Interview – Trudy Boos – Belgrade Art Studio Online Residency

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Tell us a little bit about your journey to becoming an artist?

As a small child my favorite activities were being outside, playing, and ‘making things’. Drawings and paintings, and when I was about 7 I got my first Singer sewing machine. My mother taught me how to make clothes for my bears and for myself. My father, a journalist, taught me how to shoot and also how to print photos, we did that in our bathroom. I was also lucky to have a teacher at primary school who was also an artist, he gave me my first lessons in shadow/light and perspective. My inspiration hasn’t changed until now. The outer world, nature, my inner world, less straightforward. Although I studied political science, international relations and business administration, I kept exploring art along the way. Painting, sculpture, printing, ceramics and textile. My experience with the effects of art, when making, also as a patient, and admiring it, led to my decision to study Art Therapy as well later on. It’s only for a few years I dare to call myself an artist.

Walk us through your artistic process. What inspires you? What is your art about?

I’d love to give you an analysis, I’m afraid I’m not able to (yet)! When I paint I prefer bigger canvases, since I like the movement, the
physicality, the flow, the freedom, the not thinking. What exactly is my inspiration? What I do know is that living here in Catalonia,
surrounded by nature, being able to hike for hours without meeting a soul does influence me and therefore my art. When drawing, working
with wool or textile it requires a plan, an idea, a plan, then experiment with it, and see what comes from it. So more a loose structured plan. In the end it’s about expressing my inner world, a world that may or may not resonate with the ‘watcher’ of it. And when it resonate it comforts, it might make you feel understood, although giving words to it is hard.

How do you feel about being involved in an online residency program? How important is it to stay connected with the international art community?

I’m delighted to meet with our small group online. We’re so different, because of our location in the world, our history, our age, our art. We understand each other on a deeper level. I’m inspired by them.

What are your thoughts about the theme ‘Conflict Art Peace’? You experienced living in both Eastern and Western countries and had a chance to witness a lot going on.

That’s a long story. I’m always fascinated that people are not interested in it. It all started growing up in a home where WWII was always present. My father lost his father during this war and was obsessed with history. I inherited his interest. It may sound depressing, though the spirit at home was to understand and to help where possible, not to hide under the blanket. My interest is focussed on the resilience of people. Visiting Auschwitz when I was 12 years old, experiencing lack of freedom in Eastern Europe before the wall fell, studying on the West Bank, living in Romania when it just joined the EU, to name a few, brought me many stories and a view on the world. There’s always conflict somewhere and we all have a responsibility to help to move towards peace, in a way that fits us personally.

How can art transform conflict? Does it generate new inspiration and a way of healing?

I’m convinced art is a proper tool. In many ways, on many levels depending also on the phase of the conflict. It’s obvious that during a war art is being used by the powers, as propaganda, and an inspiration to keep the spirit high. On a personal level it’s clear making art can help civilians endure or survive life as is. It’s also clear from research that the aesthetic, or beauty, of the location where mediation takes place influences the outcome. People are more likely to reach a resolution. A beautiful spot, art can be an ingredient here. The brain shows when people are enjoying art, the pleasure spot is activated. On a personal level there’s obviously art therapy that has proven its value.
Except for solving conflicts we can focus on preventing them as well. Therefore art should be an important part of any education. At the moment I’m reading a lot of research that has been done for the last few years, the fields that work together are art therapy, neurology and the new field of neuroaesthetics.

Tell us a bit more about your project ideas…

Since this feels more like a cognitive project, less intuitive it might not fit painting as an art form. I’m experimenting with embroidery, printing of shapes and material from nature to represent the brain when producing art, or enjoying art. Our brains have the ability to change, adapt and modify, both structure and function during out life and as a response on circumstances. So we as a human can change, this means we are able to think, feel and behave in another way. A way that serves not only us better, but also the world around us.

What do you want to achieve in the near future? Any  plans/projects?

I might dive into this brain-art theme even deeper, although it’s hard since I’m not a neurologist! Though I’ll always keep painting
intuitively (I’ve no better word for it) as well, I love to paint, and struggle, with colours, composition and values.