We’re running a series of articles on the creative inhabitants (and our neighbours) at 1B Ponsonby Road. Today’s article features artist Veronica Herber in her studio.
Veronica, when we visited your studio you were working on a striking large artwork for an upcoming award. Can you tell us a bit about your practice and process?
I have two threads running; large scale site specific installations and indoor works on paper. The material I use is Japanese Washi Tape and I am deeply interested in its material quality.
You have worked on some very large installations and also smaller, more intimate works – how do you feel about this shift in scale from one project to another?
They are an outward expression and an inward expression, both different identities and aspects of my psyche yet linked through the tape material I use. The outward expression is very public and takes confidence knowing 1,000’s of people will be viewing the work. Interestingly it looks like it may be ego based due to the scale yet it is the opposite. I have to put ego to one side because if I actually stopped to think about how much I am putting myself out there and the potential for criticism I wouldn’t have the courage to make the work!
Conversely the indoor works on paper are meditative, rhythmic, introverted and tap into a personal consciousness connection, they involve hand tearing and laying down literally thousands of individual pieces of tape. It has become a form of mind discipline.
What is the most interesting project you have worked on recently (or have coming up?)
I made an installation in Pueble, Mexico and loved the interaction with the community. My work is ‘non cultural’, ‘non intellectual meaning’ which in itself opens up possibilities of connection and interaction as there are no preconceived ideas or story to contend with. The locals were very friendly and interested and offered to help, it gave me a hopeful sense of the connections that can be made through a non verbal medium.
You definitely have the best view in the building from your office! Other than this, how are you finding being part of the community at 1B Ponsonby Road?
It’s perfect, a nice balance of friendly human bodies in near proximity and still being able to tuck myself away in my own world. Having different disciplines in each room keeps the atmosphere vibrant too, we have a perfumer, film maker, contemporary calligrapher just on our floor, love it!
What is the one thing you can’t live without in your studio?
Music (and cups of tea).
Visit Veronica’s website to see more imagery of her work and exhibition history.