Franziska Schemel

„In the course of my work it was important to me that photography and painting come together.“

Franziska lives and works in Karlsruhe. A scholarship from the Centre de Art Contemporani Piramidon brought her to Barcelona. She was honoured with an order for art on a new building of the city of Karlsruhe - Eichendorffschule. Her works are represented in the following collections: e. g. in the regional council of Karlsruhe, Kultureferat Karlsruhe, Ministry of Science, Research and Art Baden-Württemberg, Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe. It is important to discover their works.

We wanted to get a deeper insight into sources of inspiration and working methods and asked some questions:


When did you start working as an artist?

I have actually always worked as an artist, ever since I can think and feel. At least that’s how I perceive myself. Of course, I have only been working professionally since my studies at the academy.

Who and what inspires you?

I am inspired by people, nature and everything I see and notice around me. I make my observations, I reflect on them and capture situations with a picture. I then take all my impressions and photographs to my studio and start to turn these into paintings and objects. Whenever I am around and about I am in observation mode, as I might discover something I like at any time. It often happens that I notice something and think „This is great, I could develop something from it“.

Which materials do you work with and why?

I work with pigments, with different binding agents, with different natural materials such as sand, stone flour, rusted and other suitable materials.

Are there colors and shapes that you prefer?

I prefer to work with classical forms, such as squares, circles and semicircles. The colors often result from the situations I’m working on and these often include grey, white, black and all other colors. However, there are other material colors such as stone, metal, rust and other natural pigments that I use.

Do you want to say something with your art?

I’m an observer, that's how I perceive myself. I would like to share and describe my observations without tying a message to them. I depict the things I observe and feel in a pictorial way. During my observations, I think about what the passers-by might be feeling, what kind of thoughts they might be having, and this is what I try to bring across.

What is important to you?

With regards to my work, it has always been important to me that I can combine photography and painting. These are my two main elements to express myself. For me, painting is a completely free form of expression and it enables me to play freely with perspectives and spaces while at the same time allows me to express myself freely. Which, of course, with photography is not possible as one picture captures a status quo. I connect painting and photography via spatial lines, spatiality and perspective. It is important for me to bring both techniques together as a whole and to develop these into my very own composition.

Why did you start working as an artist?

For me personally, it was always clear that I wanted to become an artist. It was my greatest wish to turn this into my profession and my family played a significant role in that. Both my parents are passionate painters but neither of them turned it into a career.

Is there someone or something who influences you?

I am often asked that, but I can’t think of anybody. I let myself be inspired, of course, but more by my surroundings and nature or by spontaneous situations that arise. I don’t have a big role model, it’s more that during my observations some things seem stronger or weaker on me.

When I think back, at the beginning my family influenced me a lot. As mentioned, both my parents and my brother paint. I would say that with us the artistic lies in the family and has continued through us.

Which techniques do you prefer?

I appreciate all sorts of painting techniques. I also enjoy working with wood, I build wooden constructions to support my paintings and thus turn them into objects. And then, of course, there is photography that is an important working technique for me.

At the moment I paint with watery paints and combine these with sand as it enables me to create different surfaces that remind me of the environments I'm working on. For example urban spaces, paths in everyday life and architecture.

Where do you work?

My workplace is always where I currently am, meaning that I observe and take pictures when I am around and about. I take my pictures in public areas, where I take shots of random passers-by. This can be rather exciting at the times, as not everyone appreciates his picture being taken. Of course, I am very mindful and I don’t take anyone’s direct shot, my focus is on the passive person, the human in public space and not the individual. With all my collected observations and material, I then go to my studio where I turn all that into a piece of art.

What are your goals?

The most precious and most important goal for me is to be able to work freely as an artist without any constraints and dependencies. I imagine my future in such a way that I can continue to work as freely as I currently am, not having to earn my living through another job.

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