MUNTHE ART MONDAY: Anne Nowak
Please let us hear more about yourself and tell us about what you do?
My name is Anne and I live and work in Copenhagen. I work best when I can alternate between being in my studio with all my materials and outside in nature where nothing is given. It is a dream to have both as a workplace. Most of my works is inspired in the nature. Some of the work are installed in nature, others move into the living rooms of people.
My latest exhibition is called “Blueprint of Bornholm Algae”. It is a great example of how I work. I collect the algae by the sea and do blueprints/cyanotype outside in the sun’s rays – and when the sun is not in the sky, I go into a darkroom.
I work with many different methods. Often the method is a co-creator of the work. Right now, I am working on making reliefs of sand and plaster. The works are inspired by Thorvaldsen’s reliefs and will be exhibited at Alium Gallery in the new year.
Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?
I use my intuition when I choose my projects and when I create them. I need a contrasting everyday life. That is why I share my studio with six other independent women, whom all inspires me.
Can you name some other female artists that have inspired you and explain why?
I am currently very interested in female artists from around the 20th century. There are several special women who used channeling and spirituality as a tool in their work. Among other things is Swedish Hilma of Klint. I think she have made some of the most revolutionary art at the time, even if first got exhibited and shown to the public 20 years after her death. She was very spiritual and formed the group ‘the 5’ where they meditated and channeled much of her work down.
During the same time, Emma Kunz, a Swiss artist, and healer who also worked with art spiritually appeared. Her artwork and method fascinate me immensely. Imagine what a though time she was going through because she was a spiritual female artist! There was no one who considered women worthy as artists back then.
Do you think the art scene has coped with the gender imbalance since you began your career? And how could it still improve?
Yes definitely. It is then something that happens, but it is a very slow process. There are so many old patterns that need to be redone.
Most galleries are owned by men and most board members are male artists. The biggest art collectors are men. It needs to change - We need more female artists, a farer balance of both male and female artists which means that I believe that the systems need to be redone. I do not believe that as an artist you only belong to one gallery. The future is: that you publish yourself, have more galleries, and that you use your personal freedom to exhibit and sell. I think the boundaries are becoming more fluid.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist?
To balance between being a mother, family, and an artist. I am what I do which can be hard to break down. To be a mother and must prioritize is both interesting but also challenging. For example, it is more difficult to take on residencies around the world when you have smaller children. It is often on these trips where you get time to immerse yourself and meet important contacts. Precisely immersing oneself can be a challenge as a mother, because as a mother you are obligated to take care of your child which takes time. The times I have taken on a residency abroad after becoming a mother, I have felt like I have had ALL time in the world. That freedom is total luxury. I think a lot of female artists have a bad conscience if they travel a lot or are very far away from their child. It really is a balance I have struggled with.
Each Monday MUNTHE brings you a new interview with a female artist. Follow the series at MUNTHE ART MONDAY.