Violetta Jara is a British artist whose work spans the gamut. She’s very in tune with herself and the world around her and she reflects that awareness in her work www.violettajara.com. What inspires her? Read on and find out.
MICHAEL: Hello Violetta. First of all, you are a complete artist. Your work covers every genre including performance. Was this a calculated decision on your part or is it mainly about inspiration?
VIOLETTA: Thank you for your compliment saying that I am a complete artist. I try to express myself as much as I can. That is the reason that I experiment with different media such as photo collage, photography and especially performance and video installation. In this case, I never prepared myself. I appear spontaneously. I am open person and my goal is be close to people and places where I can find unique things and take inspiration out of them. I am a very emotional person which means that I follow my feelings. I follow my subconscious and inner voice that allows me to catch ideas. I produce many things in the same time because I don't want to lose them.
I never calculate what I should do.
MICHAEL: When you say you produce many things because you don't want to lose them, do you mean that you have to get to work immediately while inspiration is fresh? This is certainly the case for me as a writer. If I get an idea, I must write immediately or it will fizzle away and be gone forever.
VIOLETTA: Yes Michael. If my subconscious gives me an idea, I try to work immediately in order to not lose inspiration because you never catch it again. This is a process of creation.
MICHAEL: What themes would you say intrigue you the most as an artist? Are there any links that connect your work regardless of genre? What fascinates you?
VIOLETTA: These are good questions. I am interested in how our personality changes in different situations, how we respond and how our emotions work in a particular moment. I try to investigate the light and dark side of human personality as well as emotion, isolation, fear, dread, delight and euphoria. As you’ve noticed, I have many works that relate to the subject of the identity. For instance, “Alter Ego,” “Photo Collages,” “Wanted,” “The Pensive Image,” etc. Moreover, I consider the relationship between human beings and the environment, in terms of psychology and sociology. I notice that the particular places, people, nature and the circumstances in which we find ourselves will automatically change our behavior. I examine my personality in order to better understand myself. What fascinates me? Life, people, nature and the discovery of new places.
MICHAEL: Different environments and circumstances change our behavior AND reveal US to ourselves. Look at the current world economic and political climate. People are practically at each other's throats! Thoughts?
VIOLETTA: I do not refer here to the political and economic issues. I am more focused on the artistic environment in which I live and observe its changes. This is what inspires me. On the other hand, these kinds of circumstances surprise me a lot. Sometimes I ask myself, why do people do it? Why do I do the same things? This is like a circle. I investigate it. This is our nature, something that is deeply rooted in us.
MICHAEL: Yes, it is. Are you in the UK? London? How do your surroundings influence your work on a daily basis? Also, what do you think about the art world and how it functions today?
VIOLETTA: Yes, I am in the UK now, but I don't live in London. It is hard to respond to your first question because I came back to England two months ago (from the time of this interview) after a five month-long stay in Switzerland. At this moment, I’m observing what is happening around me. I have spent four and half months in Switzerland and I made a lot of performances as well as photo collages and installation works. I have had contact with people who produced life performances. I would like to mention that it was a very good creative moment as I discovered the dark side of my personality - my alter ego. I met a lot of artistic people there and they opened my eyes wide for art (I received good tips from them). On the other hand, I felt freedom and I was fulfilled with nature that surrounded me. What I can say about the art world? The power is held by the new generation.
MICHAEL: When did you first become aware of yourself as an artist? Were you a child at the time? Do you come from an artistic family? What does art do for you?
VIOLETTA: I'm not quite sure when it exactly happened. I remember two things that changed my life. Namely, I discovered an old wardrobe on my grandmother's balcony and I found wooden masks inside. These were old painted masks - my uncle made them. The second time, I found masks in my life was at camp. I was sick and a doctor gave me a separate room (sickroom). It was a big room with lots of beds. On the wall there was a mask hung that looked a little scary. I remember that I was wondering why people created them. I had a lot of questions. Masks for me speak of the human personality and perhaps alter ego on the other hand. Maybe it was the cry of the soul. I have recently created a video installation on masks called, “The Other Side of the Mirror” http://www.violettajara.com/page46.htm.
I was twenty years old when I started thinking seriously about art. My interest in art began in France. Some members of my family were involved in art in their youth. For example, my mother's brother did various remarkable constructions of wood and he was a sculptor. My father's brother painted and my sister did too. Art is like breathing. Without it, you cannot live. Art feeds my soul. That's why I'm here in this world, still alive.
MICHAEL: And yet, it's still so hard to get many people to spend time with art. They spend time with everything else. What do you think it will take to get more people to appreciate art?
VIOLETTA: This is a difficult question to answer. I can't answer for all people. It’s normal that some people are involved in things other than art. For me, art is natural. We have freedom in life and the choice belongs to the individual. We cannot force anyone. Some people are involved in gardening or cooking. For me, this is a different kind of art and I appreciate people for what they are passionate about. I do not have a predisposition in such disciplines so I respect.
MICHAEL: What's your daily routine like? And what projects are you working on now? In other words, where are you now in your personal evolution as an artist?
VIOLETTA: I start my day with meditation and a coffee, of course. Depending on what I am involved in, I research or work on an actual project. At this moment, I’ve put most of my attention on performance. It is something I am interested in a lot right now. I’ve learned software and in the future I would also like to create my own music. I have recently thought of writing a short story, which would include pictures or drawings. I am happy when I can work in the same time with performance, painting, photography, music and maybe writing soon. Discovering myself gives me a lot of joy, and this is my personal evolution.
MICHAEL: Finally Violetta, where are you headed with your art? What are your hopes for the future?
VIOLETTA: At this moment, it is very hard for me to answer first question. I am still thinking about painting. I would also like to develop my performance practice and photo collages. I’m seriously thinking about starting an “Art Therapy” course in order to help people, especially children with difficulties to unlock their emotions. I also have a dream regarding performances, namely I would like to appear on a large stage in front of a wide audience to show off one of my best performances. Oh, I forgot, and of course release my short story. These things make me happy and at the same time give me the faith and hope that everything is possible. I would like to inspire other people and that's what would be the best reward I could receive. I do not have a big expectations, I would like to make a living out of my art next to a beloved person and share my experiences with others.
MICHAEL: I hope you achieve all of your goals. Thanks Violetta.
Check out Violetta’s work at www.violettajara.com