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Interview with Paula Turmina

January 2021

1. Are you a part of your own mythology?

Yes! I don't see myself in a specific character, but the world and stories I create depart from personal observation or experience. The motif of the hand especially is one that I see myself in, it takes so many shapes and represents the contradiction of making something. A hand can heal, build and care, but can also harm and destroy things, and a lot of the time it can be doing both at the same time depending on the perspective from which its looked at.

My writing also connect to this idea of mythology, and even though I haven't written any mythological or fictional stories yet, it is a constant concern of mine to think about the stories we tell ourselves, and, from my interest in anthropology, to learn about other worldviews whilst questioning my own.

 


2. What are you currently working on?

I am actually in a period of transition and settling back in London. My plan is to start working on the Slade degree show happening in June. I am itching to start painting again and hope to paint A LOT this year.

I am also working on Plantaphilia, which is a collaborative project I have with Iria Suarez that explores the life of plants. Currently we're creating a series of analog films that are handpainted based on weeds and invasive species in the Regent's canal in London.

 


3. Do you listen to music while working?

Yes! and podcasts! Music for when I am creating and starting a painting, and podcast for when I am working on details and repetitive tasks.

 


4. Which artists (or other people) are you inspired by?

The list is long! I will focus on living artists then (because we need support)... Toying Ojih Odutola, Adriana Varejao, Maxwell Alexandre, Sara Anstis, Jutta Koether, Dana Schutz, Nicole Eisenman, Santiago de Paoli, Jill Mulleady, Mandy El Sayeh, Brook Hsu, my partner Mario Radev and too many of my incredible friends that'll be hard to cite everyone.

 


5. What is your favourite place to see art, online or offline?

I love Carlos Ishikawa and Mendes Wood galleries, and also non-profit institutions as Chisenhale, Whitechapel Gallery and Mimosa House.

I haven't really engaged much online, apart from research, but Goldmali was a great introduction to that for me!

 


6. What is the best part of being an artist?

Ahh, that's such a good question. For me, it is the endless possibilities and discoveries that it brings. It never gets boring. Also as a painter, I enjoy the effort to broaden my perspective, to see things differently, to understand our field of vision, and being able to 'train' the eye through the hand. I love this process!

And above all, the possibility of observing life and learning about different things in a playful way but also doing something about it, creating dialogue, marking time and exchanging perspectives.

 


7. Are there any ongoing projects or upcoming (online) exhibitions where we can see your art?  

Yes! I have a couple of exhibitions happening soon which you can follow the updates on my Instagram @paulapturmina

Plantaphilia:  https://plantaphilia.tumblr.com/ and Instagram @plantaphilia

And a recent online publication (in Portuguese), which is an exchange with a incredible group of artists and fellow nature lovers, that you can find here: https://caixaportal.hotglue.me/polinizacoes