Author Jo Mcleish - The Media Room
- Artist Interview
Tell us about yourself, where are you from and what do you like to do in your spare time?
I live and work in Ljubljana, Slovenia. I completed my Master’s degree in painting in 2018, since then I work as a freelance artist focusing on exhibitions, galleries, and children’s workshops. In my artistic practise I use many different mediums – sculpture, painting, site specific work, video installations – more than anything the innate qualities of the material I use need to interest me. That is why I love to experiment with everyday items, products and materials. I’m currently working with cosmetic products, silicone and some food products like sugar.
What I like to do in my spare time? Well, I love to go on long walks with my dog, explore nature, hang out with my friends and family, cook and read. Recently I discovered my love for audiobooks. Now I can multitask in my pastime activities too!
Tell us about your artistic practice, what’s your favourite piece you’ve worked on or performed?
In the most general sense, man uses art to experience and express how it feels to be human. A good work of art, however, manages to connect us into a broader, collective human experience. In my work, therefore, I try to remain in a first-person narrative, and from this position explore diverse subject matter. As I grow and age, the subject of interest also changes with me. That is why I don’t really have my favourite piece of artwork. I experience each piece the strongest when I am making it and then I leave it be.
What opportunities do you see in the LIBERTY EU programme for young artists?
Hmm… I am not sure that I am considered a ‘young’ artist, because I am 31. So I haven’t explored too much about LIBERTY EU for myself. But for younger artists, it’s a huge opportunity to experience international exchange and different art systems. At least for me, exposure to new environments and challenges also makes me more creative!
Why do you feel it’s important for young artists to be able to travel and work across Europe?
I’ve had three experiences of living and working abroad. It’s been crucial for me as Slovenia is a very small country. And I wanted to explore the broader art systems across Europe. I’ve been lucky enough to work in Prague, London and Norway and it was a very humbling experience. This has certainly impacted on my artistic practice. It makes you want to achieve higher standards.
What do you feel are the 3 key factors affecting young artists today?
Well, you have to figure things out very quickly after graduating – what do you want to do, where do you want to be, that is a lot of pressure. Feedback from both institutions and the public is needed, but seldom given. I think it’s super helpful if you have a network of friends and colleagues, have critical discussions and share ideas.
The world seems fast paced and in a perpetual mode of overproduction. Task like having to create something original seem daunting. Despite this, we should take our time to develop as artists, gain experience and attempt to offer something meaningful to the world. I think Liberty EU gives us a chance to take the time to do just that – explore subjects and gain new experiences – this is invaluable.
Images from Maruša Meglič, Success is looking for a good place to stay 2019, 2020 Photos by Klemen Ilovar, SCCA_2
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