“Life is what happens and we just don’t know what’s coming.”
Johanna von Oldershausen
Where are you from?
Born in the “Ruhrgebiet”, after living abroad for a long time, now based in Berlin.
Your style in 3 words?
Modern-surreal, bittersweet, narrative
Your weakness? Your strength?
I feel I am drifting somewhere between collage, photo montage, mixed media, and digital art and not fitting perfectly in one medium of art. Still finding out if this is a weakness or a strength.
What makes you different?
If you are realistic, it’s all been done before…but my collage elements are very personal and the personal change over time finds special entry into my works.
When did you decide to become an artist?
I have been painting and drawing as a child, studied at 3 different art colleges, and always worked creatively, but it took me 34 years to dare to call myself an artist.
Do you choose your art form, or does the form choose you?
Since I remember I have been doing collages and I think David Foenkinos sums it up in his book about Charlotte Salomon:
“Artists reach a certain point in their lives. A point at which an inner voice speaks out. Something in them spreads inexorably, like drops of blood in water.”
What do you find most fascinating about the creative process?
I find it fascinating that the ideas come while I am working, you just have to start, and a studio is a safe place where I can be myself and experiment. If I knew what kind of work would come out in the end, it would be boring. My studio is like a cabinet of curiosities, I don’t throw anything away, but figures and elements appear again and again in a different way. All the snippets have become part of myself.
A few words about your favorite creation?
Hard to choose, but I would say: the collages I created for a choir performance of Cantamus Berlin end of last year. The interplay of music, dance, and my works on the ceiling of the church was just magical.
What surprised you most about your first art shows?
To hear what other people see in my works and to realize that each work can evoke memories and stories in the viewer.
Someone else’s work that inspired or inspires you…
Nancy Spero, Claude Cahun, Hannah Höch, Francesca Woodman, Meret Oppenheim
Who would you like to work with someday and why?
I would love to create a stage design for an opera one day as the dramatic and magical “Gesamtkunstwerk” and the interplay of art, music, and poetry has always fascinated me.
A new project coming up or an idea you want to work on?
I want to develop my process of cutting out, reassembling, overlaying, and re-scanning collages in another dimension. Let’s see where it goes!
Finish the sentence „More important than my career is…“
2023: Where are we going?
What makes life? Life is what happens and we just don’t know what’s coming.
Do you think about time as an artist?
Yes, I think a lot about the phenomenon of time and especially about the transience and fragility of our bodies. I think that’s why I work with paper as my material, which is both ephemeral and fragile, but also a medium to capture memories.
When the going gets tough…
I visit a museum because I love the silent almost sacred atmosphere. It calms me down and I always find new inspiration.
Put on your future vision glasses: What direction is our generation moving in, what will our world look like in 50 years?
I think we are all even more connected to everything and with everybody, our lives will spin even faster, and I wonder how we will manage to pause for a moment.
What does freedom mean when it comes to art?
A studio of my own and the freedom to find my own language.
If the universe is everything and it’s expanding, what is it expanding
I am afraid we must be careful that our universe does not collapse due to climate change before it can expand…
Tell us about your future plans…
Organize exhibitions with other artists, reflect, and work on a catalogue.
Your city’s favorite spots?
My studio, Galleria Snow, Deutsches Theater Berlin
Last but not least: what is your favorite Song?
That is always changing.
One last statement please: „Wood or stone, gold or art?“
Art for sure