Veronika Hopponen is in conversation with Cille Sch about her life as an artist, the exhibition Your own Reflection, and how the pandemic has influenced Cille’s work. The photographs are taken in Cille’s atelier in Kreuzberg.
Art and Installations is by Camille Schaeffer Cille Sch @cilleschcille
Creative Direction, Photography and Editing is by Veronika Hopponen @veronikahopponen
Location is in Cille Schs’ atelier in Kreuzberg
Brands presented are Assembled Half, Form Of Interest, Temper Berlin,
KISS THE FUTURE, a.achat, Veronika Hopponen and AFMF
Veronika Hopponen is in conversation with Cille Sch
Tell me about the name Cille Sch?
Cille Sch is the diminutive of my first and last name Camille Schaeffer. It also reminds me of the signature of my grandfather who was a painter. My grandfather was a great artist. For as long as I can remember I have been inspired by him and his work. I would admire his paintings hanging all over my family and friends houses. One of his paintings was left unfinished as he passed away. As a young girl, I remember thinking that one day I might be able to take over his unfinished painting and honor my grandfather by becoming an artist myself.
How did you get into art?
I first completed my Bachelor’s in Performing Arts and then I pursued a Master in Interaction Design, Media Spaces. This led me to work with different types of media, going from dance performance to sculpture and installations. While working as a multidisciplinary artist, I typically choose the media according to what fits best to the project that I am working on. Getting into art has been a very natural path for me. I didn’t even have to question if this was the right fit for me. It just felt very clear.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the daily interactions I have with people and by the situations that I encounter. For me, It is about the way I perceive real-life situations. Life is experimentation to me. I believe that every single person that I encounter, good or bad, the experience was meant to happen. My beliefs are that everything in life has a deeper meaning. It makes me move forward and helps me to find answers about myself. I am certain that my biggest secrets are the visions that I hold. This is from where my ideas emerge. My body serves as a tool to realize my visions through artistic expression.
What defines you as an artist?
My mind never stops thinking, imagining, or visualizing. I suppose that the most difficult part for me is to realize my visions. I believe once you manage to put your visions into something concrete, you are pretty much an artist. The creative process itself changes through time, you can learn and gain experience simply by creating. Once it’s out there, out of your mind and it becomes something physical, that’s it, you made it. The result might be shit, but who cares?
Tell me about the exhibition?
I was deeply influenced by the first lockdown, by the feeling of isolation and the lack of knowing what was coming next. At that time, I started to make sculptures and mixed media artworks. This became my way to escape, to imagine something new, something that didn’t make sense, something that just felt light. The ambiance was blurry at that time, and I had a strong need to imagine how the future would look like. To visualize objects, even people in a post-pandemic future. It was a way for me to get answers. For everything that I was questioning and could not find answers to. The artworks ended up surrealistic and space-like. In the end, I questioned if the goal was to find precise answers or If I just wanted to express my inner emotions. What was important for me was to work with materials that already were available to me. I would collect different materials that I found on the streets and re-use them to create collages. The ultimate goal was to create collages that were made without boundaries. The same method applied for choosing the colors, I didn’t want to restrict myself, so I ended up producing multicolored artworks. The components that tie the artworks together are the silver and reflexive elements. During this time I was reflecting a lot on myself, and I was trying to come to terms with what I truly want to do with my art and how I want to express it. By using the reflexive materials I wanted the audience to see themselves in the reflections of my artworks. I hoped that my art would provoke the observer to question things about themselves too.
What is your favorite artwork?
My favorite artwork is the Piranha. When I started to create it, I was alone in the studio where I was doing my residency. When I get too focused on my work, I tend to become very sensitive to my surroundings. To any noise, even inside of my bubble. The atmosphere was somehow special, half terrifying, half soft. I started to create a shape inspired by Casper the ghost. With metal and crepe, I created a ghost-like shape that was able to move by itself. I became emotionally attached to my creation, and I would once again approach it as if It was a live object. The problem was that this was a prototype, not completely fixed nor finished. The next day, when I came back to fix my creation, the shape had completely changed, and it reminded me of a Piranha. It was hard for me to accept this new creature, as I got so attached to Casper but after going through this process I accepted the Piranha as it was. I am happy I didn’t try to transform it. Rather I simply left it how it was supposed to be.
Has the pandemic affected your visual language or you as an artist?
It has made me more confident about what I want to say and how I want to say it. In terms of my artistic expression. Besides, I have had more time to experiment and feel free to explore new art forms. When you’re stuck in a certain routine, you wouldn’t necessarily try everything out from scratch. For me this time has allowed me to further explore what I have inside of me.
What are you working on now?
Besides my exhibition, I am carrying out the creative direction for photo shoots and films, and am aiming towards bringing my work into the context of fashion. I am organizing photoshoots in collaboration with different fashion designers. Combining fashion with art. I have started to work more on paintings.
What do you think about the art scene in Berlin compared to other capitals around the world?
Berlin has so much to offer when it comes to art. Artists here have the opportunity to express themselves freely; through any type of media. If you’re not afraid to go for it, it will be accepted, highlighted and sometimes people would even be interested to know more about it. I believe each city is different and has its own cultural background. People have their specific rules about what art is and what is perceived as art. In some cities, there are still some basic rules that shouldn’t be broken. People don’t like to get lost in the abstract, in something new that they yet can not relate to. This however does not apply to Berlin.
I heard you’re moving into a new atelier, can you tell me a little about that?
My current atelier is located in a historical building in Kottbusser Tor, Kreuzberg. I share the space with 3 other artists. However, soon I will be moving into a shared gallery in Mehringdamm. This space is more contemporary and clean, and the artists whom I will move in with like to organize workshops and small window shows. I guess this will be a totally different experience. I am very excited to see how the new space is going to influence my work.
What does your work space look like, Is it messy or more structured?
Messy, I have to say. My work is very impulsive. Suddenly I feel the need to start creating something so I like to keep all my materials around me. Pieces of fabrics, metal, paint, everything has to be ready to be used, transformed, or destroyed. For me the materials become alive when I start to use them. When I was a child, I believed that all the objects in my room were living creatures that only moved and came alive as I went to sleep. Each night before going to bed, I would say goodnight to every single piece of material and wish them to have fun while I was sleeping.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to keep working on anything I feel like. My work is often defined by the phase I’m in. I try to keep the flow I have, don’t question it, and see where it is going and what will develop from it.
What is your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is to showcase my work at fashion events for luxury brands. Collaborating with different fashion designers and artists. A bit like what I already do today, and to never stop evolving. Gucci, if you’re looking for the next great installation or artwork that could represent your brand, you know where to find me.
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