Gabriela Jolowicz, Artist – Berlin

Gabriela Jolowicz is a woodcut artist from Germany. She completed her diploma and post-graduate studies at the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig. Her works have been shown in numerous international group and solo exhibitions. Since 2016 she has been a substitute professor for printmaking at the HGB in Leipzig and will also teach a course at the HfK Bremen this summer. Currently she has a solo show at the Galerie Hübner and Hübner in Frankfurt am Main, and – opening on March 7 – at the ODD Gallery in Dawson City. She is also included in Cutting Edge, a group exhibition of expressionist woodcuts and linocuts from the collection in dialogue with contemporary artists at the August Macke Haus in Bonn from April 12 to September 15.

1. English pubs

A lot of imagery on my woodcuts comes directly from spending many hours in a pub: drinking pints, playing pool, failing at the quiz machine, missing the dart board, chatting, listening to bands, getting lost in the outrageous decorations (mainly the carpets)…
You can watch twentysomethings running into their granddads because everyone just happens to hang out at the same place. Then suddenly a loud voice announces last round and you realize you just spent six hours straight in the pub. The end of the world pub scene in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams brings all these memories to life in an instant.

2. Terry Pratchett

I remember borrowing the first Pratchett book from a mate during the time I was working on my diploma and needed something to switch off after long days. I couldn’t believe how bad it was (it was a German translation). Nevertheless, after I magically finished the book – I think, it was Guards, Guards – I got the next one. And the next. The audiobook adaptions are also very entertaining. I am very sad that there will be no more new stories about the Discworld.

3. Comics

Ever since I was a kid I read comic books. It hasn’t changed. And it’s not the clever, edgy underground stuff, which would be cool to mention here. No: Spirou and FantasioGastonTintinPeanutsCalvin and HobbesAsterix, Gary Larson’s The Far SideFreak Brothers (ok, that’s a little bit cool), and Lucky Luke, to name a few.

4. Audiobooks & podcasts

Once I am past the stage of mapping out a new image on a woodblock, I have many hours ahead of me where I sit at my desk and cut the wood in a quiet, monotonous manner. I used to listen to music nonstop, but the danger there is that you get sick of even your favourite bands. For many years now I have become absolutely dependent on audiobooks and podcasts. At times it goes so far that I feel I cannot work without listening to something. Well-made productions of long, gripping stories (like Water Music by TC Boyle) are a blessing. The podcasts on 99%, and Freakonomics are also great.

5. Bible illustrations & First Fleet

I enjoy the stiff postures and adventurous perspectives of old Bible illustrations where the often anonymous artist-monks designed images on the basis of strict rules. These rules are all about a certain concept and ideology, much more than copying from nature. For the same reason, I feel drawn to the first observations that officers and prisoners of the First Fleet documented when first settling in Australia. Obviously depicting what one sees is the point here, but there are certain pictorial codes for how to draw – for example – a gum-tree or a sandy coast-line that are applied nonetheless.