Get to know Dutch artist Ilze Buziau
Dutch artist Ilze Buziau creates intriguing sculptures and figures that are strangely familiar and otherworldly. She describes her work as made up of “fragile figures and thin lines” which are “monuments to personal history and memories, fascination and attraction for shapes, texture and fat.” A graduate of The Hague in her native Holland, her work as a visual artist has seen her exhibit in solo and group exhibitions at Art Basel and Barcelona, and most recently she worked on a commissioned piece for Joel Williams and wife Emma Van Haandel, founder and director of Sydney-based PR agency EVH.
Below, we chat to Buziau about her “explorations into space, scale and fluid details” and why creating art is such a compulsion for her.
You originally studied graphic design typography. What led you into art?
I guess I chose the wrong study! [laughs] The approach of The Royal Academy of Arts (The Hague) in applied graphic design and typography really pushes your borders as a designer. You absolutely learn to develop the fundamental quality of the independent eye. You become a true seeker for ratio in image and beauty in many levels. So I decided to finish this direction anyway. An approach from a different angle seemed fine at the time. Maybe autonomous art is also something that cannot be taught or moulded in the end anyway.
One day, after I finished the Art Academy in The Hague, I looked through the windows of a local gallery. The owner invited me in, we started a conversation, she had a look at my work and offered me to work in one of the studios she had available for young artists. And that is where it started.
You’ve worked with many mediums, including painting and drawing, but sculpture and installation are your passion, why is that?
Its tangible aspect has great appeal to me. Sculptures and installations give direct access, sometimes literally, to be a part of a tangible experience. I like to lose all that is concrete and get lost in surreal surroundings. I look for attraction in materials, they need to have great characteristics to provoke either repulsiveness or the urge to want to bite it. There is always the opportunity to touch and feel.
Who or what influences you as an artist?
Different things… for example the enormous amount of appearances in nature are overwhelmingly inspiring. It is just crazy what’s walking, growing and crawling around the globe. [My work is] an ode to all this diversity. Humans, anatomy, fat, deformation, materials, the emotions associated with tactility. Weird relations far from natural intentions. Our society and the way humans live give way to the most absurd relations.
Can you tell us a little about the work you created for Joel Williams and Emma Van Haandel?
The work (pictured above) was inspired by one of my earlier works. It was very interesting to see it transform over the process. I had several aspects working for me like Emma and Joel’s beautiful house dating from the 19th century. The interaction between the old and the new, specific for their house, combined a new level of fuel for me to work with. And the distance definitely plays its part. Creating a work that will travel to the other side of the world gives an extra dimension.
What ideas do you like to explore in your art?
To me, it is important to surrender to my own imagination. I really want to stay true to that. The work does not exist because it is made to be seen, but it is to be seen because it exists out of an urge. A thorough scrutiny that rakishly perches itself upon my shoulders. Making me almost compulsive, it has to be done. This is the initial stage of every work. Searching and thinking through an image is to me an honest way to look for a certain truth.
What’s next for you – are you exhibiting anywhere this year?
For now I’m taking some time to reflect and work on an installation.