Tag Archives: artist spotlight

Artist Spotlight: Ana Castillo

‘If I like the T-shirt I will just cut it!” – explains Ana, recklessly forgetting to add ‘out’ to the ‘cut’. Ana is our French-Spanish artist based in Paris. What is so interesting at first glance besides her working overalls, her accent and cool stance? When entering Ana’s studio, you immediately notice an obsession with image culture, particularly representation of youth, lifestyle, varieties of characters and attitudes from magazines and social media. Her sketchbook is filled with drawings of people of different backgrounds and, while drawn to representation of women in media, her characters are androgynous and masculine, singer and politicians, feminine and queer.

So, what does Ana do with these images? First, she becomes a collector. She cuts out pictures from magazines, her own photographs and from social media. She spreads them all over the table, then assembles them to create new images. As she transforms the collages, she interprets the surface and transforms their looks. Sometimes she places them in pictures of landscape, often ones that hearken back to her Spanish roots. Ana goes home to rest from the visual overload. She returns with fresh eyes to move them around again. Thus she never lets the “collection” stagnate. It is constantly altering to bring new relationships.

all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

The term collage was coined by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in the beginning of the 20th century when it became a distinctive part of modern art. Ana takes collage into the current century by treating it as a crucial working process. She creates a new reality which she re-interprets into painting, illustration or animated videos and GIFs. Hard-working but intuitive, playful but serious, with collage we are reminded of metaphoric pun as intellectual act. Image as product of a mind is born from not comparing two realities but rather getting them closer together.

Ana’s studio is a place where images grow and multiply. The table covered with cut out pictures juxtaposes two paintings and an orange background on the wall she has been working on simultaneously, while various photographs are opened on her laptop. Working in Pilotenkueche for Ana is not stylistically much different from working at home or in a rented studio in the City of lights. Only this time, neither she nor her painting are confined. What is new is the sense of freedom she gets in terms of spaciousness. Naturally, this reflects in her work in progress. She is aiming for larger paintings. For the upcoming exhibitions, we can expect to see paintings approaching monumental sizes. However, she will stay faithful to the appearance of a collage by avoiding the traditional, right-angled shapes of canvas.

Leipzig is, so we hear, not lacking young stylish people with attitude. During winter they hide themselves in cool bars and underground clubs, leaving the streets empty. Some of us will definitely follow Ana in her exploration of the techno scene here, enjoying the environment and in search for Leipzig characters for her new inspiration.

Written by Samra Šabanović


Come and see what Ana creates in the following shows:

Unfinished Hase

Vernissage:  15.02.19, 19h
Open:  16 – 23.02.19, 13 – 17h
Finissage: 23.02.19 19h
Alte Handelsschule, Gießerstraße 75, 04229 Leipzig, Germany

Fast Kotzen 

Vernissage:  23.03.19, 19h
Open:  24 – 27.03.19 17h-20h
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany

Pilotenkueche round 37 prepares for upcoming exhibition, Rutschbahn photo: maeshelle west-davies

Artist Spotlight: Undine Bandelin

In this series, we present artists currently working in our studio. Today, we introduce you to Undine Bandelin.

We visited our current Local Participant Undine in her studio close to Pilotenkueche. Born in Jena, Undine studied painting in Halle and lives in Leipzig since 2013. Currently, she collaborates with galleries in Leipzig and Erfurt. Her subject is mainly the human figure, its ways of expression via posture, movement, and physique, but her motifs digress into portraits, landscapes, and animal studies as well. Interpersonal communication plays an equally important role as much as individual traits.

Often, she begins with a screen print, transforming a photography into a template which is then modified. This requires high anatomy skills and coenesthesia, intuitive knowledge she often supports by practicing, sketching, and working over the image several times, adding colorful layers that transform the original starting point. The result is settled somewhere between dream and reality, story and status quo, a very unique take on surrealism and expressionism.

All photos by Pilotenkueche

Undine Bandelin
on Facebook

Gallery The Grass Is Greener

Gallery Rothamel

Corporal Temperature on Facebook


Artist Spotlight: Lily Cummins

In this series, we present artists currently working in our studio. Today, we introduce you to Lily Cummins.

