As always, before a new exhibition, we gather some questions from our team members for a written interview with the participating artist of the month. This time we’ve had a great pleasure of interviewing the talented, and ever so lovely Gabriela Jolowicz.
Enjoy your read, and see you soon at FRAMED#29 : )
Was there a specific moment in time when you decided on being a professional artist? If yes, when was it? Tell us about that moment…
While studying illustration a the Academy of Fine Arts in Leipzig, I realised that I would rather tell my own stories than illustrate somebody else’s ideas.
In an age of utter speed, you chose an especially slow, laborious medium. What was it that made you focus on woodcut as your main technique?
Translating a blink of an eye into woodcut might take me weeks. To choose a subject, any subject, and basically render it eternal is something that can be done – in essence at least – with the camera of my smartphone. Using woodcut is, in its decelerating way, a bit of a celebration of a moment that will soon be forgotten. For me there is also the humour of taking something as trivial as a shampoo bottle and putting it on a pedestal by using this historically laden procedure – this oldest reproduction technique.
There’s no space\time coherency in your compositions, you weave together places, perspectives and dimensions, yet there’s a story told. What guides you while constructing them?
I see it as an interesting conglomeration of information that retells my own scattered interest in what has just happened. For everyone who does not know me, these are random things of everyday life, for me it is more or less an entry in a very fragmentary, incoherent diary. After a few years each image loses its contemporary feel and turns into something nostalgic.
Tell us a bit about your creative process
I sketch the image directly on the woodblock with a pencil. Once the image is outlined, I start cutting and choose what becomes white, black and structured as I go. The image unfolds like a chess game where one move leads to the next. At some point I need to make a test print, because the image on the wood is very different from the final print – the carving forms a low relief, and it is also mirrored image. Once the ink is rolled on the block, the original pencil drawing vanishes. Based on the resulting test print, I make final decisions about how to conclude the artwork.
What inspires you?
Anything from the latest comic books to Lucas Cranach the Elder.
Do you like listening to music while working? If yes, what kind of music are you listening to? we are always curious about the connection between art and music (:
When I am in the process of composing or drawing I can’t listen to anything.
When I am cutting, I listen to podcasts and audiobooks for hours on end. I enjoy podcasts like 99% Invisible, The Guardian Long Read, Freakonomics or Hidden Brain. It’s easier than listening to music, because I don’t have to DJ and I don’t want to become fed up with my favourite bands.
Tell us about the upcoming exhibition at Framed#29…
I’m excited to show some of my latest woodcuts!