Kunstnerintervju #62 – Katrin Magens

Katrin Magens shows her work Morgen uten galle / Morgen ohne Galle from 2018 at the Jubileums exhibition for Østlandsutstillingen – Planning Future 2019 – Grafik. The work is made of three woodcut blocks, the last one a reduction print (78,5x107cm).


How did you find out that you wanted to become an artist?
I wanted to study art from the beginning, but decided to go for graphic design, for the money’s sake. I did a very good graduation and then got three sons. When my middle son was four years old, the reactor accident occurred in Chernobyl. I carried the soil from my vegetable garden and began to work artistically. Installations, drawings and objects were created and soon I made the first exhibitions.

Where do you get your inspiration for your work today?
I have always worked on different topics. Exterior installations, Landart, and I have been thinking about my roots. My fundament is in the drawing, not just through my graphic education. I have been doing diaries for many years – draw, collage, paint in the books. In the meantime around the 30 diaries and travel books, a large konvolut of works originated, from which I draw. I continue to work on the entries and often in from of woodcuts. Contextually the topics refer to the foreign, of course also the humans in its complexity and the nature. Original manual press books were created and the diaries continue to emerge. Year after year and from it new works on paper, mostly prints. My travels, for example to Papua New Guinea, have brought with it a great deal of interest in the foreign and our dealings with it.

Have you ever participated in Ostlandsutstillingen?
Yes, I have already exhibited in Oslo in 2010.

Please tell us a bit about your artwork in the exhibition. 
My woodcut «Morning without bile» refers to diary entries. I draw and collage in my diaries and often use the pictorial entries as designs for my large prints, as in this case. The print has four colors printed with three printing blocks. In fact, more colors are created when printing on top of each other. In the manual press this is possible. The entry in the diary actually refers to a bile operation, but is more complex in artistic terms. For example, we have the saying «with poison and bile» spoken or thought. The humorous approach to the work thus only results from closer listening and the knowledge of this saying. A picture is a convolute of many narrative levels. Everyone is welcome to look in and think.

What’s your next big artistic project?
I have plans to work more with my diaries. The implementation in woodcuts is a big challenge on the whole. I want to look through the many diaries for topics and select which of the entries are suitable for the implementation. Next I started making drawings of people decorating their heads with natural objects. This occurs in all ethnic groups and ethnic groups. The stranger becomes more understandable the closer our habits come to it. So it’s an attempt to flatten the trenches and to take pleasure in diversity, to discover history. Drawings are to be created and etchings, then perhaps again from woodcuts. There is enough work. Fill in ditches with art, you have to shovel a lot.

In your opinion, how should cooperation between Norway and Schleswig-Holstein develop in the future?
First of all, I welcome the cooperation with Norway in principle. It is necessary to think outside the box and not hide behind borders of countries and language. Openness is always fruitful. Even accepting the doubt, watching and asking questions are important. I would like to have another meeting in Schleswig-Holstein for further cooperation with the Norwegian colleagues. Possibly an exhibition with seminar rooms for undisturbed exchange and space for long walks and talks as well as joint projects, financed press symposia with a duration of two weeks. A common topic-related, original print publication would be wonderful.