Australian artist Lily Cummins works with a combination of abstract and recognisable forms, questioning the idea of representation and creating a dream-like patchwork of memory.

Since coming to Pilotenkueche her way of working has changed. Away from her previously muted palette she is now experimenting with striking combinations of sickly yellows, greens and pinks; colour that reject the obvious harmony within art but still work in their own approach. Her work seems to have an ambiguous narrative, conceived through repeated forms and structures. The text, characters and settings are all aspects which the viewer can relate to, but simultaneously struggles to make sense of; as though trying to recall a memory. 

All photos by Pilotenkueche

Similar to how memories are erased or distorted, her work explores a similar process. Figures are drawn and then redrawn, text written only to be crossed out and painted over leaving it barely legible to the viewer. “When you look back on a memory it’s not always clear,” she mentions, “I have a cat at home, so currently the cat is a strong image,” where as human figures in her work can appear anonymous, perhaps something more distant.

As well as creating work for the final show, Cummins has been selected (along with two other residents) to exhibit in our smaller group exhibition at Ping Pong – Architecture of Experience. For this, she is hoping to continue with her smaller works to create an accumulative install, presenting a new body that will stand out against her previous larger scale work. 


Architecture of Experience on Facebook

Corporal Temperature on Facebook

Lily Cummins

Artist Spotlight: Arabella Hilfiker

In this series, we present artists currently working in our studio. Today, we introduce you to Arabella Hilfiker. 

Working with paint, text and print Arabella documents the relevance of everyday life within the bigger picture of the human experience. Her work is a collection of images, thoughts and opinions, which manifest themselves into a story of their own direction. 

Her focus hasn’t changed since coming to Pilotenkueche, but she is hoping to expand the stories past the paintings through experimentation with sculpture and installation; mentioning puppetry as a particular area of interest. The exploration of this medium reflects the playful nature of her work and continues to encompass the honest and naive humour of the style with which she paints. “Art can be too serious”, she says when discussing the processes behind her work, adding that through personal experience she sees her work as, “something more intuitive” – starting with a sketch and thereafter seeing possible relations to wider themes. 

All photos by Pilotenkueche

Arabella’s current body of work opens the conversation of how we situate happiness within our lives. With the connectivity of the internet becoming increasingly apparent, she cites the recurring motif of the mobile phone as a background presence both in her work and everyday life; something, that without even realising, becomes unavoidable and, “forces us to not be in the present”. 

With our preview exhibition just a few weeks away, we are excited to see Arabella’s upcoming work!


Arabella Hilfiker 

Artist Spotlight: Jing Tan

In this series, we present artists currently working in our studio. Today, we introduce you to Jing Tan. 

Originally from Shenzhen China, Jing Tan graduated with a Masters degree from Royal College of Art, London, this year. In her previous millinery studies, Jing created elaborate and eccentric hat designs heavily influenced by the idea of magic realism.

For her time at Pilotenkueche however, she is experimenting more with sculpture and installation work, channeling her medium into an abstract response to a specific story from Chinese folklore – The Snail Maiden. Her work plays with the tangibility and displacement of texture as a representation of this female snail form and the domestic role she has been given in the story. Collaborating with both artists and her new Leipzig audience, she hopes to collate responses to the folklore story; specifically the moment when the shell is taken away from the woman, revealing the soft body underneath. 

All photos by Pilotenkueche 

Looking at her studio space is an exciting insight into the way she works and the references she plays with, her own shrine to Snail Maiden culture. Jing is currently working on creating her own slime pigment that she hopes will deform and change throughout the time her work is exhibited.

Jing sees her project during Pilotenkueche as a “research based installation”, asking people to recount memories which they can equate to the shell of the snail being lifted. She explains that her idea initially developed from negative trauma, but she is now looking at individual memory, adding that “sometimes we ignore and to revisit is self healing”.

Jing is hoping to engage with the local people of Leipzig, including into her art subjective responses to this Chinese folklore. If you wish to contact her regarding her work, this can be done via her email or instagram linked below.

