My ART | Artist: Sriwhana Spong

Artist: Sriwhana Spong

Artist: Sriwhana Spong

What images keep you company in the studio?

Images shift depending on what I’m working on, but the one consistent object is a priest’s bell I bought in Bali while making a work about my grandfather, the Balinese painter, I Gusti Made Rundu. I like to ring it if I’m stuck, or need to wake up, or just want to shift the feeling in the space.

Name an artwork that made an impact on you?

Alexandra Bachzetsis’s performance at documenta 14 PRIVATE: Wear a mask when you talk to me. It inspires me to be braver.

What music are you listening to?

I’m addicted to Ariana Reines’ recording of Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind and the Neumz recordings of the complete Gregorian chant sung by the Benedictine nuns of the Abby of Notre-Dame de Fidélité of Jouques. It’s perfect for lockdown.

What are you reading?

Silvia Federici’s Beyond the Periphery of the Skin and Technic and Magic by Federico Campagna.

What was the first piece of art that really mattered to you?

Not a piece, but more a container for shadows of pieces: as a child I had a collection of my mother’s old ballet annuals that I would spend hours and hours looking at. They were a site of intense curiosity and absorption for me. Through them I unwittingly encountered modernism through photographs of Nijinsky in Les Apres Midi d’un Faune; costumes for the ballet russes designed by artists like Matisse, Picasso, Goncharova, years before I ever saw their paintings; and Martha Graham stage sets designed by Noguchi, before I even knew what sculpture was.

April 2020
Sriwhana Spong is represented by Michael Lett Gallery, Auckland
Photo: Kyztsztof Zielinski