Berit Bredahl is an artist based in Italy and currently taking part in SINGULART’s Jungle Decor Auction. Often using gold foil on canvas, her compositions are influenced by art from diverse cultures, encountered during her many travels. Her love of birds both real and mythical, gardens from around the world, and the ocean’s coral and fish also feature heavily in her artwork.
We sat down with Berit to find out more about her inspirations and artistic background.
What are your artistic influences and other artists who you are inspired by?
I am not inspired by any particular artist. If I should mention one dead and one alive I would mention Gustav Klimt and El Anatsui. This artist born in Ghana has astonished the world with his fantastic wall hangings made from bottle tops. His incredible (and often huge) artworks were to me a revelation. How is it possible to make such innovative and breathtaking art from something people throw away every day?
How does your artwork draw inspiration from different cultures?
I am, to a high degree, influenced by Eastern and so-called Ethnic art. During my travels around the world, especially in the near and far East and Central Asia, I made many sketches and took photos that still continue to inspire me years later.
Artifacts from diverse cultures are an inspiration too. Or a beautiful piece of textile. Often a simple, small, object triggers some inspiration in me – or an unusual color combination. India, for example is a country so full of contrasts and riots of colors that it is often quite overwhelming to a western eye – totally fascinating!
The ancient Chinese made fascinating art that I admire much. Japan has a great tradition too, so different and so fascinating. And then I should not forget the so called “primitive” ethnic art – so real and often so heartfelt sometimes made with the most simple tools.
What attracts you to the different patterns and textures presented in your art?
I have a background as a fashion and stage-costume designer so I am naturally interested and attracted to beautiful or unusual patterns and textiles in both Western and Non-Western traditions. Whenever I have been in a place that is famous for special types of cloth or patterns or embroideries I have tried to buy or photograph the pieces so I would remember them and I have a nice collection for my reference.
Can you tell us a little about your artistic process?
I always start with many sketches, to put the idea I have in my head on to paper. When I have finally decided on one, I transfer it to the canvas in the size chosen (which is already in my head). This is often quite a large job as I make really small sketches. But, of course it is part of the fun.
The two most important stages of the painting are, in most cases, the transfer of the sketch, and somewhere in the middle of the painting process, a review of what I am doing. Sometimes I quite radically change parts of the painting and even the colors that I had agreed upon beforehand.
How do you want people to feel when they look at your art?
I have often noticed when I first show a finished painting to a friend, that they “see” things in a very different way from myself! So – if people feel good or happy or pleasantly surprised, I am fine with that.
Thank you to Berit Bredahl for taking the time to answer our questions!