Berit Louise: Touching Ambience

Berit Louise

Artwork’s Title: Touching ambience

Materials Used: Acrylic, oil, pastel, fabric, pigment on cotton canvas

Studio Based: Oslo

Berit Louise, Touching ambiance, 2020,Acrylic, oil, pastel, fabric, pigment on cotton canvas 97 x 237 cm

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

I start by choosing the right canvas, fabrics and decide on the size of the painting. Then I go through my photos  that I have collected, I look for color combinations and compositions I find interesting. I find the materials I want to use and then it’s on. I start with the expressions I know I want to include, then there are coincidences that cause one brush stroke to lead to the other. Choices are made quickly and the image I aimed for disappears. Then I look for other ways and opportunities towards where I wanted, sometimes it happens that I see it again, other times something more unknown but satisfying appears.

How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?

Colorful, large, intense.

How did you come up with the painting idea of Touching Ambiance? Is there any story behind this work?

It’s a mix of works I’ve done before, with new twists.

Do specific artworks have been created by random experiments in your studio or do you always come up with a particular concept or narrative in the very beginning?

I usually have an idea in the beginning, but all works are still a surprise at the end in one way or another. But the work `I let the wind decide was created in the studio without any preparatory measures. I was empty of most materials, but I had remnants of canvas and silk fabrics and a few leftover colors, but I just wanted to paint, so I did.

Large or small scale canvases dilemma; are there any kind of standards that drive you to decide which surface length is better fitted for your final painting visualisations?

I started painting large canvases in 2017, when I discovered the interesting thing that occurs when a painting is bigger than me. The feeling of another universe and the power it gives only by its size. I paint smaller pictures sometimes, but I do not find them as interesting to make as the large paintings.

What would be the best way to exhibit your work?

Cool question. I will dream a little… I imagine that it is a spacious place, very high under the ceiling, white or concrete walls with a lot of light, maybe from windows from the ceiling. Some paintings hang from the ceiling and some hang on the walls. I think that all my paintings fit together, regardless of colors and sizes, I find it interesting when there is not full harmony in compositions when installing work. I should have had space to have sculptures and installations in the middle of the room, so that one has to move around and see the works from different angles. Sculptures should preferably be on the floor. The place itself can be located anywhere.

Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

There are so many good artists and they all provide some inspiration. But to name a few favorites, Helen Frankenthaler, Katharina Grosse, Amy Sillman,  Albert Oehlen and I recently discovered Anna Maria Maiolinos work.

Do you ever wonder if additional work was needed, when an artworks making process is finished?

No, once I know it’s done, decided it’s done, then it’s done.

What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?

My studio is great, I love being there. It has large windows that let in a lot of light and three half walls to work on. I have a tarpaulin that acts as a door between my studio and my studio mate, who by the way is a super nice quiet guy, what more could you want.

What do your mum and dad think about your art?

They have hung up a couple of works of mine in their living room and my mother has my art as a background on her social media, so that probably means that they like my work.

Which are your plans for the near future?

Now I’m just looking forward to things getting normal again, so that I can plan an exhibition with an opening and visitors. AND travel, when allowed again.

Additional Images

Berit Louise, Touching ambiance & Icebreaker, 2020
Berit Louise, Where does it come from and where does it go when it goes, 2021
Berit Louise, Party in the party, 2021
Berit Louise, Alignments, 2021
Berit Louise, I let the wind decide, 2020


All images courtesy of the artist

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