Briefly describe the work you do.
Most of my work has a starting point in personal experience and often from social engagement. My art projects have the aim of triggering conversations that can create new questions. Through the project I’m looking for ways to create new spaces for communication often crossing borders. The materials I’m working with is textile, photo, video and text.
Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.
I grew up in Japan, moved to Norway, have been living in Brazil, Scotland, Italy and Palestine. From childhood on I had been interesting in literature and art, dreaming about being a poet. However when choosing higher education I ended up studying Sociology and Japanese, before going into art education. I studied painting, photography and installation in Brazil, took a Bachelor degree in Textile in Norway, before starting an MA in Art and public space. My background has influenced me in how I work and the themes I’m working with. I’m often working on cross-bordering projects and topics of social and political issues.
The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
After finishing my BA, I built with the help of my family my own studio in the fjords of Norway. In addition I have a studio in the city. When doing larger works or needing time away from the city, I’ll go to my studio by the fjords. In the city I’m mainly using my studio as an office, as there is always much organizing behind each project. My work of art is mainly happening outside the studio, what is happening in the studio is mainly the preparation for it to happen.
What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
When I started to take art classes I was more concerned with materials, experimenting with natural materials and also with writing. I didn’t see myself being an artist doing some larger international project and also working as an art producer.
When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?
For me the making of art is a constant process and the project staying in the back of the mind all the time. There is never enough time, but I’m working with art every day, either through planning, making, researching, writing, administration.
How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?
In the last five years my work has opened up more from being more of a studio practice to be mainly a practice outside the studio. The process of making is still the most important for me as well as involving the project into other sphere than only the art sphere.
How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?
People around me impact my work in the topics I’m working with and I try to have conversations with them about my works. For a long time I was inspired with the thinker Zygmunt Bauman about our contemporary society. Right now I´m reading Slavoj Žižek and Nato Thompson, as well as a auto-biography by Shirin Ebadi
Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests?
No, but I love alternative circus and Bollywood dance, none that I have pursuit so far, but you never know…
Marie Skeie is based in Oslo and has lived in Japan, Brazil and Scotland. She has her educational background from the Academy of Art and Design in Bergen with specialization in Textile and a Bachelor degree in Sociology from the University of Bergen. Currently she is taking a master in Art and Public Space at the National Academy of Art and Design in Oslo.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.