Category Archives: Studiobscure

[enchantment] María Tudela

María Tudela Bermudez, photography, dark, obscure, black and white
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Image © María Tudela

[studiobscure] Mahlimae + Interview

dark, dolls, ethereal, faery tales, handmade, Mahlimae, Nicole Watt, obscure, sculpture, studio

For the second [studiobscure] appontment I had the opportunity  to peek inside the studio of one of the kindest and most talented artist I’ve met since starting Reflectedfaith. I’ve already featured Nicole/Mahlimae  and her lovely creatures on this post and today, I am very happy to present you a short interview with her. She told me a bit about her art, her working space, the tools she uses and the several mask she wears. The pictures she sent me are focused on small details, close up pictures of materials and tools; they do not show her studio in his entirety (hey … don’t tell me you really thought you could see the work bench where all the magic happens, a magician never reveals his tricks!!!)  but are enough to give us an idea of the space and the atmosphere we could feel if we were allowed to step inside Mahlimae’s enchanted world.

dark, dolls, ethereal, faery tales, handmade, Mahlimae, Nicole Watt, obscure, sculpture, studio

1) Hi Nicole, probably there is no need, my readers know you very well but can you make a brief description of yourself and your art? And what is your current project?

Well probably the best way to describe myself is a woman with lots of masks…I am 37, born and raised in suburban Brisbane, Australia and now living in the wilderness of Southern Tasmania in a home my husband and I built ourselves. For me, the most commonly adorned ‘mask’ is that of Mother, to two little girls who astound me daily with their wondrous insight, energy that seems to know no bounds, their wide eyed curiosity and sweet nature that am so in awe of.
I recently retired my Social Worker mask which I wore for a great number of years in a professional capacity; probably the most difficult years of my life have been the past few as I juggled the psychological demands of working with society’s most vulnerable, maintaining 20 acres of land, motherhood, as well as the creative pull inside my mind which was growing in its insistence daily. It was a bitter sweet moment of achievement earlier this year when I could finally simplify life and wear my Creator mask full time (during school hours that is).
My art is something I fail to describe very well; those who enjoy my work and are kind enough to leave comments about their impression seem far more articulate in this task than I. I see them as figments of my imagination realised in small sculptures I call Echoes; they are familiar yet the unseen…lost souls…reflections of ourselves, our humanity and our connection to our Earth which we have long forgotten.
Presently my work space hosts many pieces in progress for upcoming group shows at BeinArt Gallery here in Australia, as well as Modern Eden Gallery and Stranger Factory Gallery in the United States. I am also working with the beautiful artist Yishu Wang on the illustrations for a children’s book I have written, we hope to be able to release some progress photos before the end of the year.

dark, dolls, ethereal, faery tales, handmade, Mahlimae, Nicole Watt, obscure, sculpture, studio

2) Tell us about your studio: are you a messy artist with a lot of tools laying around in no particular order, or do you prefer having everything clean and organized neatly?

Ahh this is a good question as it really depends on what my schedule is doing at the time. In my own mind I don’t see myself as a ‘messy’ artist, although when I have a whole world of deadlines looming and a number of pieces on the go simultaneously, such as is this case now, my work space tends to defy my self concept and looks quite a disgrace. That being said, I think most of the practical tools and items remain in their place so as to retain their sense of order…the ‘mess’ seems to come from the textiles, furs, feathers, wool and other materials that I need to have at arms reach all the time to play around with.
Now that I have written this I am going to have to get in there and clean things up a bit!

dark, dolls, ethereal, faery tales, handmade, Mahlimae, Nicole Watt, obscure, sculpture, studio

3) These days it’s hard to separate digital and analogue activities. How is the balance between electronic devices and analog working tools in your studio? 

That’s very true…although the choice to distance ourselves from a reliance upon electronic devices was made when we first moved to Tasmania and decided to run our home totally on solar power. As such, we need to be really careful about our power consumption, especially in deep winter when the sun is so timid. Whilst I still use a computer and require internet access to manage my work, I choose to keep that all in the house and other than a portable bluetooth speaker for music (which I can’t live without), the rest of the tools in my studio are hand tools/analogue. I think of it as a sacred space, a haven of sorts, so I try to keep the outside world out as much as I can.

dark, dolls, ethereal, faery tales, handmade, Mahlimae, Nicole Watt, obscure, sculpture, studio

4) Name a couple of tools you could not live / work without?

My fingers would have to be my number one set of tools I couldn’t work without. It’s not very refined I know, but I use my fingers for the majority of my sculpting work, its instinctual and more connected, I am happier working this way. For the finer detailing I couldn’t live without my porcupine quill, silicone tools and a few fine brushes.

dark, dolls, ethereal, faery tales, handmade, Mahlimae, Nicole Watt, obscure, sculpture, studio

5) How important is the decoration of your studio, do you hang a lot of inspirational art on your walls?

