4SEE x Etnia Barcelona’s Studio Series visits Berlin artist Zora Kreuzer’s studio to discover where her work with the perception of light and colour is leading her
Drawing inspiration from unique natural and urban environments and architecture, Zora Kreuzer’s site-specific projects adapt to each place, reflecting her specific impression of colour and light. She wants you to see light in a new way, painting spaces with colour, or activating the exuberance of neon to cast bright beams and shadows that pick up on architectonic elements of the indoor spaces or public places where she installs her work. With so much of her work being something that needs to be experienced in person, and traveling also essential to install and produce it, the restrictions this year have been challenging to say the least. But it also gave her a chance to reflect more on Berlin and why it is still such a great place to be an artist.
We got the chance to speak to her from her studio and hear about her plans for new work as the art world also adapts.
Interview from October 2020
It is clear that colour and light play an important part in your work, where did this fascination with these aspects of perception come from?
I had quite a colourful childhood with lots of crafting, painting, building things, etc. In art school I wanted to focus on the colours which were most important to me, so I started to work mainly with neon colours. From there I also started the work with coloured light. Growing up in Berlin, I was deeply influenced by the aesthetics of club lights. This fascination grew while traveling to different countries and for example studying in China for some time.
What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far?
I guess every project or exhibition I did was important to get to where I am today. Currently, I really enjoy starting to work more in commissions, like permanent works in public buildings. I’m just working on my first public project in Berlin.
You grew up in Berlin and still live and work in Berlin. It is already a cliché to say that Berlin has changed a lot over the past decades but do you see something positive for artists in the way the city has developed?
It’s nice that there are so many creative people from all over the world living here now. Also I feel like the support for artists is better now. There is more funding for projects, exhibitions and studios. And you get access to so many workspaces, working groups and shops for special materials. I think Berlin is still a great city to live and work in.
You have traveled to some pretty interesting places through your studies, residencies and exhibitions. How have these travels influenced you or your work?
Traveling is important for me personally, but also for my work. I’m interested in the public space, so when I travel I like to research the architecture, and also the use of lights and colours of a place. I work a lot on site-specific projects, so the work changes with the environment I’m working in. I did some nice projects in Australia and it was great to work in a different surrounding; I was impressed by the different natural light and the colours of the landscape.
What does the studio mean to you? How do you get into the right frame of mind to create in your space?
The studio is crucial for the preparations for big projects, but also for my painting practice on smaller scale. To get into working mood I definitely need good music and coffee and then I just have to start working. The beginning is always hard…
Has the way you think about your work changed at all due to the impacts of coronavirus, either on your own life, or on society in general?
During the lockdown, when I was trying to work in my studio, I realised that I need more than just me and the studio. I really missed to go out and socialise, exchange with other artists and to look at art. For me it was a very unproductive time. Also many shows got canceled. My work in general did not change, and I’m lucky that some commission projects are still happening.
If you could place your work or develop an installation anywhere in the world, where would it be?
There is no specific country, but I always wanted to realise a big light installation on the waterfront of a lake or a river and to work with the reflection of the water.
What is next for you, an immediately upcoming project or chance to see your work?
Due to Corona most shows planned for autumn were canceled but I just got an invitation for a show in December at Bark Berlin Gallery.
Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time, where would you like to see your artwork and at what scale?
I hope I will still be fortunate enough to make art and be able to have a studio in Berlin. This will be the hardest to obtain. Probably I’ll end up somewhere (just outside of Berlin) in Brandenburg 😉