MUNTHE ART MONDAY: Mia Willaume
Please introduce yourself and what you do.
My name is Mia Willaume, born in Ålborg in 1974 and I am a visual artist.
I live and work in Roskilde. I work primarily with painting (oil / acrylic) on canvas / paper. I also work with mixed media / collage and graphics. I have participated in several state-recognized censored exhibitions, and also exhibit in my own studio, art associations, art galleries etc. in Denmark and Sweden.
What has being a woman meant for your career?
There is definitely an imbalance in the gender distribution in the art industry, and fortunately this fact is something that is discussed more and more. It is important to say out loud! It is important to invite women to join in! And we all have a responsibility to shout and make it known. Otherwise/in the worst case, the present - and art history - will not even correspond to the surrounding world. Women are underrepresented both in terms of impressions and purchases in general. There is a slight tendency for the general population to still think that the best works of art are made by those who are already most visible. It requires a little extra research, but there are really many more talented artists than the ones you just see everywhere all the time.
I have in the past, a few times, heard someone say about works that it is obvious that it is a woman who has made them. On a bad day, that can be a provocative first-hand impression that one would never mention if it were a male artist's paintings you were looking at. On the whole, I believe that a work of art must be exempt from gender altogether. Art is precisely the freedom to be able to express oneself without this categorization.
Fortunately, I am equipped with a good deal of faith in the dream, a strong will and a sense of humor, that in the situations where you feel that you as a woman have had to make an effort / prove a little more than your male colleagues, have driven me onwards. I think, as in all sorts of other situations, that it is important not to lie down and grumble and bathe in the injustice, but instead push it into the background, stand up for yourself, and just do what you have to, and what you are best at.
What - in your opinion - makes a great artist?
Courage, integrity, craftsmanship and humility are words that I think are important qualities as an artist. That one gives something of oneself in one's works.
You can simply feel, when you stand in front of a work where the artist has put herself into it. It has a particular pure energy to it, which is difficult to describe in words. It requires really hard work on many levels, both the work with oneself and with the works. Hard work, perseverance and discipline are a big part of being an artist, there are no easy shortcuts. I have great respect for that work!
What themes do you pursue in your art? - What themes do you work with in your art?
Balance, relationships, connectedness. My works are about relationships and encounters between people; about getting loose ends to stick together and opposites to meet, about creating "connectedness." What binds us together and what separates us is something that constantly keeps me interested and that I am preoccupied with. Inner and outer space on both the physical and mental level and the balance between them is also part of my theme.
I often take as my starting point nature and the simple shapes and patterns of everyday objects as a symbol of interpersonal relationships in everyday spaces, for example; cups, bowls, plants, simple geometry, furniture, etc.
In the structure, volume, surface and color of the material lies a built-in identity, which in the meeting mixes with each other and form a new context. The differences and similarities in the materials, the colors and the shapes, I use in the narrative about ourselves, “the others” and our cultural baggage. I love new experiments in the process, colors, materials and new combinations with these.
Explain your process.
When I look at my process in general, it is deliberately either very controlled or very random. I constantly try to involve myself anew in my works and always include something from the previous series for the next new start. I work in series and always have many works going on at the same time. I try to create states / spaces for myself where things either succeed or fail in a certain way. This interaction between the controlled and the random is important for the expression I want to achieve in my works. I love the idea of building on ruins. My paintings are therefore made up of many layers, where some layers make it all the way through while others are painted over many times. I love working with dogmas, using cheap materials without any apparent value, and making art out of it. It can be the rule to only use a certain number of shapes, patterns, spaces or colors or to sweep the floor and gather cutouts from one process and only use those for the next collages. I love working in contrasts in colors, shapes and different materials. At the moment I am very inspired and productive. I paint loosely and with pace. I allow things to arise in the process. I rarely have more than one loose sketch before I get started. In return, I have prepared and mixed an extensive color palette, which is ready in countless buckets. I have a playful and experimental approach in my work process.
What would you like people to notice in your work? - What do you want the audience to notice in your art?
I have no particular desire as to what the audience should notice. I think the works should be open to interpretation. And it is not always the case that the audience's experience completely corresponds to the thoughts that I have made, and that is just enriching and perfectly ok. I often experience that my works are perceived/experienced more physically than on a logical level of understanding. Words I hear regularly are: A straightforwardness, randomness, vulnerability, strength, wildness, desire, zest for life, energy and harmony, crookedness, imperfection, life, movement.
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