Today’s feature is an artist I interviewed back in the Summer, but decided to wait to release her feature when I heard about her solo show with Cassandra and Bowes Parris Gallery so they would come together - welcome to the She Curates page Oriele Steiner
In our interview, we discuss Frida Kahlo, watercolour, banquets of Mexican food, her studio in Brighton and more…
Steiner’s work is almost effervescent in its liquidity of colour. Steiner’s work is obsessed with recreating the happenings of her seizure’s, having being diagnosed with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy at 16. She experiences a phenomenon called Jamais Vu - the opposite of Deja Vu. This explains the overarching feeling of the familiar appearing unfamiliar in her works.
Her influences come from what she hears, experiences as well as nature and human experience. There are clear influences of Expressionism and Post Impressionism.
oriele, i am so delighted to speak to you today! tell me, Where are you answering these questions from?
My studio in Brighton, UK
you're so close to me! that's wonderful. let's start with: How would you describe your work in three words oriele?
Figurative Eerie Jamais Vu
brilliant. and, Tell me about your career so far for those that don't know.
I haven't had a time in my life where creativity hasn't been around me. I’ve been doodling and drawing my whole life but I really started getting serious about it after college. I went to Central Saint Martins to Study a foundation diploma in Fine Art - this is where I discovered my love for Painting specifically.
Watercolour was my main medium until I went to Brighton University where I started exploring with Oil Paint. In 2016, a year after graduating, I exhibited as part of Bloomberg New Contemporaries which opened up a few opportunities, including a residency in Liverpool at The Royal Standard and other exhibitions. I’m now back in Brighton in my studio working on a new series of work, getting back in touch with watercolour and experimenting with oil paint in a similar way. This year I got a place at Slade School of Art to study an MA in painting, however, due to COVID-19 I will be starting in September 2021.
i love that progression of materials. What would you say has been the highlight of your career so far?
Exhibition at ICA as part of Bloomberg New Contemporaries.
and What would you say is the most significant aspect of your art?
At the age of 16 I was diagnosed with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and I became obsessed with trying to recreate what happens during a seizure through painting. During my seizures I experienced a phenomenon called Jamais Vu, which is the opposite of Dejavu - it’s when something happens which seems like it should be familiar but isn't. I hope that in some way, even if only slightly, my paintings allow people to experience it.
I have always been drawn to painting figuratively. I am fascinated with humans and their weird bodies and faces. I tend to make faces distorted, which I think initially came from painting with watercolours. I love the unpredictability of watercolour, you never know what may happen when the paint is absorbed into the paper!
Tell me about your earliest memory surrounding art, and when did you decide to pursue a career in art?
My father painted these huge sepia toned paintings of his mother who passed away when he was 6. He was obsessed with using paint to express his emotions surrounding family, his jewish heritage and being a hearing child of deaf parents. When my father was ill, I remember at the age of 7 spending a lot of time at the Hospice. I had a lovely Art Therapist called Pippa who let me paint, draw and talk which made the whole experience a lot less scary. I think both of these life experiences first and foremost connected me to painting on an emotional level and made art something that I use as a form of therapy and expression.
Who or what are your greatest influences, and how do these come out in your work?
Thats a tough one...As an artist, almost everything I see, listen to or experience influences me! But if I had to choose I would say Nature and the Human experience. In terms of Artists, I am greatly influenced by the Post impressionists and Expressionists - like Edvard Munch.
I take aspects of their use of figures and colour mostly.
If I feel like I need a bit of inspo, I like looking at other artists and going to galleries.
Oriele, what questions drive your practice? What are the focuses and themes of your work?
I’m constantly questioning the methods in my work, how I can use materials and space to manipulate the work.
At the moment I’m interested in how figures interact with each other in the space given- be it a square or rectangle canvas. How many layers can I create until I feel the figures work in harmony with each other?
Can you tell us a bit about your process, and how each of your artwork comes to be?
It starts initially from a drawing, that can be from life, from an image or imagination. From there I develop the drawing further, I may draw it again using Oil Pastel, Soft pastel, Water colour etc until I feel like I have enough material to then paint on a larger scale.
Occasionally, I skip this process and paint straight on to the canvas, this can reveal some interesting elements, allowing ‘mistakes’ to expose parts of the paintings underneath.
If you could own one piece of artwork in the world, as if money or likelihood was no issue, what would it be and why?
Oh dear this is so hard! Wow. Well I would love a Matisse from his Morrocan series as the blues are so beautiful. I think I’ll have ‘Zorah on the Terrace’ OR I would like his ‘Red Studio’ painting - I mean I dont even have to explain that one surely.
OR I would have any Edvard Munch paintings apart from ‘the Scream’ because it's on every mug and tshirt in every art museum.
If you could have a meal with any artist from any time:
a) what would the meal be
b) who would it be with?
Ohhh this is interesting, funnily enough I’ve never been asked this question! My first thought is Frida Khalo.
It would just be a banquet of fresh fruit and mexican food - I know this isn't a specific meal, but I love food and I would want to spend a good amount of time with her.
She was apparently really into her cooking and held some great dinner parties so I think it’ll be delicious as well as fun.
Do you have any upcoming shows we should know about?
Not currently as I’m still working on a new series of work so I’m hoping as it starts to develop further things will happen!
Favourite historical female artist?
Frida Khalo, Helen Frankenthaler, Yayoi Kusama, Hilma Af Klint
Favourite current practicing female artists and their instagram handles?
Anna Choutova @annachoutova1, Nettle grellier @nettlegrellierartist, Kiya Major @kiyamajor Elizabeth Glaessner @eglaessn Tahnee Lonsdale @tahneelonsdale
Who should She Curates interview next and their instagram handles ?
Anna Choutova @annachoutova1
Is there anything else you wanted to say?
Thank you so much for interviewing me, it was super fun! :)
Thank you so much for participating. It really means the world. I’m such a huge fan of your work!