Inspired by Travel: The Rhythm and Perspective of Monika Bulanda

In one sentence describe what you do.

In one sentence… it’s impossible.

Try.

I am creating unique art which is the result of many years of experimenting and experiencing cultures, places and ideas from all over the world.

Go on…

It’s an introspection of my ideas. It is my own technique which I invented in 2011, before this I was doing very traditional painting in oils and acrylic, but I had the feeling that I wanted to express something that was very different from the traditional, so I tried some different techniques.

Vision and Perspective, Mix Media on Wood, 80 x 89 cm, 2016

So, how did you go about creating you Vision and Perspective artwork.

First I made a sketch, with a strong perspective and a singular vanishing point, then I make a collage which fits the lines in the image in a pixelated way. Sometimes I use different types of perspectives.

Where do you take the imagery for your collage?

I take it from the media or from images that are in my head after some travelling or after having experienced different people and cultures. Mostly they are images from newspapers.

There are many different images built into each artwork, it can feel to the viewer that they are travelling down a vortex.

Yes, someone said they feel like they are in a lift watching it descend through a glass floor.

Is the viewer meant to go on a journey?

Yes, it needs to take you somewhere else where everything meets in one point.

In terms of your subject, all of these different stories become connected, so in the coming together of everything are you suggesting something about the interconnectedness of life?

I want to intrigue people; I want to make them consider how people create things and say things, and how this feeds into a collective development of our existence. Where are we going? I want people to think about it.

How do you make the thick black lines which separate each piece of your collages?

I squeeze acrylic from a tube with the surface of the wood which is laid flat on a table; it takes a lot of time. Vision and Perspective is small and is no problem, but I have made huge ones which are four metres by four metres and they are much more of a physical job!

Concern, Mix Media On Plexiglass. 58 x 80 cm, 2014

You have also been a musician for many years, do you find this feeds into what you create as a visual artist?

I think so, someone told me at one of my exhibitions that my images have rhythm. I have been a musician for fifteen years professionally and a drummer for twenty-two, so I think that these images convey some of that rhythm.

You have been living in Turkey for eight years and are doing very well out there artistically, why are you now starting to explore more internationally?

I think my work fits a very international environment, much more than what is in Turkey. I think most of us would like to be involved and have our artwork exposed internationally. In Turkey it is international, but not at the same level as London or New York. The culture is very diverse there, but I would like to come up with new work with a subject that connects to the rest of the world. I want someone from China or India to look at my work and feel a connection. I like dialogue; I like having something to say and I hope that I am conveying a message in what I do.

You have travelled a lot and lived in many countries.

Mainly in Asia, but I travelled around Europe a lot before.

Do you think travel is important to what you do as an artist?

I think it is to every artist; it is the main thing for artists to do! Travel offers you a fresh insight and brings your work to another level.

How do you find being a female artist in Turkey?

It is supposed to be equal, but it is not. When you do want to do your own stuff and share your own ideas about certain subjects, I find it is not equal and I do have some problems fulfilling what I want to do to its full capacity. It makes you stronger in a way, but I don’t know if I want to be that strong. I have had to become very masculine to maintain my position.

You have just finished a contract with your previous gallery in Turkey. What do you want to do now?

I have decided to take a bit of a risk and explore the art scene internationally. I am very happy that I am starting to experience things from the underground scene and how it works from the ground up; I think this will give me a stronger foundation to do things in the future.

What is next?

In January I will be busy creating more art, as I don’t have much left and it takes a lot of time to make; I have got a lot of canvas and wood ready. Then I am going to Belgium in February for a residency called Glo Art which will last one month.

If you had any advice for a young artist what would you say?

Just keep going and do what you want to do, don’t listen to anyone; I mean, you have to listen to get the right steps as well, but as far as creating is concerned I think the most important thing is to be honest with yourself and to follow what is inside of you.

Monika took part in Focus LDN's Winter Exhibition. Find her website here.