Persona September, 14th 2018 by

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 179 - Petra Senn

Petra Senn – 4, her lips

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 179 – Petra Senn
Recently I saw in the Liemers Museum in Zevenaar the exhibition “Now, the new form of the past”, “Jetzt, die neue Form der Vergangenheit”, with assemblages by Drager Meurtant, NL, photography by Petra Senn, GER, and parallel “Senses”, “Sinne”, paintings by Jeanine Keuchenius, NL. Petra Senn’s photography corresponds strongly with the assemblies of Meurtant. And there is also a link with Keuchenius’ work.

Petra Senn – 1, insubordination

Petra Senn has a great interest in matter and its rawness. It looks like abstract work. In a conversation I had with Petra Senn, she agreed. “On the first sight it is abstraction, turning the ordinary or for most people uninteresting into something reduced, beautiful and unknown.

Petra Senn – 2, Brooklyn Bridge

Deep in my inner it has a lot to do with keeping, keeping things from fading away, from being lost, from being forgotten.”

Petra Senn – 3, dancer in the dark


But there is more. “It is also about traces, traces of work, traces of life, trying to tell a part of the story or even history, things themselves would tell if they could. While working there is a kind of dialogue between the spaces and me, so in my work I want the viewer to take part of my experiences, somehow transport my emotions.”

Petra Senn – 5, inconspicuous presence

How did she get on this theme? Petra Senn: “Hard to tell this in words – it is a soul-thing for me, a form of meditation, a form of meeting a part of myself, which is not present in daily, ordinary life. Also my deep respect for the past, which is the basic we stand on in every meaning. It is also a way to
cope with the melancholy of time and things passing.”

Petra Senn – 6, intrusion #3

In this connection she likes to quote the photographer Paul Breda, who said: “Seeing is not only an outer process. What will be visible depends on our attitude, our thoughts and feelings.”

Also important for her is to leave things as they are. “In my work I show parts of the world and do not create or recreate them myself. That’s why I don’t work with photoshop-tricks, I most times do not even touch or change colours.“

Petra Senn – 7, necessarily red Soho

Holding her breath

Does she have a key work, a work that proved to be a turning point? That does not appear to be there. “ My Key-Work is always the latest, the latest “Wow” for me, from that point on I always want to make something new, something different, create an other “Wow”. “Wow” in the sense of holding my breath because of a deep emotion that comes through, either while taking the picture or at some rare times I discover it later when I go through my work.”

Petra Senn – 8, night people

Artlife began for her in 2012. “In that year everything came together, the right locations, internet platforms where I got feedback, could exchange with other artists and a kind of personal outburst or encounter with my inner.”

Petra Senn – 10, restrained red

Look behind the surface

We end with her philosophy. “I’m not sure if one could call it a philosophy, my art is not about me, my ego, my person – it is a lot about the objects or circumstances and it is very much about the viewer, I am not after visual consumers who immediately understand or recognize what they see, my aim is to touch people, make them think, or ask. I want people to look behind or inside, behind the surface, inside even themselves maybe.”

Petra Senn – 11, stay where you are

In this connection she has another quote: “It‘s not where you take things from, it‘s where you take them to.” Jean-Luc Godard, the filmer, said it.

Images: 1) her lips, 2) Brooklyn Bridge, 3) dancer in the dark, 4) insubordination, 5) inconspicuous presence, 6) intrusion #3, 7) necessarily red Soho, 8) night people, 9) restrained red, 10) stay where you are 

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