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'In Spain I found a new and marvellous energy'

Fiona Govan · 23 Feb 2015, 12:46

Published: 23 Feb 2015 12:46 GMT+01:00

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After a career in advertising she started designing furniture before moving into sculpture. Her works have been on show in the Balearic Islands, Spain, France and Germany. Last year she had an exhibition at "El Senado" in Paris.

How did you come to set up a studio in Spain?

I settled in Madrid in 1997, because I was offered a great job with an advertising agency here. At that time art was just a hobby but after five years it became obvious that my path was to dedicate myself to that creativity. So I said "bye bye" to the corporate world and started up my own workshop pretty much from scratch. I was determined it was the right thing to do so it wasn´t too hard to give up the well-paid career even though I liked my job in advertising.

What inspires you about living here?

Spain is my second country by roots (my paternal grandparents were Basque). When I left France it was during a time of continuous labour strikes and complaining. In Spain, I encountered a new and  marvellous energy, more freedom, and a special kind of people.

Meeting people is easier in Madrid than in any other place and I like to spend time in the street, in bars, in public places, it is also where I find inspiration regarding the human spirit.

How is the art scene in Spain and how does it compare to international markets?

The spanish artistic scene is amazingly good. It is a joy for me to know those people and to have great friends among them.

The market is complicated. First of all, because it is quite limited to national production. Spanish people are not much interested in foreign creations - art is quite cultural - and they mainly produce and "consume" Spanish.

The second point is that there is no tradition in buying art among "normal" people, which narrows the market for "normal" artists.

There is no shortage of super talented Spanish artists who are highly valued in the international market, but the art market is also a financial one and therefore comes with its own rules.

Have you noticed a change since you arrived in Spain?

Of course the art market was better before the 2008 crisis simply because there was more money around. So the people who are really interested in art were able to buy art simply becuause they liked it. Then, their priorities changed.. It happened to a certain extent with the "big buyers" who were speculating on art: They changed their way of speculating.

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So you live and create here but spend a lot of time in Paris organising exhibitions, how does that work ?

Madrid is an interesting, effective, and lovely place to work, but it is not really a great place to sell at the moment. I find more buyers out of Spain. Moreover, I enjoy being "bi-cultural", it helps me with perspective, regarding my work and also my life. Creating and moving around are a good way to keep one´s eyes open, and to be able to see instead of just watching.

Ines will be exhibiting her work at Art Madrid 2015 between February 25th and March 1st at Stand B5 at the Galeria de Cristal del Palacio de Cibeles.


Fiona Govan (fiona.govan@thelocal.com)

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