“Visualising hidden 'universes' (universes = people's untold stories/experiences/choices/fears etc.)” - Valerie Savchits.
Today we have spoken to Valerie Savchits @valerie.savchits about her life, work, her 6 year old self, chocolate ice cream and more. Savchits is an incredible contemporary woman artist, whose evocative works exploring the feeling of the unfamiliar, the idea of repeated mistakes and fights between apathy and indifference.
It was such a pleasure to talk to Savchits, who I have followed on Instagram for a long time, about the ‘complex ritual’ of her work.
“The figures (including animals/symbols) in my work very often represent people I know or think about during the creation process.” and their emotions and feeling depend on her own, but most of the time are anxious, confused and outraged.
She has a group show in Australis with @piermarqart in Feb 2021, curated by @benjaminmurphy_
She is also taking part in @blueshopcottage Works on Paper 2.
VALERIE, How would you describe what you do in 3 words?Visualising hidden 'universes' (universes = people's untold stories/experiences/choices/fears etc.)
Your work to me is so many things! Its intensity, but intimacy, and the extraordinary in the ordinary… What do you hope your work says?I hope it evokes something that has been yet unfamiliar to the viewer. One of my favourite topics I love talking about in my work is the idea of how people make the same mistake and it's going in circles, when they don't want to fight its own apathy and indifference.
IF YOU REMEMBER, What was your earliest memory surrounding art?Doodling on the wallpapers in my parents' room.
AND Has becoming an artist ever been in question? If you weren’t an artist, what do you think you would be doing?The first time 'I want to become an artist' popped into my mind was when my mother introduced me to my very first art teacher at the age of 4 or 5. But during high school I was uber crazy about chemistry, mineralogy and experimenting in the lab together with my chemistry teacher, so I'd probably stayed in this field, but who knows!
THAT'S SO INTERESTING! IT WAS SUCH AN EARLY THING FOR YOU, BUT THE SCIENCE ASPECT IS FASCINATING ALSO. SO, What do you believe is the most important aspect of your work? How has this developed?Sketching. During my undergrad years I couldn’t force myself to keep a sketchbook. Now it's the most important part of my preparatory work but it's a bit complex ritual. I make a pencil sketch, take a photo of it, transfer it to photoshop and only then I start playing with the colour palette and the layers. I usually leave up to 4 different final options to choose from before I start transferring everything onto canvas.
VALERIE, What is your studio like? Where do you like to create best? What are your artist necessities? What could you not live without?My studio is located in a 300-year-old building in central Brighton, it's very charismatic and close to the sea. Slight messiness around me helps me concentrate - any sort of planning can't be done in a clean space, not sure why but it works for me. Water, electricity and my tools are my everything!
AND What does an average working day look like to you?Some days I spend hours just on researching: reading or watching documentaries/movies (I usually pick movies which are close to the subject I'm interested in). Some days I paint 10 hours in a row. Some days I just do administrative work, packing work and cleaning/moving things around. But I love spending long periods of time in my workspace and I'm glad it's self-contained because I usually make a lot of noise whenever I'm in!
I'M THE SAME WITH DOCUMENTARIES!
Could you select a piece of your work and tell me a bit about it?Phoenix - this piece turned out to be the most difficult to finish and symbolises a new chapter in my life. Maybe 80% of the painting had been already completed when I found out about my heart condition and that I will need an open heart surgery. Once I finished the painting it was like looking into a mirror. You burn and rise, just like the phoenix.
THANK YOU. TELL ME, What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?Not a shocker, but my actual name is Lera or Valeria (full version of Lera).
THAT'S BEAUTUFL. I LOVE THIS QUESTION, If you could have a meal with any artist from any time, what would the meal be and who would it be with?Would be interesting to have a chat about art, life and all in between with a 6yo self over a portion of chocolate ice cream.
I'VE NEVER HAD AN ANSWER LIKE THAT! Tell me a bit about the figures in your work; who are they? What are they feeling?The figures (including animals/symbols) in my work very often represent people I know or think about during the creation process. Well it depends, but most of the time they feel anxious, confused and outraged.
Do you have any shows or exhibitions coming up that we should be aware of?My next group show is scheduled to be in Australia with @piermarqart in February 2021 and it will be curated by fantastic @benjaminmurphy_. I'm also currently taking part in @blueshopcottage Works on Paper 2! I’m also taking part in @purslane.art exhibition ‘the tales we tell ourselves’ which is raising funds for @akdcharity .
AND, What would be your dream project?Create a public piece of art - either sculpture or installation.
WHO IS YOUR Favourite historical female artist?Hilma af Klint and Mona Hatoum
AND WHO ARE YOUR Favourite current practicing female artists?Bel Fullana @belfullana, Heidi Ukkonen @ukkon, Stivie Dix @stiviedixx, Rusudan Khizanishvili @rusudan_khizanishvili, Massey Bex @masseybex, Sophie Vallance Cantor @im_na_naina, Donna Huanca @ruaminx, Nina Chanel Abney @ninachanel, Daisy Parris @daisyparris, Freya Douglas Ferguson @freyadf, Faye Wei Wei @fayeweiwei, Tracey Slater @i_draw_lines, Amy Beager @amybeager, Elsa Rouy @elsa.roy