Artist Nadja Gabriela Plein, from London, took time to talk to us about her life and work.
Please describe your artwork style
Painterly, abstract, expressive, playful, improvisatory, musical, rhythmic, tactile, material-focussed.
What’s your background?
I trained as a composer first, gaining a doctorate in music composition at the Royal College of Music in London.
How long have you been an artist?
I have been a professional painter for about 9 years.
Who or what are your biggest influences?
I look at a lot of different painters. At the moment I am looking at Goya. When I am actually painting I don’t think about other painters’ work but simply respond to the material in front of me.
How have you developed your career?
I take part in as many shows as possible. I also enjoy organising my own shows.
What do you feel is the role of the artist in society?
The artist spends time to look at things with attention that other people pass by.
What techniques / mediums do you use?
Oil, watercolour, pencils, inks, crayons, ball point pens.
Which is more important to you, the subject of your painting, or the way it is executed?
My work is material-focused and as such, the way it is executed comes first but the ‘subject’ is also important. The ‘subject’, in my work, is something that arises from the focus on the material.
What project are you working on now?
I am currently working on larger canvasses than I have done before. I am also working on an artist book.
Any current or up-coming exhibitions?
21st of September at Islington Arts Factory.
Where do you find your ideas for your work?
I do not work with ideas. I work in an improvisatory way, responding to the materials and to the things that emerge on the canvas.
How do you know when a work is finished?
There is a visual feeling that signals that a work has reached a stage where it needs to be left alone.
What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
All the materials are important. Any one of them missing can bring things to a halt.
Is there an element of art you enjoy working with most? Why?
It is all about the act of working with the physical, bodily paint.