Interview: Sonja Horgan
Luca Curci talks with Sonja Horgan during FUTURE LANDSCAPES, the third appointment of BORDERS ART FAIR 2021, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Sonja uses oil and mixed media to create her multi-layered paintings; by using a process of layering and subtracting the abstract shapes and colours that appear to have a shiny effect on them. The predominant colour palette in Sonja’s artworks is turquoise and deep blue with pinks, purples, teal and gold. The textured areas are created by using texture paste, pigments, impasto brush and palette knife marks, pastels and pigments. Sonja’s training and experience in Art Therapy have had an important influence on her unique style with intuitive painting being an important part of her creative process. Her paintings often have a lot of delicate details that invite the viewer to observe them as a close-up in addition to viewing the artwork as a whole.
Luca Curci – Which subject are you working on?
Sonja Horgan – The main subject I am working on is abstract art inspired by nature. The underwater world, especially the vibrant coral reef has been one of the main inspirations for creating my multi-layered abstract paintings as well as crystals and rocks, the polar atmosphere of bright areas of the ice and the sky.
LC – What are you currently working on?
SH – I am currently working on a large scale abstract painting inspired by the energy of the sea and light reflecting on the water. I am also working on a small series of abstract paintings inspired by the vibrant natural colours of the crystals. I love working in parallel on a few different paintings.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
SH – Probably the most challenging part about creating my paintings is the nature of the oil colours. Since I add multiple layers to them I have to wait for one layer of paint to dry before adding the next one which often means leaving it to dry for a couple of days before being able to continue working on the painting.
LC – What is your creative process like?
SH – My creative process is often quite intuitive, however, I do often have an idea in my head before I start working on a painting of the main elements of the composition as well as the atmosphere that I would like it to have. I often analyse the painting at various different stages when working on it, including taking photos of the painting as that is what gives me a different perspective. The important things that I like to check are composition balance, focal point and colour accents.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
SH – Many of my artworks are focused on exploring how the natural beauties and the vibrant colours that we can find in nature can be transformed into abstract art. The main theme of my paintings is most often stylised underwater world and the sea.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?
SH – One of the themes the festival explores is the different types of borders we are facing today, including those that have happened due to the pandemic. The new way of life has also created different habits that often include spending more time in nature due to social distancing and finding again that connection between us as humans and the natural beauties around us. I very much resonated with the vision of the festival of fewer borders and more connections between us humans as well as humans and nature. Like most of my artworks, the painting Crystalline Light also has an underlying environmental message. I would love to see the ecological integrity of the cities being restored and rebalanced which is also one of the themes of the festival.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?
SH – The artwork Crystalline Light was created a few months ago. When I heard about the festival I thought that it resonated with the theme and overall message of the festival and loved the idea of the painting included as part of the exhibition.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
SH – The platform is such a beautiful design and there is so much to discover on it.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
SH – Since I was not able to attend the opening and see the exhibition in person I was delighted to receive the photos and see videos of the opening and I was so impressed, I especially loved the performance arts at the opening. I also think it is fantastic to see so many international artists exhibiting together as part of the festival.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
SH – Yes definitely! I think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent a wonderful opportunity for artists around the world.