For me, the layout and items that surround me are really important, more so for the energy they contain rather than for the way they may look. My studio was built on the site we first ‘parked’ our caravan when we moved on to our block of land almost 10 years ago and is made from leftover building materials from our house so it all holds a special place in my heart. I have adorned the walls with lots of inspirational artwork from artists I admire, skulls I have found or have been gifted, crystals, birds nests, driftwood, dried flowers and just about anything that holds a connection for me.  It has a feeling of nurturing and peace when I walk in of a morning and that’s just what I need to be creative.

dark, dolls, ethereal, faery tales, handmade, Mahlimae, Nicole Watt, obscure, sculpture, studio

dark, dolls, ethereal, faery tales, handmade, Mahlimae, Nicole Watt, obscure, sculpture, studio

dark, dolls, ethereal, faery tales, handmade, Mahlimae, Nicole Watt, obscure, sculpture, studio

dark, dolls, ethereal, faery tales, handmade, Mahlimae, Nicole Watt, obscure, sculpture, studio

I hope you enjoyed this virtual visit of Nicole’s studio, don’t forget to check her website to know more about her and to share this post on your favorite social channels.

 

Images © Nicole Watt

[studiobscure] Claudia Six + interview

Claudia Six, studio, puppets, work in progress, iamsixyouaresix, dark, obscure

I don’t know about you, but I am always enchanted when I enter an artist’s studio. Unfortunately the vast majority of artists I like, live far away from me, but I thought that living in the internet era could maybe help me to peek inside the spaces of some of the artists I got in touch since I started this blog and my little shop.

I’ll be asking some friends to send me pictures of their studios (and by studio I mean entire rooms, but also a small corner or a desk) and to answer a few questions about how they relate to their working spaces.

In this first post of the series that I decided to call [obscurestudios], I had the pleasure to virtually visit Claudia Six’ studio, in Austria. I previously published only an [enchantment] post about her, so this is also a good occasion to know more about her art and her magic world made, puppets, dolls, other strange creatures and imaginary forests.

Claudia Six, studio, puppets, work in progress, iamsixyouaresix, dark, obscure

1) Hi Claudia, can you make a brief description of who you and your art? And what is your current project?

I call myself an escape artist because I create a world which is an antithesis to the world around me and I invite people to come into my world, be it through installations, performances, illustrations, sculptures or theatre. Also i am a huge fan of Harry Houdini and a firm believer that art itself can be a disappearing act.
Right now I am working on an installation called „Mama Fortuna“. Mama Fortuna is an ancient and wise, mystical creature who only leaves her home (no one knows where it is exactly) once in a hundred years. In my installation you can go and meet her. But before having the possibility to finally stand in front of her, you have to walk through her forest world and solve some riddles. Mama Fortuna herself is an “one on one” performance and I am building a life size puppet, and creating the forest world with different creatures living in it.

Claudia Six, studio, puppets, work in progress, iamsixyouaresix, dark, obscure

2) Tell us about your studio: are you a messy artist with a lot of tools lying around in no particular order, or do you prefer having everything
clean and organized neatly?

I have to admit that I am quite neurotic about my studio (which is in my house). I need it to be very organized and clean otherwise I can’t think or work properly. There are times though when I am in the middle of a project, when things get out of hand and it’s so messy that I can’t even see the floor anymore. But I try to keep these periods of time short. I do regular sortings of the works in progress and when the project is finished, I clean the whole studio again to prepare it for the new project.

Claudia Six, studio, puppets, work in progress, iamsixyouaresix, dark, obscure

3) These days it’s hard to separate digital and analogue activities. How is the balance between electronic devices and analog working
tools in your studio?

My studio is for analogue work only. I do have a computer, but it is in another room. I try to organize my time so that I have days where I am working focused in the studio and days that are dedicated to dealing with photographs, movies, social media activities or working at my website and stuff like that. But there are times when I am pacing between the two rooms, restless, with a feeling that I got nothing done.

Claudia Six, studio, puppets, work in progress, iamsixyouaresix, dark, obscure

4) Name a couple of tools you could not live / work without?
My need for tools is quite basic I think. I need glue, scissors, needles and acrylic colour. That’s almost it, most of the time. And of course a lot of fabrics, but I really try to keep it simple.

Claudia Six, studio, puppets, work in progress, iamsixyouaresix, dark, obscure

5) How important is the decoration of your studio, do you hang a lot of inspirational art on your walls?
Decoration in my studio is very important, almost in the same way as it is for the rest of the house. I spend a lot of time in my studio so I want it to be my creative haven. I do not have much inspiration stuff on the walls, though; I used to have a lot of things on the walls, but my studio is quite small and I enjoy the feeling of space so I put everything down because it looks bigger and cleaner without it. What I do have on the wall is a sort of diagram about my work. It has the essence of my art on it: the materials and colours I use, the feelings I want to create. So I can check back every time I am working on something new, if I am still on track. Sounds nerdy and not very creative I guess,  but it’s crucial for me.

Claudia Six, studio, puppets, work in progress, iamsixyouaresix, dark, obscure

Claudia Six, studio, puppets, work in progress, iamsixyouaresix, dark, obscure

I hope you enjoyed this virtual visit of Claudia’s studio, don’t forget to check her website to know more about her and to share this post on your favorite social channels.

Images © Claudia Six

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