Art

Inner Expression, Outer Exhibition with Schiwa Rose

People go to art school to master certain techniques, but the true artist is not created in such ways. In the case of Schiwa Rose, it pure passion that acts as the foundation for her work, and a desire to express and process her innermost emotions.

Images by Schiwa Rose Interview by Teo J. Babini

 

©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

You began your career as a Textile Designer and later exhibited your paintings. Textile design is an abstract form; your photography is not abstract. In contrast, you see a very sharp, almost surreal world. Tell us about your career path.
Even as a child and youth I liked to draw, so there was no question for me in choosing a creative profession where I could draw and paint. After working for eight years as a textile designer, I started my own business, and for the next twelve years designed the entire annual collection for a fabric printer. When this printing company later filed for bankruptcy, I took over the management of a textile design studio for another six years.
Eventually, in the wake of burnout syndrome, my past and childhood memories overwhelmed me so much that I was unable to work and had to retire. Then followed years of therapeutic work. In that time, I began to paint large canvases with acrylics. The painting was a means to process and express my feelings and past, as well as indulge my creativity. These pictures went to exhibitions and a few sold. It was, however, difficult for me because so much of me was stuck in them.
When my husband bought a reflex camera, I tried photography and soon realized my enthusiasm over people and their expressions, and it was not long until the desire arose to show more than just faces. I wanted emotion, expression, history in the photos. Not the surface of a human being, but feelings, inner struggles and humanity were important to me. For the last five years, photography has been my passion, for I have given up painting and I have only just trod the path to get closer to the objective I have in mind. In painting and photography, I am self-taught, technique is not my forte. I photograph purely on instinct without thinking a lot about the perfect technique.

 

©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

There are many naked people in your photos, mostly women. Why no men?
My first priority is emotional expression and men have difficulties with that. To pose women is easier and there are not many men that would allow themselves to be photographed nude. I’d love to photograph more men erotic and emotional, if they dare. Maybe I can get a few through this interview who would like to work with me… 😉

©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

Where do you get your inspiration? Dreams, rational thoughts, pictures you see, poetry?
Sometimes during day, ideas shoot through my head for a picture or a series. I write them down and then search for models that are suitable for this idea. Meanwhile, I know some models and know what each of them is capable of. Often, my own feelings evoke image ideas and I’ll attempt to realize them. Also, landscapes or special places that I see when I’m out and about inspire new ideas. Of course, I look at many works by other photographers and then I am inspired with another idea. Ultimately, my goal is to draw from myself and let my personality flow into the images, which is much more satisfying. I have been lucky enough (and cursed) to be born rich in imagination and creativity.

©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

Are you more of a visual person or are you also interested in literature?
Both, one includes the other. While reading, mental images arise that emphasize the story and make it more vivid. With visual images, thoughts and texts arise that underline them and make it perfect. For me they cannot be separated. Only with the fusion of word and picture in your mind, can a holistic work unfold. When all the senses are engaged at the same time, it creates an enormous depth in which you can let yourself go.

©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

Can you name a few artists who have inspired you in your work?
The painter Salvador Dali, his fantastic inner worlds have always been a role model, Caspar David Friedrich for his wistful romance or René Magritte for his overflowing fantasy. In photography, there are many good artists that inspire me, especially those who can tie me up with a picture—If they create a picture that arouses my emotions and makes me marvel. I love the unusual, the fine sensitive visual language, which does not show everything on the surface, but is only uncovered when one leaves, then the image sinks in.

©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

Your works are very sensual and tasteful, but many pictures show darkness and a hint of desperation. Can you describe this in more detail?
Painting and photography were, in the beginning, a way for me to process bad experiences. Both helped me to express my feelings and to convey them to the outside. To transport interior worlds, emotions, thoughts and experiences in a picture is one thing. The other is to make others feel a picture. Only when the viewer goes into an internal communication with the picture, when he feels his own feelings, only then is the picture finished for me.
With my work, I want to encourage, not just consume, but to face what the picture triggers while looking at it. Not the technical perfection, but the content of the picture is close to my heart. Of course, this does not always succeed. The aesthetics have always been part of my job, of course, and it is also reflected in my photographs. To unite aesthetics and emotional expression has always been my goal and I I’ll continue along that line.

©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

Do you find it hard to explain to your models what emotions they are meant to convey? How do you do that?
It is important to me to have a personal, emotional approach with my models, to make the photos more authentic. Then it is easier for both sides to express emotions. I describe my ideas to them and express what I imagine. If it is difficult for the model to express this, I do it myself to show them. I prefer to have the model’s own personality be presented in the picture. When they find their own expression, the picture is more authentic than with played emotions. At a shoot, I do not give set times and leave enough space to be with everything there. Fun and nonsense, but also tears and sadness may arise. Through this personal proximity and the openness that I teach, many models lose the “fear” of having to be perfect and that is a great advantage, because perfection is the brake of expression.

©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

Where, as the processor, do you see limitations in digital photography and post-processing?
In the first place, my own inability is a limitation in the processing. 😉 I often have ideas in my head how I could make a photo more expressive, through composition, etc. but, often, I fail in the implementation. On the other hand, I am also happy to find that through too much processing and change, the photo is deprived of its natural expressiveness. It makes sense to find a good middle ground to underline the statement, but not to destroy it with too much editing. I’ve never photographed analog, so I cannot say anything about the difference or limitation to digital photography.

You can see more Schiwa Rose work on her WEBSITE


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©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

©Schiwa Rose

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