Elke, Germany

I really miss my mum actually. I feel quite grateful because we speak a lot on the phone and we have a really good relationship so we can speak about everything. I feel so proud of her because she lives alone by herself in Toulouse. I also miss my brother, my cousins and my friends. I really can’t wait to see them. For now, I’m just trying to be patient and to think the situation is not going to last like this.

I was already used to working a lot alone at home for my art. During the first quarantine, it was a bit like, everybody is in the same shit, so I was trying to relax a bit, stay healthy and think how I can get new perspectives on my work without all the deadlines and be more focused on what I want in my work, my art and life. I take my time with cooking, reading, having fun and doing all the things that I didn’t take time to do because I always thought I had to be productive, to work all the time. And when I finally had time, I would go to see my friends and do this and that. But now that I can only stay home, I think to myself, okay now it’s the time to do other things that will ultimately also help me develop my art. At least that's what I'd like to believe.

Taking my time to be less stressed also allows me to accept the mistakes in my creation. I always wanted to paint big on a big canvas. Now I moved to a bigger house with more space, I finally got to do that but at the beginning, I made a lot of mistakes since i had to relearn the proportion. Throughout the learning process, I’ve learned to avoid it, to reuse collage to integrate mistakes into my work and to also take the time to know a bit better about my practice.

Before I didn’t allow myself to take the time to really understand and to believe why I’m an artist and what impact I can have on society. I’m a mixed-race woman artist in Europe and I think in this big institution, it’s missing people like me, which encourages me to work more and to show my work. My work is about the question of connection and how different elements can work together. It’s really my vision of the society. Instead of fixing disorder, I try to find harmony and balance and rearrange it. I know who I am but how does the society see me? As a person that's something I constantly think about. I need to take the space and the time to be sure about this life path, and what will give me the strength to continue and to know myself better and to believe that what I’m doing is my way of fighting against things that I consider unfair.