What does the ideal artist’s studio look like? How much time does an artist spend there? Is it a sacred place? This week in 'The Artist’s studio' series: Joana Schneider (Rademakers Gallery).
Do you visit your studio every day?
I work every day, but not always from my atelier. Also, I have to say that my atelier is flexible in regard to location and therefore somehow stays undefined. I have several spaces I work at: the atelier at Loods 6, the Bootenloods and my home are all located at KNSM island. Even Rademakers Gallery, which is representing me, is located on the island. It feels a bit as if the whole KNSM island is my atelier. Also, and because my working space constantly changes, my home has become a very important location. It functions as a creative hub where my team meets, ideas are formed and reflection takes place. I would describe it as a sort of ‘Woonatelier’. With its seven metres high walls and by covering around 900 cubic metres on two floors it is very spacious. At home, I surround myself with finished works. I love to use my living room and the hallway as a presentation space or sometimes to make final changes. My boyfriend, who is an editor for Adidas, also works in our home.
What time do you leave for your studio, and how: on foot, by bicycle, public transport or car?
I am lucky. I have a very short way to go to work. As soon as I leave the bedroom I am there.
Do you hold on to certain rituals in your studio? Music or silence?
Nee, ik No, I do not really have rituals, but I have a structured morning I would say. I get up at 8AM. Then I make coffee for my studio interns and assistants and myself. At 9AM we have a coffee together in my home and discuss what needs to be done. At 1PM we meet again and have lunch together. Regarding your second question, I prefer neither music nor silence but my team and I love to listen to stories. When I work by myself, for example at the wrapping machine, I very much enjoy the audiobooks by Jonathan Franzen. In the team, we listen to True Crime Stories and Pop music. It works for everybody :)
How important is light to you?
Light is very important for my work. It has an immediate effect on the perception of a piece. The recycled PET yarn I often work with reflects light very strongly. On a sunny day, the light emphasizes its digital quality. Then again, at night time and by using industrial spotlights, the very same work starts to look way more theatrical. In the recent work ‘Spectrum’, exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, I especially played with that change of quality by involving light as a creative component.
What does your work process look like? Do you work everywhere and all the time or does work only commence the moment you enter your studio?
My work is surrounding me at all times. It is everything I am thinking about and I am involved with it all the time. That might sound extreme to some people but I am very happy and grateful about having the possibility to live that way. At all times I am open to getting inspired by my surroundings and especially my working process. Every day I see new things happening in my atelier and I document every bit of my process. I have a growing archive of 15000 images and hundreds of small samples.
How much time do you spend on average per day in your studio?
I follow roughly a seven to eight hours, well-structured working day. I need a structure that divides my week and days into rhythmic, recurring sequences as a counterpart to the freedom of action and output that the profession brings with it. But it of course can happen that I continue to work until late into the night when I am itching to deal with a new and exciting idea.
Is your studio a sacred place?
I have one small private workplace that I treat as my working temple. It is the highest point of the large apartment complex I live in, and it is only me who is working there. It feels sheltered from the rest of the world and I can find peace and quietness there. I use it as a refuge from the more hectic and noisy studio life.
Do you receive visits there; collectors, curators or fellow artists?
Yes, especially during the pandemic I treated my ‘Woonatelier’ as a private exhibition space in which – in collaboration with Rademakers gallery – I welcomed collectors, curators and all sorts of people from the arts to show and discuss my work with.
What is the most beautiful studio you have ever seen?
The atelier of Claudy Jongstra. I fell in love with it because it is very well organized and separated into different workstations. Different locations are dedicated to specific parts of her creational process such as the felting atelier or the dying lab. Also, her studio in Spannum and farm in Huns in Friesland are beautifully located in the countryside, surrounded by nature.
What does the ideal studio look like?
A spacious building with several floors and enough differently sized rooms in which my creative process could be divided into the essential workstations. Of course, it should as well be architecturally inspiring. When I speak of it: I have an old factory in mind where there are no limitations on space and noise. It also should have a quiet place for reflection which could be used as well to develop more intricate, detailed and delicate work. I hope I can invite you to my ideal atelier in five years.