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Gaby Waltman
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What moves us?

When I came to Artemis, a world opened up for me. I don't come from a creative background, my parents work in the sports sector, but these two worlds are now coming together: in all my work I use the intelligence of the body in relation to human change processes – metamorphoses, including in relation to trauma. Little attention is paid to this in society. I want to reflect on what you feel, that it is present, that it is allowed to exist and you are allowed to experience it. I invite others to reflect on this too.

Artemis helped me find my place

Trend forecasting already had my interest during the study programme, and still does. From the moment I walked in at Artemis, a visual and tactile world, that I had intuitively felt before but couldn't communicate with, revealed itself – like a new language that felt more like a mother tongue than the language I spoke with before. The tactile methods I mastered appealed to a layer that brought me to the core. The intangible became tangible and visible, accessible to me. I am still grateful to the teachers for this: at Artemis, the emphasis is on self-discovery, on putting a piece of yourself into your work. You are challenged with questions such as 'Who are you?' and 'Where do you belong?'. In this way, you not only master the information and knowledge, but also the method, which allows you to develop yourself and find your place.

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I want to show what moves us

The major change processes and events in the world also offer room for individual and social reflection. We noticed this with the COVID-19 pandemic, for example; a world that came to a complete standstill. It gave time to think about relationships with each other and with the next generations, about how you deal with that. With trend forecasting, you can spend time on that and show it. It really feels that way to me: I show what is inside me. I do this from what I feel and from a curiosity, which always starts small. I am also inspired by the book The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk and the dancers in Pina Bausch's choreographies, for example; fragile and strong at the same time. It brings me to the question: What moves us? As an artist, I see being able to show that and give it a place as my ultimate strength and goal: to be able to mean that for myself and for others.

Trend forecasting is about noticing and giving back

All this comes in parts, I'm working on it and I'm not done with it yet. In my last exhibition, I was in the room with microphones on my own body, so that I could hear the sound of my own body. Visitors sat opposite me with headphones on to listen to me and I observed their reactions. That ranged from a smile and not being able to look at me to tears in their eyes. With everyone, I just thought: Gosh, what a beautiful person you are. That you dare to take the step and sit down. That was special and went beyond the ego. After 5 to 10 minutes I got up, walked to the canvas, subconsciously chose colours and made markings on the canvas in dancing movements. I worked in different dimensions: from me, the other and from the interaction. Did I make a still image or also a moving image…?

I learned during this project to notice things and give back from how I experience it, which is important for me as an artist and is also an important part of trend forecasting. You also invite the other person to give back, but you cannot influence that. You can't influence how the other person feels. This process is a self-feeding circle and creates more awareness.

Not static but plastic

Everything moves, nothing is static. I use that plasticity in all my work: we can constantly change instead of just moving along and back again. Here, we can learn from each other and build other paths, for ourselves and together. Just as it is with the growth and transience of nature. We are part of this movement as a gentle dance in which we ourselves are moving, which we can accept and rely on. Or as Lao Tzu so aptly puts it: “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

Gaby Jonna Waltman (29) graduated from Artemis in 2015 and lives and works as an artist in London: gabyjonna.com [instagram] @gabyjonna

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