*Featured photo: Beyond gravity, installation, collage, ink on paper, fondation, whitespaceblackbox, neuchatel, ch, 2022, foto Falcao Hänggi
One needs to ‘enter’ – literally – into the work of Julia Sossinka (Hattingen DE, 1983) to truly understand it. It is an immersive experience that I enjoyed during her residency at the Fondation WhiteSpaceBlackBox in Neuchâtel when I walked through the large installation created for ‘Beyond gravity’, which established a relational dynamic between inside and outside capable of attracting and ‘engulfing’ the visitor in a hybrid space-time, almost isolated from the world. In fact, this is the hallmark of Sossinka’s works. She uses paper to create works/environments in which to immerse oneself, perhaps even to lose oneself, and colour to construct atmospheres that are alienating and evocative at the same time, which free those who pass through them or those who linger in them from the contingency of reality – thoughts, facts, events that press on daily life at an increasingly accelerated and obsessive pace.
Why did you choose paper which, among other things, appears as a fragile material, which is easily damaged and not very durable?
I came to the medium of paper as a sculptural material indirectly. I studied Painting and experimented a lot with ink on paper. From my discarded works emerged the first flat collages, which expanded more and more into the space, up to walk-in room installations. Now I no longer use discarded works as a basis for the paper works, I paint with shellac ink on solid watercolour paper, and from it, I tear pieces, strips or even complete forms in one piece. What I like especially about paper is it´s flexibility and diversity and the light, airy character. Also, practically speaking, the paper doesn´t weigh too much. I love to work with my hands, and like this, I can build large installations – even without a lot of tools.
And about colors, what is your relationship with color – is it a medium, a language, does it have any conceptual meaning as well for you?
The love for color is elementary for me, a leading impulse, why I work artistic, is the desire to dive into color, get lost in it and melt with it. When I paint I work pastose – with thick layers of paint, which adds a three-dimensional component making the material tangible, so in painting the color also adds a sculptural aspect.
You write that your installations are an invitation to the observer to enter the painting. Can you tell us what you mean and what is the relationship that develops between you – the artist – and the observer through the work of art?
I developed my installations out of two dimensional paintings, over collages hanging on the wall to space-filling installations which make it possible for the observer to walk through.
So the installations are a continuation of the works on the wall and accordingly they are experiental for the visitor. They are an invitation to the visitor to dive into my work and find a new perspektive on the space. Mainly it´s about catching an atmosphere, create an experience space.
How do your installations develop in relation to the space in which they are located? Is the space itself also a source of inspiration?
Creating an installation for me is, like having a conversation with the space where it´s developing. My installations are temporary. They stay for a certain time before I deconstruct them and emerge a new work out of the same material.
The material is constantly evolving. The work is ongoing, without end. Through time, the use and the use of material, it continues to grow.
How are your works born, how do they evolve and take shape?
I develop my work in the process. The working process for me is a meditative state of not wanting anything. Everything arises in the process, which is good when it flows and a so- called „no mind state“ occurs – the thinking pauses in these moments – the subconsciousness takes over. The basis of this state is the previous experience and practice. After the creation process is completed, there comes a time of rethinking for me, in which I review, evaluate, compare, criticize, and then revise what I have created. Often I discover in my work echoes of things, moods and forms that I have encountered in my everyday life. They slip into the works from my subconscious without me intending. This process is whimsical and produces better results than anything I could consciously create. This approach to work relates to both my paintings /collages and my installations.
It is not about implementing ideas but about atmospheric moods, focusing on colour tones. My installations and paintings are based on the process of formation, focusing on the interplay of colour tones, creating emotional scenes inspired by forms of nature.
What does being an artist mean to you?
Being an artist means to me finding solutions for pictorial questions through the language of art. In so challinging times I like to offer the visitor by entering an installation or watching an art work the chance to immerse themselves in it, forget the outside world for a moment, and find themselves in an in-between world of colour sounds, organic forms, and structures. And then return reloaded with new positive energy to their everyday lifes.
What are or what were the artistic and cultural references that have inspired or influenced your research and your artistic practice?
I´m not so much inspired by other artists or cultural references. It is always parts of nature which reflect in my work, structures and colours derive from it. My work captures a moment of becoming and growing; for the viewer, it is an insight into a living sensory experience, full of vitality and richness of colour.
How is your art evolving and what do you see in your future?
To discover new forms of expressions with the objective to intense the experience for the observer.