In conversation with Fanny Verencia Erkelius on the links of art practice to life-changing events.
Can you talk about your journey into or interest the arts?
My family raised me into my interest in art. But three years ago my mother committed suicide and I used my painting as some kind of recovery. At first everything was so unreal, all the emotions were so unbearable, so I started by painting what I felt, how I experienced this trauma. I, somehow, painted my truth. All this finally became a big solo exhibition and that’s when I truly started focus on my artistry.
Do you use a sketchbook? I’m interested in what a sketchbook means to you and your work?
Nah. Or, well, I did, I liked to make quick sketches of my everyday feelings and thoughts and I called them ‘late night doodles’. You can see some on my Instagram @fanny.erkelius. But now I just paint. I know what I want to paint and don’t stop until I get the result I want.
Your work focuses on the human form, and also refers to nightmares in some instances. Can you talk about this?
My art was born out of a trauma, something nightmarish. Now I continue to explore similar atmospheres. My art is a walk through the landscape of the soul.
Can you talk about your process of working. How do you work, how often, is there a particular pattern?
I got a scholarship last year that allowed me to take at least half this year to paint. My pattern is that I listen to audiobooks and take far too few breaks and forget to eat and do not stop until I am satisfied. I am always inspired and always want to create. I am very privileged in that way. My creativity is never far away, it is way too important to me.
Do you find the process of creating work relaxing or therapeutic? I’ve become increasingly interested in the relationship of the sketchbook and the work to the artist.
Ha ha, therapeutic. Most definitely. I think all kind of work you do with your hands is therapeutic. To be in the present, and in a total focus but where your thoughts, for just a few moments, are not allowed.