Inside the Studio

Marit Geraldine Bostad is inspired by snippets of everyday life

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?

Normally I don´t pursue any particular themes, but in retrospect I can see that I often work with themes from my everyday life.

It can be a visual from nature, or some sensation that a place gives me, or it can also be as simple as a sentence in a conversation. I remember sitting in a restaurant, and at the table next to me was a silent couple. They barely talked, but their body language was so present that I saw every detail. She was on the edge of falling apart, and he was really uptight. Their non-communication was so apparent to me – and everyday life can open up a lot of interesting conversations.

Often, 2-5 of my paintings can grow from the same memory. And sometimes I combine different memories that don´t belong together to push me further into unknown territory. Two different memories combined together can create something completely new.

Other times I will deliberately give myself a theme or a challenge. I just finished such a project, and it was interesting. I have always appreciated silence when I work. Silence is the only thing that gets all my saved images and inspiration out. Otherwise I will be more occupied with the sounds and the lyrics surrounding me in the moment.

My recent project concerned sound, two particular songs to be more specific. They were by a Norwegian band called ARY. The singer’s voice was so beautiful, and reminded me of the quality of air. And yet, her songs concerned much darker themes. The paintings that I created when listening to her music portray in a way the quality and rhythm of her voice.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

Don´t think about the audience. Don´t think about pleasing others. Follow your own instincts instead of hesitating in your own determination. If you are in contact with yourself, you will connect to others through your work.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?

In general I must say I work in silence. This allows me to be able to get in touch with my memories, intuition, and impulses. It is sometimes as if my paint strokes carry their own sound. Inspiration for me can come directly from a medium, or it can be colored from past experiences.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

There are of course artworks that I would love to have. A Gerhard Richter painting would be an adventure. I wouldn´t say no to a Francis Bacon either. But I have this painting by a Norwegian artist called Ole Fadum who passed away too early in life. I knew him quite well since he was the father of my best friend. He was this special, quite strict person – but with so much love for painting and creation. Suddenly he was gone, and I inherited this wonderful piece from the 80´s that reminds me of my own childhood. I wouldn´t swop it with any other artwork in the world. No recognition, no money, or any other quality could add up for my appreciation of this unique painting. It is in the middle of my living room, and it makes me happy every single day.

Who are your favorite writers?

Just now – I am reading mostly children’s literature because I have two young children aged 7 and 4. I love to read Roald Dahl and Astrid Lindgren. I also do read a lot on my own, but it is a luxury to have time to settle in with a book. I also love Roy Jacobsen, Jan Kjærstad, Vetle Lid Larssen, Ulf Lundell and Leonard Cohen.

About the Author

Katherine Henning is Senior Associate Curator at Saatchi Art. Need help finding art? Contact her via our free Art Advisory service here.