In the studio with Isabel Naudé

7 Jul 2016
This month we have a look at the studio of Isabel Naudé, where she lives on farm De Hoop in Amsterdam, Mpumulanga. And, as a special local feature, we also have her interview in Afrikaans (kliek hier om dit te lees, of rol af op hierdie bladsy).



What is your favourite medium?
Oil painting and mixed media.

What themes do you explore in your work?
Material culture, the body, the land, journey and mapping.

What do you think of when I ask you about your favourite artwork?
The Teacher (Sub A) by Marlene Dumas, 1987 Oil on canvas, 160 x 200 cm Private collection © Marlene Dumas Photograph by Peter Cox, © 2015, ProLitteris, Zurich




Tell me about your studio or working space...
My studio is built onto my house. Subsequently, I can work calmly and until late while the rest of the house sleeps. My studio is very big, with a comfortable little lounge and enough space for me(and the dogs) to work on several paintings at the same time. Large windows give a view of my garden. The big space and calmness makes it an ideal place for art classes and also to escape and relax. Once every two months I get students to join me painting in the space. Because we live on a farm, with no close-by neighbours, interaction with other artists is very important for my inspiration and growth. It also ensures that I don't become a complete hermit. My studio is relatively neat. I neaten it myself when I think it's needed... (about once a month...). I can't function or work if someone else has moved my stuff around.



Do you prefer to work with music, or in silence?
I always work with music. The choice of music are determined by the season of the year, as well as different seasons in my life. How I feel determine what I listen to, and what I would paint on that specific day. Music has a big influence on my colour use. I listen to a variety of music, but I prefer classic music.

What do you collect?
Statues, sculptures, SCULPTURES... mostly adults, children or angels - I have a relative obsession with the human figure. I also collect anything antique and things that tell a story. I am an incredibly sentimental soul and therefore my home is... maybe too full!



Is there anything people should know about your work, beyond the obvious?
I work mostly, always in my artworks, with “the child’ as subject matter.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I really enjoy gardening. These days I prune anything that can be pruned into a ball, into a circular shape. I like repetition... also in my art. I enjoy reading and I study recipe books (I am not the best cook). My new favourites are recipe books by Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen and The story of a House: Fables and Feasts from La Creuzette.

  

If you couldn't be an artist, what career would you follow?
Fashion design or music.

What is the best advice that has been given to you as an artist?
Paint from your heart and with honesty. One of my art lecturers once told me: 'Take an idea or object and see how you can present it differently; not in the way that it's usually seen or where it would usually appear. Also, paint every day if possible... or prepare a canvas.' The idea of creating something helps me to allay 'things'.

Are there specific messages in your art?
I mostly work with metaphors, e.g. a baby's chair represents a toddler or baby, while a black, plastic chair implies an adult person.

What does your creative process entail?
I would brainstorm with mind maps in a sketchbook about a subject; finding a metaphor for the subject or object; take photographs, study them and cut them up, so I can rearrange them into a new space. I would also experiment which mediums suit the concept the best, isolate myself, take a walk and think about my processes. It's also important that I choose my music correctly!

 

What inspires you?
Exhibitions of my own or other artists' work, art movies, interaction with people, children and my environment.

What is your core message in your 'Bloodline' series?
In a family bloodline there's usually a gender problem, sickness, deviation, talent, or something similar that persists or that are inherited. Depending on how it, or the person, is treated or accepted, it can have a substantial impact on the development of the certain person's identity. In my BLOODLINE works , I wanted to illustrate this ebb and flow of IDENTITY. I also wanted to illustrate how societal values often categorised individuals who did not conform to perceived accepted norms within that society.

What art materials would you not be able to go without?
My collection of paint brushes.

  

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Nieu Bethesda in the Karoo, or the French countryside.



Wat is jou gunsteling medium?
Olieverf en gemengde media.

Watter temas ondersoek jy meestal in jou werk?
Materiële kultuur, die menslike lyf, die landskap, reis en kartering.

