Sandra M. Heinzelmann (_SMH): It’s All About the Communication

Artist Profile:

Sandra and I recently caught up over coffee in Neukölln to discuss her upcoming vernissage Heinzelmann Löhmann at Martins Fine Arts in Kreuzberg on March 26th at 6pm. Sandra and Judith met in 2011 while they were both working on a project that was posted on Artconnect Berlin.

This is their first show together… “We both live in Kreuzberg, we wanted something in our kiez ideally zwischennutzen. But we didn’t find anything and we were a little disappointed that it wasn’t very easy. Then, by pure chance we were walking around in our kiez and went past Martinski Fine Arts; there was a birthday party going on, lots of people on the street – friends and friends of friends. So we were just hanging out, talking when the people we were talking to suggested that we talk to the owner and introduced us and the rest as they say is history.”

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“Two people, a pile of drawings and their urge to express themselves is what this exhibition is all about.

Coming from two different directions – Judith’s main field being architecture and Sandra coming from a world of music and…

Inspired to create and explore themselves, they individually processed into art what life was throwing at them.”

Sandra has been exhibiting her artwork in Berlin since 2013 when she had her first solo show with Turbo Tuesdays at F.U.C. Bar. Followed up by guerilla art at Fiese Remise, photographs hidden all over the club with text on them. Observant clubgoers who found the little treasures were treated to a surprise piece of art that they could take home with them. “I thought it was really fun to have this treasure hunt for art around the club.”

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The idea came to her as she was browsing her old photo boxes and other material from when she was going to school; copies of all different types of text; novels, philosophy, art history and secondary literature.

The work that Sandra’s exhibiting at Martinski Fine Arts has that same seed; but this time it was her subconscious making up the images and the words. She would find combinations of images and text that resonated with her and thought that maybe it would also resonate with others.

“I had this idea that began with a sentence and it’s environment or setting and so I started sketching out the idea – the person and the room. And as I was drawing the person I felt that he was looking at me. This wasn’t the first piece that I did – but that’s the reason that I chose this image for the flyer because I felt that the person was looking back at me.”

The work really began in 2013 when Sandra’s camera broke beyond repair. She could make pictures with her cell phone; but it wasn’t the same and then she chose not to have the internet at home anymore. Then all of a sudden she had so much more time when she was at home – because she wasn’t wasting so much of it on the computer. She started reading and listening to her records more, became calmer and her creativity started to resurface. All of these words began coming to the forefront and she noticed her long neglected art supplies; pencils, paint, brushes…

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At first she wasn’t daring enough and began working with oil paint; that’s when the prototype for the “Slogan series” happened. She got her message through, but oil wasn’t the right medium, not even acrylics worked correctly; those mediums were too heavy. After more experimentation she finally decided that pencil was the correct medium for her expression. The images that she has in her head combined with what she wants and needs to say – to get it out on paper correctly – the way that it is in her head – takes the right tools the right medium. “That’s also the point where I decided that this is so special to me that I should dare to put them out there.”

“I had the urge to get something out – if I don’t have something to say then I don’t make anything. I work on something else, I use another medium, but when I create with images – pencils, painting, words – then it’s because I have something to say – something that needs to be said – it’s all about the communication.”

“2015 is the year that decided to out myself out there, do things that I haven’t done before and one of those things was exhibiting my work on my own. I spoke to Judith about it and she was interested in exhibiting her work with me and that’s kind of how the show came about.”

To Sandra, it’s really important to have an accessible art experience that approachable for everyone; something that she herself could relate to… Unlike the galleries in Mitte that are more of a business than anything else.

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“Martinski fine arts is really great for us – because the art they represent is the complete opposite from what you’ll find on Augustrasse. It’s more heartfelt and not so slick and commercial. The kind of artwork and artists they represent are very approachable and there’s a connection between the work and the viewer.”

Sandra’s visual art is connected with her work in the theatre and opera because they have a lot to do with stories and human archetypes. “It’s extreme emotions – really strong experiences, visceral and intangible that affect and influence us in a way that we can’t ignore. That’s also a part of this same seed of expression and connection with others. Through my work – which is intensely personal – I meet a lot of very different personalities and we have to work together to create something on stage and that all deals with human relationships, psychology, our lives together. This expression whether in still images or on the stage has to be coherent and strong enough to reach out to others and grab the audience. It’s the eternal rubber band that drags me back into the stories, the emotions and their power.”

Another side project that Sandra is involved in is called Radarkontroll, which is Norwegian for speed control. It started out very anonymously, as she was going through her old notebooks this word popped into her head. Ronny, a friend and collaborator composes sounds and she assembles a video. It’s a slow collaboration process with complete creative freedom and because it’s so open and free it’s really fulfilling.

Like so much of her work it all begins with an idea; an image, a piece of text that gets stuck in her head and grows organically from there.

Visit Sandra’s website to learn more about what she’s up to.

Visit Heinzelmann Löhmann on Facebook to for updates regarding the vernissage on March 26th at 6pm at:

Martins Fine Arts
Geneisenaustrasse 64
10961 Berlin

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