A German artist who has been visiting Seychelles since 1996 is showcasing a collection of 80 canvases in an exhibition called 'In Sinus'.
Birgitt Lubkemann, or Madam Waye Hive as she is known on La Digue, Seychelles' third-most populated island, spent two years preparing for her solo exhibition which opened on Saturday at the Eden Art Space gallery. The exhibition organised by Arterial Network Seychelles is designed as a spectacle of light and sound, including the projection of a short film.
The exhibition is open until February 14.
SNA met Lubkemann to learn more about the exhibition, which is the first one for the year 2020.
SNA: What is for you the highlight of your exhibition?
BL: I am hanging up all these canvases with great pride. But this one, 'The Mother Wall,' is a very special creation for me. I think I can call it a puzzle made up of 33 pieces. It has travelled with me from La Digue to Germany, in bars and restaurants as well as in my sleep.
For me, putting together the 33 paintings collectively as a whole has taken me a while. The 33 pieces grow together... stand together, and support each other. Each one is part of the whole story, like each one of us has our own stories.
Out of the 80 paintings, there are also two to which I am emotionally attached and would be sad to lose them. The first is my holy ghost 'Spiritual Sanctus,' a small friend who sits behind the canvas when I paint, and then there is 'Aladdin' which is a piece of my soul where my very own colours live and smile at me like the good genie."
SNA: How important is La Digue island in your Art?
BL: La Digue is this contact to the old rocks, above and beneath the ocean waters, through the waves, through people travelling between them on boats, in planes
La Digue is vital to my work. The island and its people inspire my paintings about life experiences and renewed observations.
SNA: Tell us about the short video on your programme
BL: I was taking pictures of a friend at Petite Anse on La Digue on this beautiful day. Always connected to the rocks, the sea and the waves I wanted to capture still photos of my friend in this magical décor. But by accident, I pressed the slow-motion record button on my camera and involuntarily made a video of the surroundings as well as the general ambience around Petite Anse. After viewing the shots I was struck by discovering another form of my special connection to the rocks of La Digue.
I called the edit 'The rhythm of the tides'. This video did not only record the afternoon with my friends but found out that it also connected to the creative process of the paintings I was totally involved with. There was rhythm as the planet and its vibrations through waves that hold us together 'In Sinus'-- in perfect harmony".
SNA: You seem enthusiastic and energetic rather than the cliché of the pensive and cynical artist.
BL: The reason I am enthusiastic, energetic is that I am not afraid to make mistakes! I refuse to see the negative in people and this has led to inner injuries for sure. But I am strong enough to adjust myself and get up to face the next wall.
This applies to my paintings even though I recognise the familiar lines, waves, forms and colours I have to preserve to discover and express some personal truth. Sometimes I dare use a colour that I don't like at all just to see what comes out.
SNA: What does painting represent for you?
BL: I am a learner and will always be. I can lose myself while painting and my brush is a vehicle for this trip back to shared roots and origins. It is a window to the other side, to 'l'Autre rive' as Alpha Blondie would sing it. We live to explore, to find out why we are here.
It is impossible for me to think that we are here to be angry and disappointed and waiting for the show to end. You have to jump over the fence of life and see the other side and then give this experience a form, my brush and colours are the gateways to this experience.
So, to me the artist is someone who follows this inner urge to create and innovate, to find different angles of seeing the world, to find meaning and come closer to real things. This needs a certain distance from the real world. The secret is finding the courage to jump over the reality fence and come back to wrap up and share what you saw with whatever medium you have, be it music or poetry, and you will know when it's done!
So, I am grateful for each and every experience from the darkest shadow to the brightest light, as you need every hue for the full range, for a rich life."