Every once in a while we like to open the doors of one of our Loft locations to exhibit a local artist’s work. Coming edition, we will host an exhibition by abstract painter Laura de Wilde. Her work makes use of light and dark in a way that is uniquely captivating, creating abstract planes that draws one closer. We met with Laura in her studio to get a first sneak peek.
Hi Laura, tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you based? What do you make?
Both my studio and our home are in Amsterdam. It’s my hometown and apart from the energy it gives me, I am always in awe about the beauty of the city and city-life. Having said that, lately I tend to be equally attracted to the countryside. Much more than I’ve been before, so it is probably also an ‘age thing’. Nowadays, we have the best of both worlds since we also bought a weekend getaway on an island in Noord-Holland. Life is different in the countryside.
Have you always been a painter? How did you start out?
No, certainly not. I have been a full time painter for ten years now. After school I went to university to study English Language and Literature and I got my teacher’s training degree. However, I knew deep inside that at some stage I would be a full time painter. I taught, briefly, worked as a photo editor for various English language magazines, as a producer of onboard video films for KLM and as an assistant publisher of DVD’s.
Significantly, within these jobs I always shifted to lay-out, art direction and production. And my thesis was on Artist’s Books by Sol le Witt, On Kawara etc. Visualisation, drawing, painting – it’s all just always been there… About ten years ago I was able to rent a small studio and just got started, unleashing all the images that had always been in my mind. Now, I would not know what else to do. This is me.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am working on this series of abstract works, inspired by memory, reminiscence and coincidence. Besides that, I am also working on two commissions, textile collages and on some pieces for another show that will take place in the beginning July.
What inspires your work?
I draw most inspiration from ‘nature’ in the broadest sense. It’s a rich resource in terms of colour, obviously, but foremost in terms of structure, sequence and order. Also, I find its enormous power and endurance fascinating. In my paintings I try to communicate the fascination, bewilderment and feeling nature evokes.
For me the process, the materiality and the evocation of my inner world are far more important than any reference tot he outside world. To me, abstract art in general communicates all these notions better than figurative art. Abstract and minimal art speak to me more directly.
I am also led by what happens while working – it’s mostly an intuitive process. The layers, effects, colours and tactility are not planned; at least not while starting a new painting. I feel this explains why I tend to apply borders in the final stages of my compositions; to border the chaos.
Do you have a favourite painting, one you would keep yourself?
No, strangely enough I do not. Nor do I have trouble letting go of paintings, I like to move on. Besides, I am very happy when people want to buy my work so they can enjoy it at their homes. I am always moved when people tell me they admire my works.
You seem to have very specific colour palette, tell us a bit about it.
Yes! I love to work with a limited palette of mostly natural tones. These colours speak to me the most so the choice comes naturally. Also, my focus is on colour but for a large part also on structure, texture, coincidence. I do use a wide variety of materials, from powders to resin as colours behave differently on each background.
Do you ever make work to fit a certain interior or personality?
No, not as a starting point. I do take commissions when clients want a specific size but the request is always based on an existing work or works. It has to be my ‘handwriting’ which in turn means a certain set of colours.
Tell us something people wouldn’t expect when they first meet you.
Haha, that I am a visual artist! Honestly, I would not know. Would like to hear though.
Yes, many! And in this day and age sometimes too many. There are so many images flying around the whole day, that sometimes I want to turn all social media and internet off. Anyway, many heroes and to name a few: Cy Twombly, Agnes Martin, Richard Prince, William Turner, Joan Mitchell, Christopher Wool, Motherwell, Sherrie Levine, Donald Judd, Soulages, etc. But I can also be very much inspired by architects and interior designers.
Thank you for sharing so much about your work, it’s always inspring to get a glimpse behind the scenes! As a last question: do you have ant any do’s or don’ts or some advice for starting artists?
Not, not really and definitely no ‘don’t’s. If possible, just do it!
Visit all of Laura’s work here.
Interview by Sara Martín Mazorra