Interview: Toril Sæterbakken
Luca Curci talks with Toril Sæterbakken during CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2021 at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
My name is Toril Sæterbakken. I was born in 1958 and live in Lillehammer in Norway. From the time I was two / three years old, I have been drawing with great enthusiasm and joy. The joy of making things, using my imagination gives me a lot. Being observant of the environment is important to me. When I start to paint, the colours were the most important element to make the right expression, and of course the lines, light and the motive. A text, a moment of “something”, joins a process towards an expression, it can be pictorial or a text. I have had three solo exhibitions, attended many courses with professional artists and regular exhibitions with my local painting club. As time has passed, painting has become more and more important in my life.
“A work of art says only what you understand and what you want to wonder”.
Luca Curci – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
Toril Sæterbakken – It was just a natural interest from being a small child.
LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
TS – My head can feel empty when I paint, or full of feelings, texts and thoughts. I paint in a small studio where I have all the equipment. I must have it tidy. I have nice things around me. Often curiosities, strange things, pictures of my family and many artbooks.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
TS – Not really.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
TS – Its difficult. Galleries are mostly closed in Norway because of Corona Virus, and only educated artists are allowed to have exhibitions in professional galleries.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
TS – Usually, I have to see them after some days, weeks. It’s very difficult have certain opinion on my work. The most important is that the painting have some sort of harmony, being abstract or more figurative.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
TS – I am satisfied with the painting “Madams of corona”. I have never seen such a motive before. The motive sticks out from a visual frame. The corona is like a ball with the dangerous red dots on, and the three women with their crowns spins around and around, spreading the virus.
The painting with the two white houses on an empty field, is alone and abandoned. Only thin lines of color are left in the landscape. The houses will never be used and will fall apart little by little. You can think of them as individual humans, alone, no one cares, they will fall apart.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
TS – I absolutely agree with your vison of art. The theme was good.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
TS – I am impressed with your way of organizing the exhibition in the wonderful surroundings of Venice. The cooperation with ITSLIQUID have been very impressive. Your communication has been excellent before and during the exhibition.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
TS – I think you do a great job for artist around the whole world.