Jing Tan


Artist Spotlight: Curtis Welteroth

In this series, we present artists currently working in our studio. Today, we introduce you to Curtis Welteroth. 

Predominantly working with paint and installation work, Curtis Welteroth presents a comparative between pop culture and his experience as a young, queer, American. Whether it’s his early sculptures of hyperrealism or his more recent, erotic, painterly work; he wishes to trick the eye. Deciphering a personal language between the signifier and the signified, he presents to his audience a Curtis-specific relationship between communication and context. 

All photos by Pilotenkueche

Here in Leipzig, he wishes to “incorporate more painterly aspects of the Northern Renaissance”, into his still life painting and continue to examine the boundaries of semiotics within his work.  Wanting to explore performance as a new form of expression, he is keen to seek a collaborative process with other artists in Pilotenkueche. Through the autobiographical nature of his current work, he wants to open the discussion of a performance “that can continue indefinitely”, allowing himself to experiment with this new medium without any restriction.

Within the Pilotenkueche exhibition schedule, Curtis will be showing at Space Chorus and Corporal Temperature. We look forward to seeing what he comes up with next!

Curtis Welteroth 

Artist Spotlight: John Berry

In this weekly series, we present artists currently working in our studio. Today, we introduce you to John Berry who does painting and printmaking.

Before starting his residency, John planned to investigate the possibilities of organizing a flat surface, the rules it follows and the opportunities these very rules provide, via printmaking and rug design. In Leipzig, he discovered another source of data: the allotment gardens that surround the city. Though the organization of these tiny rectangles is restricted by a German-ish amount of rules, no two gardens look the same. They display a weirdly shaped but still undeniably high grade of freedom, though it is unclear if this freedom exists in spite of or even because of the rules. It’s unclear what is allowed and what is controlled, what is left free and why.

In John’s paintings, this relation is translated into a controlled set of patterns, strictly arranged like the elements of a rug, but still with a vivid, playful sort of intelligence and humor. Taped edges are set next to spray painted areas, seemingly spacious shapes flip back and forth, accidental marks and blurry colors coexist with geometric structures. The motif is never recognizable enough to become the actual protagonist of the painting; the overall construction of the image is meant to be the protagonist.

All photos by Pilotenkueche


John Berry
on Facebook

Artist Spotlight: High Priest

For the third instalment of our “artist spotlight” series, we present High Priest, a sound collective from Los Angeles already making waves here in Leipzig and beyond. Formed by Henry Bell and Benjamin Leal, the duo rejects the traditional idea of an audience, performing not for humans but for the objects which are simultaneously their subjects and their spectators.

Here at Pilotenkueche, Benjamin and Henry are using their time to further explore the relationship between objects and sound, creating a series of “tone poems”, short pieces which use sound to describe and interact with their subjects. Through this series, High Priest intends to formulate a lexicon of sound-object interaction which can be systematically applied to any subject, a blueprint for a language which can be used to produce new tone poems or reproduce previous ones. On April 27th, High Priest performed at Hühnermanhattan Klub in Halle. We look forward to seeing what they come up with next!

Photos by Pilotenkueche and High Priest


High Priest

Listen to their tone poems on Facebook

Artist Spotlight: Tegwen Evans

In this weekly series, we present artists currently working in our studio. Today, we introduce you to Tegwen Evans who does photography, multimedia, and installation art.

Originally from New Jersey, Tegwen Evans graduated from the Berlin Neue Schule für Fotografie and has since made a name for herself taking portraits in the depths of Berlin’s club scene. In her previous work with the organization TrashEra, Tegwen created pieces which resist replication by integrating additional materials, so that the photos become creations as unique as the individuals within them.

Continuing her work which simultaneously considers body dysphoria, femininity, human forms, disorientation and anxiety through an anthropological lens, Tegwen wishes to find new ways of including the viewers as  participants in her art. “People are forced to be involved,” she says. Always starting with an image, she uses mixed media to transform it into a new structure that is no longer a mere photograph, but a manifesto of the living experience. Using painting for the first time at Pilotenkueche, her upcoming work is intended to be a multisensory experience. 

All photos by Pilotenkueche

Tegwen Evans