Caroline Vitzthum, Untitled (2018), installation, photographs on Japanese paper, porcelain, cotton fabric, performance, Bath
Studio 75: Graduate Fellow 2020/21
Caroline Vitzthum is an interdisciplinary artist working with performance, sculpture, textiles, and sound. Influenced by mythologising aspects of time, she studies and practices various rituals described by anthropologists familiar with occult sciences and ancient mysticism. Through the construction of a speculative reality setting surrounding her practice, she strives to summon energies from a more-than-human world, thereby challenging a patriarchal and exploitive attitude towards our environment. Vitzthum has exhibited works in solo as well as group exhibitions, such as a UK touring exhibition as part of The Porthleven Prize which she was awarded in 2019.
In January 2020, she founded an ongoing curatorial project titled The Viennese Salon, hosting regular events to create a safe stage for artistic experimentation and exchange. In November 2020, Vitzthum co-curated Off Stage, a series of performances highlighting emerging artists in the South West, alongside artist Young In Hong and as part of the Centre of Gravity exhibition at Soapworks in Bristol.
Current projects include Holobiont, a collaboration with artist Sarah Rhys and in partnership with The National Botanic Garden Wales and Studio Cennen, focusing on research and creative response to new ecologies as well as exploring cultural links between Wales and Austria.
A quick Q&A with Caroline Vitzthum
Tell us about your process [in the studio]
During times of ever-lasting destruction of the natural world, I feel the urge to critically expand my art practice by working with experts’ knowledge from fields such as biology, astronomy, or other natural sciences. The development of my projects is very much research-led, allowing time for my works to grow and naturally evolve throughout the process.
What are you reading/listening to/watching at the moment?
My current reading list includes Rewilding: The Return of Nature to a British Farm by Isabella Tree, Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake, Welsh Folk Customs by Trefor M. Owen, Extraordinary Insects by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson, and Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk.
A Bristol highlight: a favourite place or thing to do?
An ancient oak tree in the heart of Leigh Woods. The tree must be at least 300 years old. I do visit it regularly, most often at dusk. Last autumn, I collected oak galls to make ink from, which I currently use for my drawings and prints.
Each year Spike Island offers fellowships to promising graduates. These artists, selected from an open call to students, are offered studio space at Spike Island for a year. This opportunity aims to support and encourage young artists in Bristol as they begin to develop their professional practices.
Find out more about the Fellowships