interview with Jette Bjerg from Metafora Arts School Barcelona

Ever dreamed of living in Barcelona?  and on top of that making Art everyday in a supportive , likeminded school whilst learning a thing or two about Art therapy… Well thats exactly what i was so fortunate to do in 2010/11 and looking back it was one of the most fruit full, enjoyable and productive years i had. It was at a pivotal time in my practice and the tuition, space, time and lets not forget sunshine ! Which really allowed for both my confidence and practice to flourish. Below I interview Jette Bjerg a 90’s Goldsmiths Graduate about her Art School ( Which she really sees as an Art work ! )

 

Please start by telling me about Metafora Arts School. When did you start the school, what are its objectives?

 

Carles Ramos and I founded Metàfora in February 2000. The idea was to create an “art factory” where both a studio arts training for international students and a masters in Art Therapy could co-exist, making use of the same space, although not necessarily same goals and methodologies.

You studied at Goldsmiths during the 90’s how did this affect the way you run your program today ? teaching methods / theory? 

My experience at Goldsmith’s has indeed affected the design of Metàfora’s Studio Arts course. the core of the methodology is the relationship between the students and the personal tutor, an aspect which was central to how I learned at Goldsmith’s. At Metàfora we teach techniques on beginner’s level, and a fair amount of Recent Art History, debate groups and Critical Theory. Crits and presentations are also a very important part of the program. The direct classes, however, do not have a central position in the understanding of our methodology: Each student has a personal studio space (some of our 2nd and 3rd year students end up finding a studio somewhere outside the school to have more space) and access to workshops and technicians, and this places the personal process of each student in a special place. We aim to form independent artists who have learned to direct their own discourse. The learning paths are individual and follow the interests and ambitions of each student.

 

Barcelona is a beautiful and densely rich cultural city but as an emerging artist is there a burgeoning scene where Artists can thrive? Artist led galleries / collectives etc?
The art scene in Barcelona is rather small, but full of artist-lead spaces and initiatives. A handful of galleries add their bit by encouraging young artists, curators and cultural agents to participate actively in the art-weave of the city. Networking is everything, and as long as young artists are active and eager to participate in the events which are happening all over the city, it welcomes them in return and embraces their activities.

Who are your favourite emerging Artists in Barcelona right now ?

It is difficult to talk about favourite artists, and I can mention at least 50 who are on my “top” list. However, artists like Nuria Güell, who recently made an important piece on road-side prostitutes is probably one of the “top-top”s. The artists represented by “Bombón Projects” are also close to my heart: I am interested in painters such as Pere Llobera, Rasmus Nilausen and Aldo urbano, but also installation artists like Josep Maynou. Now, once I get started on my list, the art works of Metàfora’s own tutors are naturally also on my list: Ariadna Guiteras, David Bestué, Marc Larré, Luis Guerra, Bernat daviu, Lura llanelli and many more.

Nuria Guell “Anatomy of a virus” 

Where would you like to see your school in ten years time? 

Metàfora is in a process of growing and consolidating it’s Training program, and the profile as an independent institution carries both difficulties and opportunities with it. Hopefully we will continue our labour of helping young artists achieve their goals of professionalisation, without ever losing the perspective of a meaningful and exciting journey of art education itself.