Artist Interview: Cornelia Konrads

rupture (lacmé’s dream) 2019
Art season 2019 – Domaine de Chaumont sur Loire / Centre for Arts and Nature (France)

I’m so excited to continue my artist interviews with this amazing artist: Cornelia Konrads. Born in 1957 in Wuppertal, Germany, Kondrads studied Philosophy and Cultural Science, and has been working as an artist since 1998. Her main artististic focus has been site specific sculpture and objects. Konrads has done many commissioned works for public spaces, sculpture parks and private collections and participated in various sculpture and land art projects in Europe, Asia, Australia, America and Africa.

Can you explain who you are and what do you do?

I’m a sculptor, based in Germany but working in many different countries. My work is basically site specific, i.e. it’s related to a certain place. The main part of the construction takes place on site. The site is not just a background for me, it’s a texture – and it’s my goal and challenge, that the work merges with this texture, becomes a part of it, as if it has always been there.  

What themes do you pursue in your work?

I like the image of a journey for the creation of artwork. Life is a journey and art reflects life. Literally my site specific works are always preceded – and followed – by a journey. In a certain way this journey is a part of the work. I refer to it, and I speak about aspects of travelling: passage, movement, transformation, transience.

moment of decision (2004)
Winter Art Biennal Luleå (Sweden)
Installation next to a playground in the forest
snow, steel rope, fishing line
8.0 x 6.0 x 1.0 m

How has your practice evolved over time? What has been the main driver of that?

I started with graphic and painting, then integrated collage and printing. The illusion of space has always fascinated me, so it was just logical, that my works became more and more spatial. Regarding 3-dimensional artwork I’m mostly intrigued by the question how it dialogues with its surrounding. No matter if it’s an urban place or somewhere in the “wild”, if it’s indoors or outdoors – each place has a history (I would eaven say a “memory”) and a certain atmosphere – I like, if an artwork assimilates this pecularities and makes them visible.

What role do you think artists have in society?

To stay at least with one leg outside of the “common sense”, to be deliberately the fool on the hill, to ask crazy questions (not to give answers!) about things, everyone believes to know…

bridge (2018)
Blackfoot Pathways – Sculpture in the Wild, Lincoln MT (USA)

Can you describe a real life situation that inspired you to create? 

Early morning in my studio, with a cup of good coffee!

Walking along unknown streets, paths and trails.

Taking a bath.

When you create site-specific sculptures, from where does your process start?

My first approach to an unknown area is always: walking – without a certain destination. I follow the attraction of marks and constellations of the landscape, shapes, sounds, smells, tracks, light situations. During those walks I collect in my mind what lies on the edge of the path: incidents, materials, characteristics of the local architecture or vegetation  – untill I come to a place, where all this observations condense into an image. 

I know, that I’ve found „my site“, when immediately three aspects come together: a clear image, I can visualise there, the technical possibilities and a sensefull relation to the informations I picked up on my way before. This is a very “precise” feeling. 

What have you learned from your career as an artist that you would like to pass onto other practising  artists?

Never stop to surprise yourself! 

walkaway (2013)
2nd International Land Art Biennale, Plettenberg Bay (South Africa)
Site: dune area between the ocean and a river mouth; quoting the numerous wooden walkways and stairs along the beach
15.0 x 3.0 x 1.2 m

Do you think an artist needs an ultimate goal in his/her work? If so, what yours?

Yes. see previous answers…

What could you not live without as an artist?


Where to follow Cornelia Konrads:



Artist Interview: Karin Arink

Manifold Mumbag & fragments of the white visions 2006

Can you explain who you are and what do you do?

I am Karin Arink, I am an artist and art educator. 

My work has always consisted in a balance of collaboration, art education and an individual studio practice. In my collaborative work, I take on different roles, a.o. as communicator or co-curator for projects by Foundation B.a.d, and I have also done collaborations with a.o. Jeanne van Heeswijk and Renée Kool.

After some years of guest lecturing in various art schools in the Netherlands and Belgium, I started teaching at the Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam. I became first a tutor in what then was called ‘Professional Orientaion’ classes, then a Student Career Coach and am now the Course Leader of the BFA Fine Art and BFA Photography, both in the School of Art.  

In my individual work I use a variety of media, such as text, drawings, animations and (textile, papier maché) objects and (cut-up) photos. The choice depends on what experience I choose to convey. 

I make (wearable) sculptures and re-photograph these to make metamorphosing ‘states of self’ visible.

What themes do you pursue in your work?

My works embody what I call ‘states of self’: interactions between corporeality and ideas on how you should manifest yourself – through body postures, garments, language. Through transformed (physical) shapes, I aim to reconnect interpretations of who “I” could be, to an affect-rich experience of existence.

States of Self Schiedam 2008

How has your practice evolved over time? What has been the main driver of that?

