Shaped Through the Movement

9th September 22 - By Ria, Dropulić


As one of our new collaborative artists, Of Atoms & Lines featured in our fall/winter collection with her unique conceptual imagination. Combining minimal aesthetics through an explorative process she questions the idea of reality.  With a background in architecture and design, Of Atoms & Lines combines different techniques to produce artwork inspired by physical and mathematical concepts. In this article, she answered a few questions to give us a better picture of her artistic profile and introduce her work to Paper Collective's collaborative family.

Before pursuing your career as an artist you studied and worked as an architect for over five years, right? Some would say it is a bold move to make, but you decided to quit your job and move to London, what made you change your career path?

Yes, that is true. The decision to quit my job and move to London came after a year-long period of self-reflection. Initially, I had pursued a career in architecture because it felt the closest to art and at the same time, it was a down-to-earth career choice whereas art felt like this utopian dream only super-talented individuals could pursue. I thought I might do a bit of art on the side and see what happens. Although I was lucky enough to work on truly amazing and wonderful projects during my career as an architect, I started to feel quite unhappy and unfulfilled. This gave me the impulse to have an honest conversation with myself.

Since I can remember, I have always wanted to become an artist. My very first memory was of my father when I was at the age of four. He used to draw horses for me on plain white sheets of paper which I coloured in and collected in a little folder. I remember my intense attentiveness while I watched him create something out of simple lines and this feeling of deep excitement when I slowly started to identify the shapes as the image emerged from something abstract into something figurative. Since then, I have truly never felt so strong about something so simple as lines on a piece of paper.

"The eyes are the window to our brain. For me, art is like a tool to explore and communicate things that are outside of our sensory perception. Concepts and theories that exist in a theoretical realm but are still part of our reality."

Of Atoms and Lines

My best way to communicate and to think has always been through visual means. It is how my brain works: if I can see it or visualise it in my mind, I can understand it. Art can make this world visible and approachable and to me, this has always been the most existing thing to pursue in life. In retrospect, I would say that this specific memory of my dad during that year-long period of self-reflection gave me the clarity and courage to change my career path.

The name Of Atoms & Lines gives us some hints of your artistic style and motives you transfer onto the canvas, but where did the idea come from?

There is an Icelandic indie band called “Of Monsters And Men” and in addition to their music, I also really liked the sound of their name. It felt like an old fairy tale, something that has been told and passed on for generations. I knew I wanted to have a name that conveyed a similar sentiment, so I chose two important elements that were essential for my artistic voice and this is how “Of Atoms & Lines” was created.

Your art tells a lot about the concept of movement, could you say where that passion and interest for movement comes from and how did you got inspired to put that concept in the focus of your visual style?

My fascination with movement stems from my admiration of contemporary dance and during my time as a full-time architect I collaborated with dancers from the Opera house here in Graz, Austria. I was especially intrigued by two elements of contemporary dance: improvisation and awareness of space. The dancers seem to be able to spontaneously access and express movement patterns within the boundaries of any given space. It reminded be a bit of Jazz players who improvise within a set frame of a music piece. This experience stayed with me and as part of my master's degree in London, we had to choose a topic for our final thesis. I knew pretty quickly that I wanted to go with contemporary dance and was lucky enough to collaborate with one of the dancers from Graz who had also moved to London.

Through my theoretical research on the idea of movement and improvisation, I came across the publication “de rerum natura” by the roman poet Lucretius which explores the creation of the world through randomly swirling particles (atoms). This pretty much opened the gates for me into the world of mathematics and physics. It was then when I started to form my personal artistic voice and visual style. Since then my passion has been in exploring scientific concepts and trying to find interesting visual stories for them. On a conceptual level, I feel that most ideas about our reality are explained through movement (the flow of time, the speed of light, the warping of spacetime, colour as a wave etc.) and on a visual level, the simplest way to express motion is through a line. These two core aspects have been informing my visual style as an abstract artist.

You created four prints for Paper Collective, what inspired you to create the collection and what is the meaning it has for you?

These four prints are part of my ongoing explorative series "Entropy", which is a scientific concept that describes the probability of how things tend to move from an ordered to a disordered state. This creates a one-way direction in all things - it is what we humans perceive as the flow of time. I find the concept of time really fascinating because it defines us in a deeply profound way, we inhabit time like the fish inhabit the sea. Time is an inevitable and subjective constant. Sometimes we feel time passes by really quickly and on the other hand, some moments in life seem to last eternally. My idea with this series was to create a visual language for the perception of time - something that represents this dualistic sensation of time’s nature, something flowing and simultaneously fractured.


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