"Art is perceived as being more fluid in its conception, production and assimilation": Sara Borga
23 mar 2017 by Despoina Tzanou
D.T. How did your involvement in fine art begin?
S.B. I used to write a lot when I was a child and for a long time I wanted to be a journalist. I would write poems and chronicles and illustrate them. I think in doing that there was naturally a play between factual and abstract that might have influenced me a lot in deciding to make artwork.
D.T. Could you let me know a bit about your artistic process?
S.B. In terms of the digital drawings I've been making, it fascinates me how accurately the medium may mimic the actual materials; and yet it's all so strangely aseptic. Having said that, I also work a lot with printmaking and I love the messiness that comes along with it. I find the whole printmaking process almost like a ritual; the time it takes to prepare everything as well as to clean up, during which I am highly organised, and all the time in between, where the process comes into play. I would say that in printmaking, things are inherently messy but it's actually a methodical messiness, there are multiple variables you need to take into account in order to get what you want from it. Yet that's also how I think better about what I'm doing and make decisions about the content itself.
Sara Borga, Brunelleschi's etchasketch, 2014, digital drawing, 70x50 cm.
D.T. And what about the notion of the map? What is it that attracts you to refer to this in your work?
S.B. My interest in the notion of the map used to be more literal; maybe as a starting point that has now expanded to a broader sense of its applications. For example, some of the drawings that I'm currently displaying on the art:i:curate platform are from a period when I was trying to layer and juxtapose digital drawing on documentation of prints, more specifically monoprints. This is a process that I am highly attracted to. I guess that line drawing and the grids it creates, in connection to the textures of the images underneath that generate a more direct reference to some kind of mapping.
That might have occurred from my interest in psychogeography, and certain aspects of it when I first started making artwork. It sparked an interest in a more intuitive, emotional idea of the map. Eventually, I came to feel an urgency in moving past that somewhat solipsistic interior journey.
At this moment, I feel it is more relevant to work on layering experience, history, information and search for the ways that it interferes with how we navigate and interpret contemporaneity.
D.T. How do your artworks address the relationship between traditional and modern technological processes and their impact on society?
S.B. The idea of traditional processes is often still associated with labour-intensive and time-consuming techniques that might transpire some sort of isolationism, whereas now art is perceived as being more fluid in its conception, production and assimilation. That of course, doesn't mean that it doesn't rely on high skills and long hours of labour and to be true it also doesn't mean that it's not isolationist in a different way. I guess the artists as individuals are not as much as they used to be but art itself still is, unfortunately.
I don't really know whether my work directly addresses all these issues as I would like it to but the processes I've been using definitely enable this ongoing search. There simply is more variety of tools to be used in making art and for me, it's great to broaden the range of possibilities and try to make all these things interact and question each other's potential instead of going through various hypes of specific media or ways of showing work.
D.T. Is audience perception an important factor for the development of your work?
S.B. I often wonder how my work is perceived by others, the possible thoughts and issues that might be projected on it and even what leads them to relate to it, or not. So yes, I do think it's an important element but only to a certain extent. It doesn't necessarily and literally influence the final result itself but it's on the back of my mind during the process. Maybe this occurs because I do worry about the impact of art and its role in society and current events.
Sara Borga,The lamp and the ribbon, 2016, digital drawing, 100x70 cm.
D.T. Where do you find inspiration for your work?
S.B. It's always difficult to pinpoint exactly where I find inspiration without constraining all that comes into the process of actually making the artwork. To express this in a brief way, I find it in idiosyncratic aspects of our day-to-day, in culture, current events and also in more abstract and universal concepts. I think my inspiration is also related to a need to find ways of making all these relate to each other, even if its for my own understanding.
D.T. What are the concepts that you want to express through your practice?
S.B. Overall, I have frequently been referring to landscape. This is expressed through simple gestures and elements while simultaneously trying to project in it whatever it is that generates our belief systems and the ways it leads us to act and carry ourselves in certain ways.
D.T. What projects have you been working on lately?
S.B. I've been sketching some ideas for some new prints and I am currently focused on going back to the workshop in order to develop them and also learn a little bit more about the various techniques.
Sara Borga, In my end is my beginning, 2015, digital drawing.
Sara Borga is a visual artist based in London. She holds a MFA in Fine Art Media from the Slade School of Fine Art, London (2015). She was an artists-in-residence at Zarakes Residency, Evia, Greece (2015) and at the 17th International Painters Symposium, Stary Sącz, Poland (2012). Sara has exhibited in shows including 'Floating Worlds', Safehouse 1, Maverick Projects (London, 2016); 'Prjkt MOM: Dust', Safehouse 2, Maverick Projects (London, 2016); 'Kontratw: for it had turned to gold in his hand', TAF/the Art Foundation (Athens, 2015); MFA Degree Show, Slade School of Fine Art (London, 2015); Print Fair, Slade School of Fine Art (London 2014); Interim Show, Slade School of Fine Art (London, 2014); 'Nas Margens da Linha', Prova d’Artista Gallery (Lisbon, 2013); 'Contraprova', Aveiro Museum (Aveiro, 2012).
All images courtesy of the artist.