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Boarded-up Houses by Katharina Fitz

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© Katharina Fitz, Memory Palace, 2017

“…My passion guided me into this world of creation where I am truly happy and able to communicate things I observe and often feel unable to describe in words.”

Name

Katharina Fitz

Profession

Artist

Website

katharinafitz.com

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Katharina Fitz, Copyright Thomas Richardson

Who are you?

I am an artist currently studying for a Master of Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University in the UK.

What do you do?

Until recently I have focused mainly on conceptual photography. However, since 2016 I have introduced different mediums such as casting, mould making, woodwork, and ceramics into my work. Within my practice, I am concerned with subjects surrounding urban sociology showing the structures, processes, phenomenon, and problems that are part of urban life and human interactions with a special interest in shared memory and social and cultural aspects of life.

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© Katharina Fitz, Memory Palace, 2017

Where are you from?

I am from Austria.
Ahh from Vienna?!
No, from Dornbirn.
Where?
Dornbirn, between Bludenz and Bregenz, near Lustenau
???
About 1 ½ hours eastwards from Zürich.

Your style in 3 words?

typological, architectural, sociological

Your weakness? Your strength?

Weakness: Whilst working I get very focused on my project and sometimes forget everything else around me. Strength: When I love doing something I am completely invested in it.

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© Katharina Fitz, Memory Palace, 2017

What makes you different?

Ideally, I would need two separate studios.
I very quickly realised that I would need two separate studios because working with photography and plaster is not an ideal pick of combined media. The biggest enemy of a photographer working with film and/or handling very sensitive photo prints is dust. Photo studios need to be clean and dustfree. Working as a sculptor, especially when the casting process is crucial within your practice requires the exact opposite. You need a sink where to clean all the tools continuously, you need to be able to make a mess and dust is really something that is unavoidable.

When did you decide to become an artist?

Sometimes people ask me why I decided to become an artist because it can be difficult to make a living from it. In response, I usually say that I never consciously chose to become an artist, but I just felt very early on that my passion guided me into this world of creation where I am truly happy and able to communicate things I observe and often feel unable to describe in words. Once the projects were realised, I felt like I owed them to be seen, I started to apply for exhibitions and then for residencies. From there everything evolved naturally.

What do you find most fascinating about the creative process?

Despite the two mediums not being an ideal combination in the studio, as a creative process for me they complement each other very well.

Photography takes me outside, I love going for long walks with my camera to meet different people and discover places. In the process of photography, I am never in direct contact with the work but it invites me on a journey and a physical experience of the outside world.

Sculpture, on the other hand, is very hands on. I love the touch and smell of the different materials I work with and moving from the wall into the space. It is more about being in the studio and spending time with myself and the work. With sculpture I enter into a natural flow of production and the work seems to tell me where to go next. 

© Katharina Fitz, ECHOES, 2018

© Katharina Fitz, ECHOES, 2018

A few words about your favourite creation?

I don’t think there is a favourite creation as such, but there is one project, which personally is very important to me as I made it during a period where I was very unhappy with having too many project ideas but not confident enough to realise them. This project, was the first one, that gave me sleepless nights and finally took me outside and pushed me to do it from the beginning to the end. It is the ‘Urban Gardening Project’ which I photographed between 2014-2015. Working continuously for one year on this project, finally gave me the confidence to realise further projects and changing my career.

A new project coming up or an idea you want to work on?

Currently, I have an artist in residence position at Artcore in Derby, where I am making work about  the decline in popularity of traditional public houses in the UK

Finish the sentence „More important than my career is…“

My family, friends, my vegetable garden and my 85-year-old pet turtle Sebastian.

© Katharina Fitz, Casted out Landscape, 2016

© Katharina Fitz, Casted out Landscape, 2016

2018: Where are we going?

The next couple of months are going to be very hectic because I have a degree show to prepare for, I have an exhibition in Derby to conclude my residency and I will be working on a new project with the New Art Exchange in Nottingham.

When the going gets tough…

I spend time in my vegetable garden.

Your city’s favourite spots?

The various workshops at the university are my favourite places at the moment. They are the biggest playground an artist could dream of.

Do you have a vision?

I wouldn’t say that I have a vision when it comes to my work, as often one project leads to another and my practice evolves through the process of making, reading and conversations I have along the way.

What would you do if you could change the World?

Ban chemical fertilizers and pesticides from agriculture, so that our lakes and the soil recovers, our food is healthier and the diversity of our ecosystem hopefully recuperates.

Last but not least: what is your favourite Song?

I have no favourite song, as what I listen to depends on my mood, the weather, the person I am with, the place I am in and many more… One song I always come back to though is:  I Heard You Looking by Yo la Tengo.

#…?

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