ART & CULTURE
What does a Mexican tradition have to do with an artist from Hamburg, Germany? We asked ourselves this question when we came across an artist who illustrates second-hand porcelain with line drawings inspired by the "Día de los muertos".
The tradition of these festivities originates thousands of years ago in the culture of various indigenous peoples in present-day Mexico, has been preserved to this day and is considered one of the best known Central and South American traditions. During the holidays, the participants celebrate their dead relatives, who are still members of the community for them and therefore kept alive in the spirit and memory.
Death is therefore considered a natural phase in the long continuum of life and is not mourned but celebrated.
And it is precisely this theme that has inspired the artist Ines Häßler.
"The topic of my diploma thesis was" Laugh. Death. "Through my research on the subject, I came across the „Día de los Muertos“, the Mexican holiday - the two sides perfectly united. The longer I studied the subject, the more I became excited about Mexican culture and the motley, cheerful portrayal of the so negative view of death."
Ines Häßler is a qualified designer, illustrator and since 2016 a freelance tattoo artist from hamburg, St. Pauli. FRAU INES is a label which she established during her stuedies influenced by various creative effusions. Since then she has been working with ceramics, has made a name for her self in Hamburg and is even exhibiting in the Millerntor galler. To how she found a name for her label, she answers:
"The name " FRAU INES "has resulted in a course work at my university. The task was to create an artist portfolio which in my case was missing a stage name ... so out of necessity it remained."
This bespeaks to the ease with which she approaches her art, which she, in addition to curiosity and love of life, would like to spread with her work. She describes her stlye in the following:
"My focus is on naive, joyful and detailed line drawings. I only work with black lines on different media like porcelain, paper or skin. Because of the playful details, my illustrations are very colorful even without color, which is why I currently do not necessarily consider color. In addition, the medium often already brings color with it - the porcelain with the usually lush golden and floral decor beautifully contrasts my simple black line."
To deal with old commodities in ones art work and to give them a new calling is a concept that has not only established itself in the art world since yesterday, but why second - hand porcelain is so interesting for Ines Häßler is something she hast o explain to us:
The old stuffy porcelain, which one knows from Grandma's glass showcase, stands so beautifully in contrast to the joyfully, playful but also slightly macabre skull illustrations. Each of the old pottery pieces went through so many hands and usually comes from a deceased life, so it only makes sense to use these pieces as canvas for my new "Day of the Dead - Stories" - On the wall, back to Grandma's old wall plates , the perfect match.
We are particularly interested in how long the illustration and completion of a plate needs and how Ines Häßler manages to work so filigree.
"In search of a suitable technique to bring my very detailed and fine line drawings on the porcelain, I came across a special ceramic transfer film. Since I haven´t found a brush or porcelain pen that can compete with my 0.2 Fine Liner, this technique allows me to transfer all the details of the illustrations to the porcelain too. The procedure does not take very long. Depending on the muse, the drawing, which is made in advance on paper, can sometimes take longer. In the end, everything is then burned in the oven and is therefore fixed on the ceramic."
The extreme contrasts of the art forms that constitute FRAU INES are all very fascinating but also raise questions. We want to know why the young artist decided to work as a freelance tatoo artist with the label FRAU INES and if she had the hobby before.
"I love tattoos and have always loved what's possible in this regard, but actually I've never really thought about becoming a tattoo artist myself. My customers then brought me to the idea of tattooing. And the more inquiries came, the more often I thought about it and at some point decided to give it a try. In the end, it does not matter which medium my illustrations wear, whether paper, skin or porcelain - the basis is my drawing."
Looking at the motives of Ines Häßlers tattoos the „Día de los Muertos“ is not as much represented as in her ceramic work. But another topic comes to the fore, which makes us curious: Hamburg.
"Hamburg became my home about 9 years ago. Here I was able to gain a foothold and do what makes me happy. Here I found the opportunity to live my ideas and even earn my money with it - still unbelievable. I think that is reflected in any case in my work."
Ines Häßler has discovered another art form in collaboration with the Millerntor Gallery. Along with many other artists, she has trusted herself to the Murals medium and, as she says, "licked blood". Inspired by the new art form she can imagine trying out more.
Finally she tells us about an upcoming project:
"With my goldsmith colleague and friend, Katja Schian, I open my own shop in November. We combine our studios and workshops into a "Atelier & Pop Up Store" in St. Pauli. The whole thing will be a combination of shop, workshop, studio, garden, event and pop up location. Since we have many gifted colleagues in our creative network, we would like to invite other small regional labels, to complement our products and to make our premises creative, away from the party mile in our neighborhood. All the news will be postet on Instagram via: @frau.ines"