I started out a very ambitious young artist and was accepted to the Rijksakademie Amsterdam directly after finishing my BFA in Rotterdam in 1990. At the Rijksakademie I worked, finding my style and focus, and then started applying on open calls. After some half-succesful attempts, I did get into the final selection of the Prix de Rome Sculpture 1992 (together with Joep van Lieshout – now AVL, Tom Claassen and ao Mark Manders) and I won the First Prize. From that moment I worked as full-time artist (living off selling work and getting some government grants) up and until 1998-1999 when I went to live and work for a year in Japan, again with government funding. I participated in numerous exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad, including the Van Abbemuseum, Centraal Museum Utrecht, Boijmans van Beuningen, Museo Pecci, Stichting De Pont, Gerhard Marks Haus Bremen, Rijksmuseum Twenthe (until 2021) etc., and had solos in a.o. Stedelijk Museum Schiedam (2008) and in Club Solo Breda (2016). I was represented by Galerie Tanya Rumpff in Haarlem and am now represented by RAM Galerie Rotterdam.

During all this time I was also actively participating in collaborative projects with artists like Jeanne van Heeswijk and Renée Kool. And most of all as a member of artist group (now artist-run residency) Foundation B.a.d, with whom I realised projects a.o. in the RCA Galleries in London (in the exhibition Democracy! in 2000). I have always liked the dynamic of artists thinking and creating together

When I came back from Japan, I started guest lecturing more and more and really loved doing it. With Foundation B.a.d our next project was to make sure our squatted school could become a long term artists residency, and this we achieved in 2012 after 10 years of lobbying and work.

Over the years, I decided to take art education  more and more seriously. When I started a family, my focus became more on teaching and collaborating and less on my solo career even though I always want to continue making and exhibiting my work. I did a Master in Education in Arts of the Piet Zwart institute in 2014-2016. At the moment I am creating a new series of sculptures titled VerteerWezens (the Dutch verb ‘verteren’ means to digest, to process).  

What role do you think artists have in society?

Maybe a metaphor is helpful: if society is a bread (with a focus on being practical and nutritional), then art – and all the micro ways people have of diverging, of thinking and acting differently – are like the air bubbles in it, left by the yeast. It may seem disfunctional or even silly, but without art and all these pockets of diverging thought, society would become too dense and heavy and indigestible.

Soliciting 1990

Can you describe a real life situation that inspired you to create? 

My work is always inspired by my awareness of how I exist in relation to others.
To give an example, when I was graduating from art school, I was in a love relationship for the very first time. I realized that what I require of my love overlapped with what I would ask my viewers: to take me seriously, pay attention, be critical, be open minded, etc. So I made a text-as-work, embroidered, with all these short sentences.
Sometimes my work evolves from a more affect-rich sensation (for instance, of being very close to another) and then the physical shapes I make are like bodies melting into each other, for instance in a work like tweeen 1996.

Behind skins and stones (bronze) 2019

When you create an art installation, from where does your process start?

Often it starts with a word or a line. Sometimes a line of a song text, sometimes text written by me.  For instance my installation I made for De Pont museum’s Project Room was titled Manifold Mumbag and fragments of the white visions. ‘Mumbag’ is a word I devised as describing both the terrible,  and strong aspects of becoming a mother – a ‘scumbag’ holding and birthing and cleaning and caring for the child. The Manifold Mumbag was a huge textile object, large enough to walk into, made of pink, purple, lilac and white shiny polyester satin bedcovers sewn to form bulges and limb-like extentions. The fragments of the white visions were a spoken text, a fragment of my artist novel S. the Bearer of STATE (2012) in which the protagonist is enclosed in a white white space. 

What have you learned from your career as an artist that you would like to pass onto other practising artists?

That the art world is multi-faceted and holds many different art worlds with different value systems. What one adores, is hated by another, so it is important to find the world you can work in. Also, all art worlds are changing and unpredictable, so what is regarded as stupid now can be genius later. So keep to your own path! Keep making! And find your allies.. 

Do you think an artist needs an ultimate goal in his/her work? If so, what yours?

What kind of goal? Do you mean success-wise, or content-wise? I have no idea and would not feel capable of answering this for others. I used to have a goal of becoming very well known, but then I felt that being an ‘art star’ seemed to require all of my attention and I was not willing to give that to art (my art, nor the art world). For me communication with others both outside and inside the art world is much much more important than my own career. I love seeing an insight land during a talk with a student, or to share my knowledge with colleagues in Foundation B.a.d. My goal now is to continue creating works, as I feel that now I am 50+ my perspectives again are changing and I want to create from these new points of view. 

What could you not live without as an artist?

I could never live without creating new work (whether it is in text, image, sculpture, …) or without the dialogue within art education.

