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Rika Maja Duevel – Art is a mysterious and complex journey. The process is often just as important as the finish line. Art is an expression of a moment, a dream, or something important to capture and to be remembered and not forgotten.
LC – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
RMD – It has been a long adventure that began many years ago that led me to art school, then to Florence, then on to my own studio space in a collaborative artist community called Treehouse, in NDSM, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It is about daily practice and reflection, determination, passion, and independent drive. I am very inspired by the work of the Norwegian Artist Edvard Munch.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
RMD – I always include a figure in my visuals, the figure is meant to be a storyteller in some form. I also use color as a symbolic vehicle as well as a pattern. I have started to incorporate traditional Norwegian elements into my newer work. My aim with my work is as a storyteller to capture a specific moment that I sketch out first in a sketchbook and then transfer into paint on canvas.
LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
RMD – I always keep a small sketchbook with me, this way if I have an idea I can sketch it out as it is still fresh in my mind. The ideas come at different times, sometimes at moments of silence, on public transportation, or out while exploring, or being around other creatives as they work on their own projects. Before I begin painting, I have a very clear plan, everything from the line to the colors I will use. If I am unsure of a design I trial different ideas until I am excited about the composition.
LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it your medium of expression?
RMD – Each piece I create is telling a story, however, I often leave my titles quite open so that the viewer might see their own story within the piece.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this event? How is it connected to the theme of the entire exhibition?
RMD – It is, I sketched this out trying to capture the feeling I had at that moment in time. I feel like this piece connects well with the exhibition theme as my piece is reflecting on the mind and movement within that space reflecting on the past, present and future of one moment. The body is hidden within the piece, but there if you take a closer and deeper look.
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?
RMD – This piece was made prior to the invitation to be in the show but felt like a perfect fit in such a beautiful space and such an incredible city. As this piece is a reminder to be grateful for each moment and each opportunity we have.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
RMD – I think it is a wonderful platform, a great way to have others enjoy your work in beautiful locations and fantastic venues. To exhibit during the period of the Venice Bienale in Venice is an incredible opportunity that I will never forget.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
RMD – This piece was inspired by a period of rainy Amsterdam days when the sun was a distant memory and the rain felt like daggers flying from the sky. The red poppy shapes are a memory of the poppies that I would ride by on my way to work and a reminder that even when I was in low state of mind the importance of being grateful for each moment I do have.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
RMD – Anytime an artist can share their work with others is an opportunity for their career but also allows for an artist to stretch themselves and what they can do with their next work.