Interview: Weronika Braun
Luca Curci talks with Weronika Braun, honourable mention of ITSLIQUID International Contest – 11th edition
Weronika Braun is one of the honourable mentions of the 11th ITSLIQUID International Contest. “The subject of my painting is unreal, impressionistic landscapes. I base my works on glazes. The most important thing for me is the play of lights and colors. I try to include in my paintings the lights and shadows of emotions, thus looking for transcendence. Transcendence has many definitions, but they all refer to something that we cannot sense with our senses. The concept of transcendence, treated as a way of emotional perception of the world on its spiritual surface, has become a tool for me to present my way of looking at the world. I use color spots to show the viewer what is intangible and elusive and introduce the viewer to the world where he will be able to find a part of himself”.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Weronika Braun – Art is a purification for me. In the past, painting served me to get rid of the excess emotions that were accumulating in me and had no outlet. I was overwhelmed. Thanks to painting, I regained my balance. I started to focus on observing, controlling, and expressing emotions through art.
LC – What are you currently working on?
WB – At the moment I am working on a series of paintings based on plant paints. In observing the world, apart from emotions, nature is important to me in a particular way – I am fascinated by dyes of plant origin, which I can extract from plants by myself in the process of drying and cooking plants. Thanks to them, I can create vegetable inks, pigments, natural paints, and dye tinsel.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
WB – At the beginning of my conscious artistic path, I wanted to let go of frustration, disappointment, sadness, regret, and longing. Emotions tugged at me almost constantly and I couldn’t cope with them. I kept taking notes of new bits of thoughts. I used them to create letters that I never sent to anyone. I was describing all my feelings. I painted my first landscapes from fragments of thoughts, pinhole photos, and feelings. Some are dark and monochromatic, others with overexposed parts. I named it The Shining Lights. Using my own emotions and sensitivity, I began to process what I see and how I perceive my surroundings.
LC – Which is the role the artist plays in society? And contemporary art?
WB – The role of the artist is to draw the attention of the recipient, excite him, sensitize him, provoke him to ask himself questions, and be drawn into other worlds. Art is to serve as a private cognitive-critical tool. It enriches the social point of view. Art reacts to the potential, opportunities, and threats of the world around us. Art ennobles us and awakens emotions. “What emotions does art evoke in you?” Curiosity, fascination, boredom, aversion? Whatever you call it, you feel it. It can be positive or negative – even the fact that it leaves you indifferent is a signal! Emotions accompany us every day. It is a bit like breathing – we don’t notice that we are breathing until something begins to happen, either positively or negatively. Feelings also come to the fore when they go beyond their standard range of everyday minor sorrows, joys, and emotions. The catalyst for this offense may be art – painting, sculpture, film, music, or book.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
WB – Like many artists, I extract inspiration from nature – both visually and by using plants to create paints. The main tool that I use for observation is the pinhole camera I made. The principle of pinhole photography is the light entering the box through a small hole (lens). Inside the box, there is a photosensitive paper on which the photo is created. The camera obscura image has gentle contrasts, softness, blurred forms, and an infinite depth of field. The photos are sketches for paintings. I have used photos many times, using their interesting color combinations and compositions in my further work.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
WB – Due to the fact that I gave up the use of linseed oil for the intended effects, I noticed deficiencies in the painting layer. For this reason, I started adding natural resins to my paints. This allowed me to introduce more controlled stains, flat color spots, glazes, and glossy and matte fragments. I try to apply the paint to my paintings softly and gently, allowing the layers to permeate. Working with this technique requires time and patience from me. Each layer must dry well before applying the next one. I am not able to speed up the creative process, so I often paint several works at the same time. I’m starting another painting while waiting for the previous one to be dry enough for me to apply another layer of diluted paint. Then I have relative certainty that it would not wash out the previous layer in these places I don’t want to. The most challenging part of my creative process is controlling the paint.