TUA: Where and how did you grow up; did this affect your ability to connect to and enter the art world?
Ellis: I grew up near Amsterdam. My dad is a magician and my mom his assistant. As a kid, I would see a lot of their shows; from the audience, backstage, and occasionally even on stage. It felt like I was being transported into other worlds and it influenced my fascination with film and theatre which reflects in my artistic practice. I was always very imaginative and creative as a kid and luckily my parents were very supportive of my choice to become an artist.
TUA: Did you do art school; which direction?
Ellis: I did a BA in Fine Art at 'Academy Minerva' in Groningen, in the North of the Netherlands, and a MA in Drawing at the University of the Arts London. Both courses definitely broadened my creativity, but as I was more mature and confident with my artistic practice during the MA, I was able to get a lot more growth from it.
If I could tell my younger self anything before going to art school, it would be that it’s okay to not always know what you’re doing. While I was doing my BA, I often felt like I had to justify everything I did to the teachers before even doing it. Now I realize that the creative process should be free, and I can trust the fact that the meaning or interpretation of an artwork will often come afterward.
TUA: Do you think it is an artist's responsibility to write about their work; why? -Do you think anyone, especially curators and art critiques should write about Artists or their work; why?
Ellis: I think both the perspectives of artists on their work and those of curators and art critiques are very valuable. The artist can expand on their intention and thereby give some guidelines along which the artwork can be viewed. But this doesn’t mean the work can’t have any additional meanings. Curators, art critiques, and other viewers can provide interpretations that perhaps weren’t part of the artists' intention. Everyone has their own package of knowledge and life experience that informs how they view an artwork. That’s the beauty of art; its meaning is fluid and can change under the public eye.
TUA: Where would you ideally see your artwork exposed? -Is being an artist a full-time profession for you?
There is a cinema/museum in Amsterdam called Eye. They often do these incredible exhibitions that are at the juncture of film and fine art. I would love to someday exhibit my work there one day. Or at another place that does the same thing.
TUA: At this point, could you live off of only your art?
Ellis: At the moment I still have to support my income by working part-time in different museums around Amsterdam. I also volunteer as a puppeteer at the Amsterdam Marionette Theatre, which serves as a huge inspiration for my artistic practice.
TUA: Do you think you will ever be able to live off of only your art?
Ellis: I do hope to soon drop the museum-job and support myself entirely off of creative work; be it full-time as an artist, or part-time in the theatre world as well.
TUA: Is there a project or artwork you have in mind but fear you will never execute because life is too short or money too little? -Do you want to explain it?
Ellis: My dream is to someday (when I have the funds) build an installation that mimics a cinema screening room. I am fascinated by these spaces because they are designed to be forgotten. The dark walls, dimmed lights and soft, noise-reducing carpets serve to distract as little as possible from the narrative unfolding onto the screen. I would love to re-create this mysterious place in a gallery or museum space to do the opposite; to present this ‘invisible’ room in an environment that serves as a platform to expose and display.
To learn about Ellis Scheers' practice visit her website: http://www.ellisscheer.nl/