Serlachius museot

Käykää rohkeasti

+358 (0)3 488 6800 | Gustaf, R. Erik Serlachiuksen katu 2 | Gösta, Joenniementie 47 | Mänttä

Serlachius-museot ovat avoinna kesällä 1.6.–31.8. joka päivä 10–18, talviaikaan 1.9.–31.5. ti–su 11–18.


+358 (0)3 488 6800 | Gustaf, R. Erik Serlachiuksen katu 2 | Gösta, Joenniementie 47 | Mänttä

talviaikaan 1.9.–31.5. ti-su klo 11–18
kesäaikaan 1.6.–31.8. joka päivä klo 10–18

Käykää rohkeasti

Maanantai 23. Helmikuuta 2015

The focus of my work is drawing

Antje Pehle prefers to draw in small formats – but in large surroundings.

The artist-in-residence programme has just been established and I am the second artist with the opportunity to spend three months at Serlachius. This is my fifth artist residency in Finland, but my first in this part of the country. Despite the contrast in landscapes, what is most striking here is to live with other artists - during previous residencies I was usually by myself - and to be so strongly connected to and being taken care of by the museum: At Serlachius, a dedicated team deals with all aspects of the recently established residency programme. I have immensely anticipated this stay. I couldn't have wished for a warmer welcome and the conditions for my work are fabulous.

My reasons to apply for this particular residency were the Serlachius art collection and the label of Mänttä as a town of art in the countryside, also holding the Summer Art Festival. I very much agree with Gösta Serlachius' view that not all cultural life and art should be concentrated in Helsinki!

Mänttä and its surroundings provide new visual experiences, bringing into play fresh and unfamiliar shapes and forms. Although my work often appears to be quite abstract, it almost always has very concrete roots. I normally first take photos and use them as a model for my drawings. Through a creative process of reducing and isolating visual experiences my work is a mixture of very tangible sources and imagination.

The landscape of Pirkanmaa with its particular structure of snow and its peculiar dynamics of light, shapes and colours provides powerful, unique inspirations. In my work, my aim is to combine these natural influences with the buildings from Mänttä. I am working on a series of drawings dealing with architecture, interior and nature. The idea to involve architecture emerged when I saw buildings like Aleksanterin linna, the museums in Joenniemi and the old wooden cinema Säde. In one of my drawings the flowers of the wallpaper of the old cinema grow over the building and envelop it. With a little luck, one day someone will come and kiss the sleeping beauty awake.

At these places, I took pictures from the in- and outside and tried to catch their specific atmospheres, drawing with pencil, crayon and watercolour on paper with untextured surface. Line by line, pattern, structures and forms are becoming objects and rooms – things emerge and disappear. There is something to see from afar and discoveries to be made when coming closer to the work. This technique of drawing multiple layers takes time and I am always working on more than one drawing at the same time, allowing the watercolour to dry while I continue on another piece.

I am often asked why are my works so small. I experimented with larger formats, but the process felt very awkward to me, even though I could still draw long straight lines by hand. The movements and the idea of filling so much space were incompatible with my approach, so I keep coming back to small sizes. I feel most at home with formats ranging from postcards to A4.

I enjoy the quiet working environment at Aleksanterin linna, a comfortable and big studio with many windows and a magnificent view of the lake – a place to let thoughts roam. It feels truly special to return home in the evening, leaving the highway and taking the small road up to the lake, watching the sky full of bright stars. Einola is such a lovely and tranquil place, it is hard to imagine returning to Berlin in a few weeks. The crowded streets of my bustling hometown feel countless miles away.

At the Residence, I greatly enjoy the company of other artists, the team of Serlachius Residency and Serlachius Museums and I feel integrated to the community. I appreciate being so close to Serlachius Museums, visiting them time and again. What's more, I truly adore real winter, its crisp, white snow and going skiing, a pastime I better enjoy in the anonymity of darkness because of my very limited skills.

In late March, at the end of my stay at Serlachius Residency there will be an exhibition of my drawings at Alekstanterin linna. Welcome!

Antje Pehle