The Meet

The first time I met Bridget Modema years ago I was not entirely sure what to expect. At the time I really cared little for myself and was rather intimidated by her. Only to find out that she is an artist as well. I thought to myself ‘Imagine having the balls to just call yourself an artist and then actually follow through and be one’. You know, like most writers out there, finding self-value is a task for the ages however we recognize the beauty and well-rounded quirks in others. It is more often the case that I find someone calling themselves an artist or musician etc. to simply discover that at best they took a course once and now feel like that is what they have become. The truth is that art in all its forms is meant to evoke thought, feeling and ideas. It is both a solemn expression of the artist and the chaos of the world around. It takes more than technique or talent to be an artist.

After getting to know Bridget and her work I realised that she expresses exactly all that and the world should take the opportunity to enjoy what she has to offer.

The Interview

So, without further a due here is the lovely Bridget Modema

 

– When did you first realize that this was the path for you?

I just kept making art, over and over again. It became a mental staple food.

– What are the best materials to use? Which are the most fun and which are the most rewarding?

From the era 2014-2018 my most preferred medium was glass and steel. Before settling on the 2 mediums I use to dabble in all mediums: painting, printmaking, photography, mixed media to name a few commonly known mediums, I still make use of them every now and then.

In 2014, I apprenticed under a German Cold-working glass master, Lothar Bottcher where I studied polishing and shaping glass. The process methods are quite similar to treating metal, glass is just more fragile and easily spoiled, but the translucency of the medium is hypnotic. Alongside glass, steel-metalworking became my new love affair.

I went on to apprentice for Guy de Toit, where I studied Bronze work, the lost-wax method.

In 2018 I decided to leave my apprenticeship role and enter the art market. I took my knowledge with glass and metal and created structures inspired by the vibration of sound and ancient symbolism. Specializing in 3D glass portraits.

In 2019 I started working with found objects and a profound shift happened when I made this discovery, my art became more poetic and shows methods of releasing tension so healing can take place (eg. Hammering repeatedly and firing shotguns into metal)

– How did you come to be the artist that you are?

By just being myself and following my gut instinct.

– Where do you derive your inspiration from?

I research a lot! Fav topics are the human body (biological, behaviour and mental), spiritual and mathematical, nature (animals/insects and plant behaviour).

Everyday life observations are the core of my studies. I take my own life’s journey and make it relatable, I heal through my art.

I have been through many traumatic experiences, dealing closely with death. Loss of a parent, loss of friends, being in a life-threatening situation for 3 days where I escaped and dealing with wanting to take my own life.

Trauma has a resistance when you decide to heal, it’s never an easy journey.

– What is the most important element you are trying to express through your work?

We are creators of the language. When I speak of ‘language’ I look at all aspects, the spoken, the visual, the senses.

We create our own reality if you pay attention to how you shape your reality self-evolution takes place.

Living in an era with advanced technology the human condition must adapt. Being overexposed to violence, false information, preconceived ideas.

We live in an age of convenience in consumerism and feel economically defined. This gets us caught up and unwilling to focus on the underlying pshycological issues our society are faced with.

– Who has inspired you the most?

My most inspirational artists are Bill Viola, Marina Abramovic, Joseph Beuys, Francis Bacon, H. R. Giger, Judith Mason, Walter Oltmann, Willem Boshoff.

– Do you see yourself taking on different types of art?

All mediums speak in a unique way, if one idea that I have urges for me to paint, then I will paint.

– Do you see yourself as a local artist or one emerging onto the international stage?

Being in the art market for just under 2 years, I am still local, but I keep my feelers open to connect internationally.

 

I am quite fond of Bridget’s work and I look forward to hopefully be able to soon have a piece among my collection. I urge you to follow her on various social media platforms and get in contact for more on her art:

Instagram: @bridgetmodema

Facebook: Modema Art

LinkedIn: Bridget Modema

Artmo: Bridget Modema

Artwork Archive: Bridget Modema

Website: www.modema.org

Email: bridgetmodema@outlook.com

 

Recently Bridget was at SculptX (July) in Rosebank and curated The Project Space booth by RMB Turbine Art Fair (July). Keep your eyes peeled at galleries around Pretoria and Johannesburg for your chance to see it all up close and personal.

 

Alternatively have a look at these collections:

2016 DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND CULTURE

‘Life Battery’, Glass, Cool Capital|Pretoria

2016 PRETORIA ART MUSEUM (archived)

‘Self Portrait mask’, Drawing| Pretoria