Waaraan dink jy heel eerste as ek vra wat jou gunsteling kunswerk is?
The Teacher (Sub A) deur Marlene Dumas, 1987 Olie op doek, 160 x 200 cm Privaat versameling © Marlene Dumas Foto deur Peter Cox, © 2015, ProLitteris, Zurich




Vertel my van jou studio of werkspasie: Waar is dit, hoe groot/klein, netjies/deurmekaar? 
My studio is aan my huis gebou. Ek kan dus rustig en laat werk terwyl die res van die huis slaap. My studio is baie groot met 'n gesellige sitkamertjie en genoeg ruimte vir my en die honde, en om aan 'n paar skilderye gelyk te werk. Groot vensters kyk uit op my tuin. Die groot spasie en rustigheid maak dit 'n ideale plek vir kunsklasse en ook om te ontvlug en teontspan. Een maal elke 2 maande kry ek studente wat heerlik kom saam verf. Omdat ons op 'n plaas woon en daar nie baie bure naby is nie, is interaksie met ander kunstenaars baie belangrik vir inspirasie en groei. Dit sorg ook dat ek nie heeltemal 'n kluisenaar word nie. My studio is relatief netjies . Ek pak hom self reg wanneer ek dink dis nodig… (een keer per maand...).Ek kan nie funksioneer of werk as iemand anders my goed rondgeskuif het nie.

   

Werk jy met of sonder musiek?
Ek werk altyd met musiek. Die keuse van musiek word bepaal deur die seisoene van die jaar, asook verskillende seisoene in my lewe. Hoe ek voel bepaal na wat ek luister en wat ek daardie spesifieke dag gaan verf. Musiek het 'n groot invloed op die kleur gebruik. Ek luister na 'n verskeindenheid, maar meestal verkies ek klassieke musiek.

Wat versamel jy graag?
Beeldjies, beelde, BEELDE… meestal van volwassenes, kinders of engele: Ek het maar 'n redelike obsessie met die menslike figuur. Ek versamel ook enigiets wat antiek is en 'n storie vertel. Ek is 'n uiters sentimentele siel en daarom is my huis… dalk te vol!



Is daar iets wat mense van jou kuns moet weet of besef, wat hulle nie dadelik in jou werk kan sien nie?

Ek werk meestal, altyd in my kunswerke, met “the child” as onderwerp.

Wat doen jy graag in jou vrye tyd?
Ek is baie lief vir tuinmaak. Ek snoei deesdae alles wat ek in n bol vorm kan snoei, bolvormig. Ek hou van herhaling… so ook in my kuns. Ek lees graag en bestudeer resepte boeke (ek is nie die beste kok nie). My nuwe gunstelinge is resepte boeke van Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen en The story of a House: Fables and Feasts from La Creuzette.



As jy nie ‘n kunstenaar kon wees nie, watter loopbaan sou jy ook kon volg?
Mode ontwerp of musiek.

Wat is die beste raad wat iemand al vir jou as kunstenaar gegee het?
Verf uit jou hart uit en met eerlikheid. Een van my kunsdosente het eendag vir my gesê: ”Neem 'n idee of voorwerp en kyk hoe jy dit anders kan aanbied; nie soos dit normaalweg lyk of waar dit normaalweg voorkom nie. Verf ook elke dag indien moontlik… of berei 'n skilderdoek voor.” Die idee om iets te skep help my baie om “dinge” te besweer…

Is daar spesifieke boodskappe in jou kuns?
Ek werk meestal met metafore, bv. 'n babastoel verteenwoordig 'n kleuter of baba, terwyl 'n swart plastiekstoel 'n volwassene voorstel.



Wat behels jou kreatiewe proses?
Ek sal brainstorm met breinkaarte in 'n sketsboek oor ‘n onderwerp om 'n metafoor te kry vir die voorwerp ofonderwerp. Ek sal foto's neem, dit bestudeer en opknip, en dan herrangskik in 'n nuwe ruimte. Ek sal ook eksperimenteer om te bepaal watter mediums die konsep die beste gaan pas, myself afsonder, gaan stap en dink oor my prosesse. En… my musiek reg kies!

Wat inspireer jou?
Kunsuitstallings van myself of ander kunstenaars se werk, kuns films, interaksie met mense, kinders en my omgewing.

 

Wat is jou kernboodskap met jou “Bloodline”-reeks?
In 'n familie-bloedlyn is daar altyd of 'n geslagsprobleem, 'n siekte, 'n afwyking, 'n talent of iets soortgelyks wat deurloop OF miskien oorgeerf is. Afhangende van hoe dit, of die persoon, hanteer of aanvaar word, kan dit 'n groot invloed of bydrae hê op die ontwikkeling van die betrokke persoon se identiteit. In my BLOODLINE-werke wou ek hierdie wisselspel van identiteit illustreer. Ek wou ook uitbeeld hoe gemeenskaplike waardes dikwels individue katagoriseer wat nie inpas by die aanvaarde norme binne die gemeenskap nie.

Watter kunsmateriale sal jy nie sonder kan leef nie?
My kwas-versameling.

Indien jy enigiewers kon bly, waar sou dit wees?
Nieu Bethesda in die Karoo of die Franse platteland.