You are so skilled. No matter what you do. What came first, collages photos or paintings and how did it all develop?
I can’t really say for sure what came first. Ever since I was a little girl I drew a lot and messed around with cameras. My father was a photographer so my interest for taking pictures came naturally. But drawing, painting and mixing things was always my number one thing to do. And I never stopped doing those things which led me to art school and the Faculty of Fine Arts.
How is the situation in Serbia, especially for a young artist?
Well, it’s always a struggle whether you’re in Serbia or any other place. At least that is how I see it. What is specific about Serbia is the fact that people around here don’t really have much, which makes things a lot more difficult.
How do you get ideas for projects? And what is your creative process?
As for painting and drawing it simply comes from whatever I am interested in at the time. It’s the idea that preoccupies me. It can be just about layering the black colour to create a specific mood or transferring segments found in a Byzantine fresco painting. The last thing I’m interested in is making my work being about something rather than just being. It’s the need to create.
The process is very slow and it takes a lot of time to get to something that I want. For me, it’s like a free fall – you never know what’s going to happen. I can start with something basic, something that I know so well, like a medium for instance. And then I change it in order to get out of the comfort zone. That is why I have this tendency to change a lot.
As for the photographs everything is much more different because the process of taking pictures is much faster. I like to create tension in my photographs, I like them odd. I treat my camera as an ability to transfer to different kind of dimensions even things I see every day. I look a lot at the pictures I’ve taken before as they always give me something to start with, and it seems that I am attracted to the same things over and over again until I feel that I am done with it. I also enjoy making stories.
What does it feel like showing your work? You have been part of so many exhibitions, how do they change you as an artist?
It’s very strange. When you work, you usually think about the product. How to create things. But at the moment your work is in an exhibiting space for people to see it and respond to it, you actually start seeing what you’ve been doing the whole time. You can create a distance. I find that to be very important as it is, like putting a full stop at the end of a sentence.
How differently do you approach painting and photography? Or what similarities do you see?
Well, the main difference is the fact that painting is creating and photographing is capturing. Painting and drawing require the involvement of the entire body at the time, especially when I do pieces twice as big as me, movement, meditation… I create things that are a lot more surreal, while my photographs are about my reality. What I see as a similarity between those two is that both are very dark. I like it that way.
Are there any artists you admire? Who are those and why?
Of course! Leon Golub, Anselm Kiefer, Zoran Mušič, Sergei Parajanov… I guess it is because I find myself in their work as I have always been drawn to pieces that involve symbolism, theology and mysticism.
Interview by Amanda M. Jansson