Artist Statement of Study
"In my artistic practice I deal with the concepts of social connectedness and the connectedness to nature in a play- and joyful way. I hereby look into my own status of connectedness based on my origin and cultural background. For that, I am taking pictures and collecting materials when walking in a place or a landscape as well as reading philosophical texts which are reflected in my artwork. Coming from the fields of design, my art can be both two- and three dimensional, includes various materials and sometimes features movement, light and sound. In my artistic practice so far, I have more or less unconsciously dealt with the concept of connectedness, for example when designing and building kites. Since my Masters in Design studies at IUA 2013-15 I have been researching the history of kite building in the societal context of childhood poverty and its effects on the wellbeing of those affected. I facilitated kite building workshops with the aim to increase participants' well-being, give them a sense of belonging (connectedness) and boost their creative confidence. These are my guidelines still today in my work as an artist and art teacher. Kites are primarily toys, but can be considered as art objects for instance if looking at artists such as Anna Rubin or Jacob Hashimoto. As such, kites create a contrast to the spaces or landscapes into which they are released: movement versus stillness, man-made versus nature- made, transience versus permanence, joy versus apathy. I most of all see them as metaphors for the connectedness of a person to something or someone, nature, community, possessions, god, the universe and one's inner self. Kites show a human condition really: we need connectedness to nature and society for our wellbeing. That however is often influenced by external events we cannot control such as the unforeseen and dramatic effects of our current environmental and therefore social crisis. Apart from my design- and educational research and the practical skills I gained while making and playing with kites, my artistic practice also includes reading philosophical texts, looking at contemporary artists and movements and walking. My art is reflecting what I read, what I observe in nature and how I feel about being there: the status of my own connectedness to the place and society I am in. I enjoy and get nurtured when visiting art exhibitions and galleries in Iceland and abroad, although since I moved with my family to the Icelandic countryside, I have been focussing more on the other habits of my practice. In 2020, I learned about the walking artist movement, which has been influencing me on my daily walks in the countryside around Skálholt in Bláskógabyggð where I live. While I walk, I document what I see through photographing or filming. My paintings, drawings and mixed media works are often colourful compositions made of these collected pictures and movies, mostly showing the mountains, animals and plants. Besides painting with oil and acrylic, I like constructing kite-like objects from transparent or reflecting material which can transform a space when light and air movements play with the object. That could be all kinds of collected materials, special kite paper or Japanese paper, Chinese bamboo and linen thread. I find it also interesting to attach bells, whistles and cameras to these objects to add another dimension to it, such as a certain sound or a new perspective seen through a lense. In order to improve my own sense of connectedness, I read philosophical texts, mostly about stoic philosophy like by Ryan Holiday and Epectitus as well as books like Letting go: The Pathway of Surrender by David R. Hawkins, The God Solution: The Power of Pure Love by Neale Donald Walsch or Zurueck zu mir by the German author Laura Seiler."
Arites professional path as a designer started with an apprenticeship in sign-making in 1997. Since that time, she worked as a sign maker, exhibition- and graphic designer and art educator for most of her professional career, both in Germany and from 2004 in Iceland. Arite earned a MA Design at the Iceland University of the Arts (IUA) in 2015 and the teaching rights at the Department of Arts Education there in 2016. She became known in Iceland for her creative workshops and taught frequently in schools, museums and private homes. The same year 2016 after graduation, she became employed as an art- and environmental education teacher on public elementary school level in Reykholt, Bláskógabyggð and has been collecting knowledge and experience in the field of art- and outdoor education. During the past years, Arite could established an artistic practice that includes reading philosophical texts and walking in the countryside around Skálholt where she lives with her family. Connectedness to nature and social connectedness based on her cultural and personal background, is the core of Arites artistic practice. Her paintings and objects are joy- and playful creations made of various materials.
Publications and reviews
Picture of my final exhibtion in the HA magazine in June 2016 about the master of design study at the IUA.
Interview in FLOW Magazine, Issue 12 (2016).