Frame 61

katja Angeli

Frame 61
katja Angeli

"My shapes exist in that space between what we think we know and what we don’t know."


Could you tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been a practising artist and where did you study?

I’m a Danish London based visual artist. I graduated with an MFA from The Royal College of Art in 2015. Since then I have had a busy exhibition schedule alongside commissions and curator-led-events. I have a background in writing but when I moved to London working with visuals took over.

Could you tell us about these shapes you create? Some almost resemble creatures.

My work projects a surreal world of shifting shapes, forms and scenes, referencing the body in a virtual space. I’m interested in the idea of transformation or metamorphosis. Virtuality allows for shape-shifting. Playing with shapes is playing with identity. It is a space for endless reinvention. My practice is rooted in drawing; and my cartoonish compositions play on the slippage between figuration and abstraction, offering a pervading sense of plenitude. My shapes exist in that space between what we think we know and what we don’t know. Yet they all reference the body somehow.

Midnight Swing-A-Ding 2017

Strange Fruit (13) 2017

Story of the Eye 2017

Story of the Eye 2017

You use a mixture of paint, collage and print. Could you tell us a bit about your process?

My practice is material-led and concerned with the dialogue between organicity and digitality which I explore in the process of making, combining traditional methods and techniques with digital applications. Recently I have examined ways of deconstructing the digital imprint. The digital artwork eradicates the trace of the hand for an image that seems almost too perfect. My explorations into appropriation and collage of hand drawings I have processed digitally on porous substrates like paper, wood and textiles serve to interfere with the digital mark, reflecting on the dialogue between materiality, the physical process of making and digitality; and our relationship to these.

Paper is a favourite material of mine. Not the industrially produced, pristine type but organic, porous and irregular paper like some Japanese paper sorts. It is exactly the porosity and the earthy color of the material that draws me to it in line with the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi. The conflicting dialogue between organicity and digitality is one I return to again and again in my practice. The paper references nature in its perpetual state of flux. Coupled with the precision of the digital imprint, this makes for a rich and contradictory expression, referencing the complex relationship between our naturally imperfect physical world and digitality.

What artwork have you seen recently that has resonated with you?

I really enjoyed Richard Tuttle’s new works in fabric shown at Pace earlier this year. His exploration of materiality, space, and three-dimensionality resonates with me. It’s so fresh and moving at once. I also think that Dale Lewis is great but for entirely different reasons. His work is raw and visceral and full of stories. And then I’m super excited about the work by a Korean artist by the name of Kyungah Ham whose work I was introduced to at Frieze this year. Through a complicated, lengthy and dangerous process, Ham uses an intermediary to smuggle distorted blueprints of works she wants embroidered across Korea’s Demilitarized Zone and into North Korea where they eventually, but not always, make their way into the hands of the artisans. The work becomes an abstract embodiment of the conflict between the two sides of the divided Korean peninsula. And the work is a visual feast! I also really enjoyed the show Becoming & Dissolving at the new gallery Alice Black. Very relevant to my practice!

Assembly 2017

Assembly 2017

Installation View. Bloomberg New Contemporaries, ICA, 2017

Installation View. F2 Gallery, Madrid, 2017

How do you go about naming your work?

My titles reflect my preoccupations at the time of making. I tend to work in series. I’m interested in the sequential for the movement it implies. The titles will evolve from my engagement with the work and the stories the series throws at me along the way. I had a solo show in the summer where many of the titles were mined from my reading of the hallucinogenic Story of The Eye by George Bataille. It’s an erotic classic; but it is also a playful narrative about migrating shapes and forms, using the metaphor of the eye as the starting point for an infinite journey about transformation. So my titles contained a lot of eyes, eggs, saucers, spheres, tears and balls…all hanging out!

Tell us a bit about how you spend your day/studio routine? What is your studio like?

My days are really varied and my studio routine reflects this. I can spend a solid two-three weeks working away with my head down and with little contact to the outside world, doing messy work on the wall or the floor. Or I’ll be drawing by hand or in Photoshop or Illustrator, spending days in front of a screen. Or I’ll be on the move, having conversations and looking at the world round me.

Is there anything new and exciting in the pipeline you would like to tell us about?

I have quite a few projects on the go from private commissions to the making of a children’s book. I currently have a show with Collectionair, curated by Alix Janta Polchynski. And in December my work is due to be auctioned on AucArt, an exciting new platform headed by the great Natasha Arselan. I’m also in the process of planning work to be shown by my Madrid-based gallery, F2, early in the new year. And I’m excited about a new screen-printing collaboration with a brilliant print master called Darren. Watch this space!

All images courtesy of the artist
Publish Date: 23/11/17