Making art accessible and inclusive to enrich the way we engage with it
Interview with Swiss Artist Sève Favre | by Darie Nani
Swiss artist and art historian Sève Favre is a visionary artist who, from her loft atelier near Lausanne, creates not just art, but an artistic experience that is accessible and engaging, a solution to social involvement to make art meaningful and eventful. A game changer in the artistic world, she is challenging the way we create and consume art. Her projects are live artistic works, where the spectator is enabled to engage, have a close look, touch and physically change the original composition of an artwork. Partly inspired by Wabi-sabi and also Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer sprinkled or mixed with gold, silver or platinum powder, a method similar to the maki-e technique, where touching the work is moving and memorable. It is a celebration of atypical things and the richness of their stories.
Sève studied art history, geography, and contemporary history at Fribourg University and complemented her degree in arts with a secondary school teaching degree, which enabled her to teach art history and the visual arts in high school for several years. She also spent several years designing exhibitions for the Olsommer museum in Switzerland. Sève continued her education by taking up several seminars and workshops in the visual arts, notably at the Ceruleum School of Art. Currently she is preparing her next exhibition, which will take place from September 25 to December 29, 2019 at the Swiss Museum of Graphic Arts and Communication in Fribourg.
What inspired you to become an artist?
Art has always been with me, it’s not a decision I had to make, it’s part of my DNA. I taught for several years Plastic Arts and Art History in an upper secondary school with lots of pleasure. The transmission of my passion truly brought me happiness, and for several years I maintained both careers simultaneously. Working with students inspired my artworks that
I create today. Now I devote my time and creative energy to the creation
and promotion of my artistic work. My goal is to engage with the spectator,
help them comprehend the artistic process, the questions artists ask themselves during the process of research and creation. I also want them to be able to immerse themselves in the piece.
From your innovative “intervariactives” artworks transpires a sense of of golden touch, non-attachment, acceptance of change and fate as part of your philosophy. How do these calculated interactions add value to your original artistic message?
I create paintings on canvas with three-dimensional elements that the viewer can touch and modify permanently. In my paintings, I concentrate on going beyond this classical frontier between the work of art and the spectator. This was the birth of my artworks “intervariactives” in
2005. I work on both abstract and more realistic themes. From my art work
I develop various concepts related to social networks such as #intervariactifproject, or #interagisproject. Those that are visible on my instagram account. Consider the celebrity effect. As we see more and more endorsements by public, media savvy figures boosting art awareness these days, this connection to the artist and creative process is a step towards enhancing sensory experiences and perceptions generated by the paintings, nudging us to consider how we might encounter things not only from a seeing perspective. It’s a co-construction. The artist is no longer the sole creator. This encourages the viewer to think about the value he or she wants to add to the artwork.
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced thus far as an artist?
The first and most important challenge is permanent and intimate because the creative process puts you in front of yourself every day. Each artwork is
the result of an immaterial thought process to which I strive to give body and life. This implies having a strong ability to move from the world of abstract ideas to very concrete and realistic elements of planning and strategy; the realization of an idea to its exposure requires taking on multiple roles. Moreover, contrary to what we may believe, the artist is a true entrepreneur, he needs these qualities.
What is the biggest impact you hope your art will make?
The interactivity of my paintings leads its owner to reveal different possibilities, to vary the thought processes, thinking outside the box… For example: a company manager told me that interacting with one of my paintings allowed her to refocus on the present and to lower her stress… another liked to be able to illustrate his mood of the day or those of his employees… so the painting becomes a neutral source of discussion, sharing and meeting. Moreover, given their strong identity and the projects related to social networks, it also gives a added value to the organizers of my exhibitions because there is a global and contemporary concept that is linked to the characteristics of the paintings.The curator or owner is truly part of the artwork, especially if it has been commissioned.
Where do you turn for inspiration?
My sources of inspiration are very varied. I read a lot of press articles as well as books on psychology, philosophy, art books, novels… in order to deepen my knowledge on social subjects… I travel a lot and I am very interested in the modifications of the landscape either by human action or by natural erosion; which has given birth to my series of works of unstructured landscapes. And of course, I stay connected to the artistic news by visiting exhibitions or art fairs… I am a great admirer of the destinies of all the women artists because they have in the majority of cases
had to face and overcome many difficulties to impose themselves. There is often an ability to multiply their roles in them, which is truly an incredible
and underestimated richness.
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28-Day #IntervariactifSerials : Mais Cloué au pilori du NET Épuisé par le CYBERHARASSMENT Diffusé sur la Toile Brûlé sur mon écran de fumée . . . Installation performative with the Diptych « WWW. », 2019, mixedmedia by @sevefavre with Soria as Extra. . . . #sevefavre #intervariactif #artist #artproject #photonovel #installationart #performanceart #digital #www #contemporaryart #art #arte #livesculpture #bodypainting #artcurator #conceptual #conceptualart #artsy #artadvisory #artexhibition #newartist #artnow #instaart #contemporarypainting #artoncanvas