Briefly describe the work that you do.
I am dealing with geometrical abstraction. I find myself constantly in the process of exploration, searching for new solutions of composition and color, which uncovers new options and new opportunities for the next series of work.
I place high importance on studies of colors, and I strive to harness the physicality of color, its vibrations and influences they have on each other. I make use of all available artistic elements in order to produce paintings with an added value.
This means that each individual work of art does not only represent a carefully thought out geometric abstraction, but also serves as a tool to engage with the observer allowing different associations and emotional states. Put simply, to be drawn into the work and react to it. Through this interaction, the observer becomes trapped in two different systems of perception – mine and their own.
At what point in your life did you decide to become an artist?
Already as a child I dreamed that I would become an artist and my dreams came true .
My childhood was accompanied by colors, drawings and paintings probably be due to the grandfather, who was an artist. I’ve always admired all of his pencils, brushes, paints and other art tools which some are still keeping in my studio.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.
I grew up in Postojna, a town in southwestern Slovenia. Studied at College of Visual Arts in Ljubljana capital of Slovenia. During this time I discovered the theory and practice, history and modernity, and of course myself in art. To complete my thesis for my diploma I visited Australia to spend an extended period researching the ancient aboriginal art of painting which was to become a crucial influence in my artistic development. Aboriginal art gave me the opportunity to encounter typical simple geometric elements and patterns, which the Australian Aborigines used to enforce their deepest beliefs about nature, rhythm and cycle of life.
Incidentally, a significant leap in my artistic growth was caused by a review of my first exhibition in Melbourne (2001), which drew parallels to optical art. From that point on-wards, I consciously started to devote my time to geometric abstraction in its fullest manner of expression.
However, I think that the time spent in Australia played an important role in completing my studies and at the same time initiated my career as a geometrical artist.
What types of conceptual concerns are present in your work? How do those relate to the specific process(es) or media you use?
A characteristic of my artwork is constructivism, where everything is determined. All of my paintings, when seen as final results, do not allow mistakes and demand extremely exact and disciplined work
There is only one possibility for the unpredictable to happen – and that is a spontaneous, unplanned line or a stroke within the initial sketch, which I use for the creation of a new idea.
The manner in which I paint is above all a careful and thoughtful process, originating from a net base, which allows me to develop my ideas. The compositions are created from basic shapes subjected to change as I go along. The sketches in their initial phase are merely compositions made up of lines. They represent the first step – a black and white version. This contrast is extremely important, as it allows me to get a glimpse into the visual effect my idea might have. The next step is to experiment with colored surface variations.
The exact geometric compositions inevitably contains my own personal perceptions, experiences, as well as views of the world and nature. This intimate approach to creating eventually softens up the mathematical exactness of the developed form. Even though the final version of my paintings is often already visible in my sketches, the leap from the rough idea to the final result – the painting that suddenly becomes alive and always manages to excite me.
We once heard Chuck Close say he did not believe in being inspired, rather in working hard everyday. What motivates you in your studio practice?
It is a decision. I believe inspiration can come from inner or outside world and a hard working attitude will maintain a high motivation.
When I decide to work I start developing an idea on sketches and then a whole creative process starts to motivate me with an intense game of exploration during when only one sketch can produce several solutions or possibilities of expression. And so the never-ending process of development continues.
What artists living or non-living influence your work?
There were people present during my artistic development who influenced me in an abstract way and whose artistic expressions and thoughts have left a mark in my studies of color. The artists I love are Victor Vasarely, Bridget Riley, Josef Albers….
When you are not making art what types of activities and interests do you engage in?
In my free time I enjoy being with my friends, I like traveling, it makes me rich. Most of all, I’m happy if I manage to successfully perpetuate some funny and interesting moments on photos.
Beti Bricelj was born in 1974 in Postojna (Slovenia). In 2000 she graduated from Fine Arts on Arthouse – College of Visual Arts in Ljubljana. In her diploma thesis she focused on the elements of Aboriginal Art in the abstraction of three holy colors. After completing her studies she continued her education in Australia where she lived for a year. She accepted the invitation of an Australian government organization to participate in a research of the Aboriginal culture organized by the Department for Aboriginal Affairs, South Australia, Adelaide from 1998 to 1999.
Beti Bricelj participated in numerous independent and joint exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad. Recently she received a Recognition for High Quality Artwork by International Fine Arts Festival Kranj – ZDSLU.
As an artist she took up an architectural challenge and designed the front of the Epicenter B2 Trade and Business Center in Postojna using her expertise in art.http://betibricelj.weebly.com/epicenter-b2.html
Since 2002 Bricelj has been a member of the Union of Slovene Fine Arts Associations. She lives and works in Postojna.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.