Where to follow Karin Arink:




Artist Interview: Rachael Champion

Raze Bloom, 2015

Rachael Champion was born in Long Island, New York, USA. She graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art from the Royal Academy Schools in 2010. Champion lives and works in Thanet, UK. Champion’s work has been exhibited in a number of recognised institutions including The Whitechapel Gallery, Modern Art Oxford, Camden Arts Centre, and the Zabludowicz Collection. Rachael has made numerous site-specific installations in a variety of contexts including commercial galleries, artist-run exhibition spaces, art fairs, and remote landscapes. In October of 2019 she installed Tower of Varieties, an ambitions eleven metre suspended sculpture at the Hippodrome Theatre in Birmingham, UK. In 2017 she completed Discoverers of Onkalo, a permanent installation on the island of Sarvisalo, Finland commissioned by the Zabludowicz Collection. Rachael is represented by Hales Gallery London / New York.

Can you explain who you are and what do you do?

My name is Rachael Champion and I am a visual artist working predominantly in site-specific installation art.  I also make work in a range of other media which include sculpture, collage, performance, and costume.  My site-specific works are typically large in scale and consist of living organisms and ubiquitous building materials.

What themes do you pursue in your work?

I explore the physical, material, and historical relationships between ecology, industry, and the built environment. I am interested in the corporeality of the raw materials our species extracts, transforms and consumes and how these actions affect the physical characteristics of landscapes and ecosystems. I am interested in biology, geology, architecture and infrastructure and through my work aim to create a place where these themes coalesce.

Discoverers of Onkalo, 2017

When did you become curious about performance art?

I have had a connection to performance for most of my life. As a young person I was heavily involved in a community theatre group and also the music department at my high school. I have also supported my art practice as a theatre technician since I was an undergraduate student. My experience in constructing and installing scenery has directly influenced the way that I make sculpture and installation.

I have always loved making biomorphic costumes and have done so for many years more as a hobby. My costumes are heavily inspired by marine life and micro-organisms. In 2014 I started working at Goldsmiths in the Department of Theatre and Performance as a scenographer. It was then when I began to seriously consider how costume and performance could become a more integral part of my practice.

Depending on a given goal, what drives you to pursue performance or installation art?

I am interested in making installations because I want my art to be in a provocative dialogue with the space or place where it is situated as well as the humans who are engaging with it. With installations the artwork can become physically integrated into a space more so than other forms of art I pursue. I want my work to conjure the physical experience I have with architecture where being in a space or next to a structure has an effect on my physical body.

I consider my performance work as a subtext to my installations and sculptures. My biomorphic performances anthropomorphise biological life which enables me to directly communicate information about these subjects in a playful way to an audience. I have also found performance to be a productive way for me to collaborate with other artists.

New Spring Gardens, 2016

What role do you think artists have in society?

I think it is an artist’s job to interpret the world through their passions, concerns, and expressions, ultimately contributing to a greater understanding of all subjects, particularly in regard to our societies and the environment.  

Can you describe a real-life situation that inspired you to create? 

When I started gardening, I noticed that peat-free compost was a thing.  This led me to research what peat is and why it is a controversial growing medium.  Peat is a fascinating material having been dried and burned by humans for millennia as an energy source, forming so slowly it could be classed as a fossil fuel, and one of the best carbon stores on
Earth.  For years, when I met someone Irish, I would ask them about bogs and turf cutting.  In 2016 I sat next to writer and heritage enthusiast Caitriona Devery at an event at the Tetley in Leeds.  Her family is intrinsically linked to the Irish midland bogs and she invited
me to her hometown for a project.  This flourished into one of the best art adventures of my life which was creating Carbon Flux in the Turraun bog in Co. Offaly Ireland.

Carbon Flux, 2017

When you create site-specific sculptures, from where does your process start?

I start by researching the natural and industrial histories of a place.  There is usually a point where they overlap and this intersection becomes the starting point for an artwork.   

What have you learned from your career as an artist that you would like to pass onto other practising artists?

Just keep going……….. rejection is simply a part of being an artist.
It’s a good thing to be uncomfortable with what you are making.  It means you are pushing yourself into new directions.  Stinkers will inevitably happen along the way. You have to seriously care about your work because at times it will feel like no one else does. Even the most famous and successful artists have doubts about their work.
Be generous to other artists.  

Tower of Varieties,1 1 x 2.7 x 2.7 m, 2019

Do you think an artist needs an ultimate goal in his/her work? If so, what yours?

I am not sure an artist needs an ultimate goal, but I imagine many artists do have one.  My ultimate goal is to work full-time as an artist.  I would also love to do an art and natural science research fellowship at a University.  Of course, the Turner Prize, the Paul Hamlyn Award, major museum retrospectives, and biennales are all in there too.  Ultimately, I want to make work that is aesthetically unique and speaks of subjects relevant to our time. 

What could you not live without as an artist?

Wikipedia.  It is the starting point for so much of my research. And also, my impact driver. It is my favourite power tool.

Where to follow Rachael Champion: