Svenja Karstens studied Illustration at the Bildkunst Akademie in Hamburg, History of Art at Humboldt University in Berlin and finally got a diploma in Fine Arts at HfbK in Dresden.
Svenja's is especially devoted to papercuts and drawings. Each work of art begins with the choice of source material, which conveys part of the artistic message. The paper cuts are based on a drawing and all non-designated parts are cut out with a sharp scalpel knife by hand. The leftover lines support the structure of the paper cut and keep it stable and sculptural, while maintaining fragility.
The tension of the work results from this contrast of fragility and stability, as well as from the gaps through which the background becomes visible and the left lines of paper. In addition, new tensions arise as a result of changing light conditions and the resulting varying silhouette created by the paper cut on the wall.
The artist sees her work as the symbolization of clouded human sensory impressions. The feeling of looking at the world through a veil is taken up and the endeavor of penetration is reflected on the viewer.
Most of Svenja's drawings are executed with very thin ink pens, the lead of which is so fine that the lines or dots can hardly be seen. Therefore, for the creation of her art, handcrafting is of paramount importance to her. Although working on a computer or with photography is part of the artistic process, the actual work of cutting the paper (and drawing) by hand is crucial to her artistic work. This meditative and very slow process of creation is an essential part of her work and leads to the disclosure and breaking up of the mentioned structures, the main concern of the art of Svenja Karstens.
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