Sonja Hinrichsen: Wall Drawings
My drawings fill up entire wall-spaces, however despite their size they evolve very slowly in a mesh of small circular pen gestures, using thin hard nip pens and deep black Indian ink. The accumulation and size of gestures combined with a play of density and looseness create intricate patterns and diffuse shapes that recall the microcosm as well as the macro world. Our mind tends to associate them with microorganisms, microscopic imagery of cells and membranes, mysterious deep-sea creatures, as well as with celestial constellations and the unknown of the universe. The patterns tend to mesmerize, vibrate, pulsate. Their size demands distance, yet the viewer is drawn close to explore their detail. They inspire meditation.
The drawings take form in the process of making, which is intuitive. While I meditate or contemplate on a general idea, mood or emotion, I don’t attempt to picture the outcome of a drawing. It rather evolves slowly during the days I work on it, often many hours at a time.
This has been a rare opportunity to experience vicariously the arduous, yet fulfilling and meditative qualities of Sonja creating a work of this nature. The juxtaposition of artist and yogi has created interesting connections between their two acts of embodiment and meditation.
Sonja Hinrichsen examines urban and natural environments through exploration and research. Her work manifests in immersive video installations and interventions in nature. Her participatory project “Snow Drawings” engages communities worldwide. Sonja graduated from the Academy of Art in Stuttgart, Germany and received a Masters degree in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2001. She has been invited to group- and solo- exhibitions worldwide, amongst others the DePaul Museum in Chicago, Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, Chandra Cerrito Contemporary in Oakland, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, Saarlaendisches Kuenstlerhaus in Germany, Organhaus in Chongqing, China. She has won numerous artist residency awards, such as the Bemis Center in Omaha, Djerassi in California, the Santa Fe Art Institute, Ucross Foundation in WY, Valparaiso in Spain, Fiskars in Finland, Taipei Artist Village in Taiwan. In fall 2009 she served as visiting artist at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, where she taught an art/research class culminating in an artist-student exhibition. In summer 2009 she taught a special course for the University of Northern Colorado and PlatteForum Denver to explore innovative ways for educators to incorporate art into their school curriculums. In 2008 she conducted a city exploration project with children from Girls Incorporated in collaboration with the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, DE. In 2007 she co-curated “Goldrush”, a traveling exhibition featuring artists from the San Francisco Bay Area at venues in Slovenia, Germany and San Francisco.
Sonja’s ongoing community arts project Snow Drawings has received some attention and has been posted on art, design and culture websites, in magazines, such as Public Art Review, Storehouse, SOMA Magazine, Huffington Post, Colossal, Spiegel online (Germany), Weather.com, Inhabitat, Creators Project, Wired online, Wired Japan (printed version), a Chinese Art Magazine and many more. Snow Drawings was also featured on NPR, The Discovery Channel, Public TV Tokyo. Photos and video have been shown in exhibitions worldwide, and the work was featured in an Environmental Arts Calendar and was included into elementary school books in Germany and France, as well as the French youth magazine “Le Petit Quotidien”.