Interview with Ana Nobre
Ana Nobre was born in Lisbon, 1979. Graduated in Fine Arts at Art and Design University of Caldas da Rainha. Currently teaches Fine Arts classes and workshops. In 2014 moved to Algarve, Lagoa, where she has further explored her own art and participated in numerous Artistic Projects.
She has held several exhebitions of drawing and painting, collective and individual. The most recent were: at Manuel Teixeira Gomes House, Portimão; at the Munipal Gallery João Bailote, Albufeira; at the Arts and Crafts Centre of São Brás de Alportel; at the Municipal Library of Silves; at the Counts House of Alcoutim; at the Gallery Arte Algarve, Lagoa; at the Art Galleru Pintor Samora Barros, Albufeira; at André Pilarte House, Tavira; amongst others.
Could you please introduce yourself and tell us how you started in the arts?
My name is Ana Nobre, I’m 38 years old and I was born in Lisbon, Portugal.
I think I was 3 or 4 years old when I realized all I wanted to do in life was to create. I was at kindergarten and they ask us to draw a detail from the room. I choose to draw the stickers on the windows. They were rabbits! For a long time I could only draw rabbits, people disappeared from my mind… This was the beginning of my odyssey! This was how the magic started!
At high school I attended a painting atelier lectured by my teacher, and also a painter, Daniel Nave. It was a wonderful experience! Here I had my first contact with canvas and oils.
At 18, I went to ARCO, an Art School in Lisbon, to study for a year. Another wonderful experience!
At last, I went to Art and Design University of Caldas da Rainha to take my degree at Fine Arts- Painting. This wasn’t a very good experience, I don’t really feel like I have learn something. Actually, when I finished I felt free… I could finally evolve!
To be honest, I feel like these last 12 years have been a constant and true discovery and growing of myself as a Human Being and as an Artist!
How would you describe yourself and your artwork?
It's always complicated for me to describe myself and my work, precisely because, as I said earlier, I feel I’m in constant discovery and growing. Each year that passes I feel differences! Evolutions! New searches! New discoveries! One thing I can recognize, both as a person and an artist, because I can’t separate one from the other, I'm very inconsistent. I can’t fit into a style, so to speak, I can’t label myself. I feel my work very diversified and in constant mutation. Of course there are common features, a very personal language, but if I had to choose one word to describe myself and my work, it would be, with no doubt changeable.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
From everywhere! From everything I see, from everything I feel! From my achievements, from my anguish. From moments of happiness, from moments of frustration. With no doubt, from life. It may seem a very vague and generalist answer, but is the truth. You only have to be alive. Everything counts. Everything is an inspiration.
What emotions do you hope the viewers experience when looking at your art?
I honestly don’t know. It’s very difficult to put myself in someone else’s shoes. Everyone has different experiences and that influences the way we see everything. I try to abstract myself of that when I’m creating. To think of what others may feel or think of my work obscures the creative act. It is, no doubt, a very selfish process, but it’s important to recognize it and to admit it
When do you know that an artwork is finished ?
It not always easy to know when to stop. I try never to work on one piece at the time. The fact that I can look away and focus on another work helps, when I go back to the first painting I can have a more neutral vision of it, that is, I can understand more clearly if it’s time to stop or if I should improve it.
What has been the most exciting moment in your art career so far?
Apart from the fulfilling sensation every time that I have a new exhibition proposal, or a commissioned work, I think that the most exciting moment so far was the recognition of my work and carrier from some members of my family that didn’t believe in me as an artist.
How long does it take to produce one work?
The time that takes to produce one work varies a lot. It can take several days or it can appear almost spontaneous. I try not to take to long around the same piece, I try not to exhaust it. The spontaneous act of creation, for me, is the most true and natural. If I dedicate myself to much to the same work this will become to rationalized, and I feel that it loses its emotional essence.
What exciting projects are you working on right now? Can you share some of the future plans for your artworks?
Lately I’ve been very focused on creating a line of work where the fantasy meets the painful reality of surviving on this society: an analysis of the individual and the all that it’s in to. The characters are figures from tales, clowns, and others created by me. The difficulty of dealing with reality is mitigated by magic, by romanticism and by fantasy.
Do you have any upcoming events or exhibitions we should know about?
I’m preparing myself to participate on Parallax Art Fair in Kensington, England, in the end of July, 2018, and in 2021 I will have an exhibition on ARTIFACT Gallery in Manhattan, USA. In the meantime I’m participating on some exhibitions in Portugal, mainly in Algarve.