Conversation with Artist Silke Bonde
Danish artist and designer Silke Bonde reached out to us a few months ago and, after learning about her tranquil, minimal Scandinavian style, we were intrigued. Her beautiful watercolor “Blue World” map represents a unifying global responsibility to take care of the planet, inspired directly by nature and all its intricate patterns and seasons.
We caught up with her to learn about what inspires her artwork, her lust for travel, and where to sightsee back home in Copenhagen.
TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW YOU BECAME AN ARTIST.
Silke Bonde: “When I was little, I really enjoyed my own company, especially when I had something creative to work with. I could sit for hours and work on the same thing; I guess I had a good imagination. I was the creative one in my class, and I enjoyed having that role. While studying entrepreneurship design in Copenhagen six years ago, I started blogging. I mostly blogged about my creative projects and paintings at home, and suddenly one day someone asked if they could buy some of it. I was surprised and happy. Shortly after that, it all started.”
YOU TEND TO USE WATERCOLORS. WHY DOES THAT MEDIUM SPEAK TO YOU?
SB: “I love all the opportunities that occur when working with water. First of all, the water has its own life and creates its own organic shapes and structures. Then you have the opportunity to control the water and create more stringent shapes and patterns. It’s the combination of these I love.”
SCANDINAVIA IS KNOWN FOR ITS MINIMALIST DESIGN. HOW HAS THIS IMPACTED YOUR WORK?
SB: “I was brought up in a house with furniture made by famous Danish designers, and I have always loved the more minimalistic way of living. This is not something I have thought much about but it’s just naturally been a factor when creating. I believe minimalistic design contributes a certain peace to your home. Everything is about that great feeling and creating a home where you feel safe and calm– not because you’ve seen something like it in a magazine but because you feel it yourself.”
HOW DOES TRAVEL INFLUENCE YOUR ART?
SB: “Traveling is all about exploring and discovering new colors, patterns, structures and cultures. I bring all these discoveries home, and I translate them into my own visual style. An example is my “Underwater” collection, which is inspired by my diving experiences in Indonesia. Traveling is crucial for me in order to develop new ideas.”
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR WHEN YOU TRAVEL?
SB: “I am all about nature experiences. It is so exciting for me to experience plants, flowers, animals and nature in general that are totally different from what we have in Denmark. I am often looking for warm destinations so I am able to go swim in the sea and dive, which I really love.”
WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT ARCHITECTURAL FEATURE FOR YOU WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR TRAVEL STAY?
SB: “I love when it is clear that someone actually thought it all through and created a connection between the culture or history of the place and the architectural look. When I book a stay, I always look for a view that says something about this particular place.”
WHAT WAS THE FIRST BIG TRIP YOU WENT ON?
SB: “Seven years ago, I went on a three-month trip with my great friend. We were 20 years old, and the world was full of opportunities. We traveled in India, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia. I learned so much about myself and other cultures. That was an amazing time!”
YOU USE A LOT OF BLUE IN YOUR ART. WHAT’S THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THAT COLOR?
SB: “The blue color has always been my favorite. It reminds me of water, which means life on Earth. I used the blue color for the map in order to highlight that we are all the same and to remind us that we have a shared responsibility for taking care of the earth.”
IF YOU WERE TO TOUR SOMEONE AROUND YOUR CITY, WHAT WOULD YOU SHOW THEM?
SB: “I would bring them to the Louisiana museum north from Copenhagen – for great art, great views and great architecture. I would bring them on a canal tour to experience Copenhagen from the sea. It is actually quite beautiful. I would also make sure to show them the old streets with the beautiful old townhouses, such as Magstræde and Ny Vestergade. Finally I would bring them to the street food spot on Papirøen – for delicious food and a great view.”