Fascinating paintings by artist with no arms

May 2021

Who are you? 

My name is Iris Bakker, I'm 26 and I work with human interaction in the field of art and design. I see art and design as my communicative tools to talk about human relations. For me, art is good, when art is social. 

How and when did you get interested in art? 

Like most people I started drawing when I was a kid, but I just never stopped. I used to use drawing as a way to isolate myself, but as I grew older, I turned this around - I now use art as my tool to meet people, to create interaction and to be social. 



How would you describe your style?

I always experimented on how to express myself creatively, and I don't really have a very defined style. I usually work with art as a designer would. I use design thinking, and the design process to create concepts for art projects. That, and the focus on humans are probably the clearest characteristics. 

 How is the creation process for you? 

The keyword for me in the process is intuition. I believe that working intuitively brings honesty into the work, and for me honesty can make or break a piece. To work intuitively I usually try to forget time and space, and really try to not think of any kind of end result. I create a workspace where I can reach whatever I could need, and then I often start by drawing with my eyes closed, with to hands, speeddrawing, with mixed materials or whatever I imagine can force me to lose control. 

What are your favourite materials to work with?  

I like materials that are hard to control, where you sometimes have to just go with what the materials do. I can mention water colour, ink, dry pastel, oil pastel, oil stick and posca pens. The more "precise" the tool is, the more pressure I put on myself, to not let the tool control me. 



Photo by Beata Biskupicova and Mikkel Elming (Aarhus Artspace) and Kris Søgaard

What was your project at ARoS Art Museum in Aarhus about? 

I had an artist residency at ARoS Art Museum in October 2017. One month in an amazing studio, open for visitors of the museum. I could do whatever I wanted, so I created an experimental space, where visitors could come in and join. I facilitated meetings - either between me and the guests or the guests in between. They met through art, but it was about their interaction, more than the result on the paper. 

Does Aarhus city affect and inspirE you as an artist? 

Definitely - I really like the size. Bigger cities easily get so intense and over stimulating, that I can only focus on where I'm going and how to get there. That makes me unable to relate to the things and people that I'm passing on my way. Aarhus is small enough to make i possible to relate, but big enough to not under stimulate.



What are your sources for inspiration? 

Books, design, architecture, music, art... But that doesn't really say anything. It could be a dialouge, a design project for the homeless, a building or a bench that knows who it's there for, a song about letting go... It's hard to say. Maybe I'm actually mostly inspired by the interaction I have "in real life"; the eye contact with a stranger on a bus, a deep conversation with a friend or unexpectedness when the cashier says something else than "thank you, have a nice day". 

Who is your favourite artist?   

There are so many inspirational people out there, and I have to answer Jan Gehl. He is an architect, who puts human behaviour and needs before everything when designing a building or doing street planning. He is not an artist in the classical definition, but I think what he does is important, and has actual impact, and I find that inspirational. He truly shows how meaningful it is to do something that has a social impact. 



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