As a professional artist that delves to go beyond the traditional to create her own singular form of expression, Britt-Marie Tidemand has cultivated a presence that is to be admired, respected, and studied. From start to finish, she has taken her artistry to new heights and shared it internationally in her own way, and on her own terms.
In this exclusive interview, Tidemand gets introspective as she shares her perspectives on how her background has shaped her artistic spirit, how her creative process is shaped, the role of artists in society, the transformative experiences she has gone through, and much more.
Why do you do what you do?
To create and shape.
When I look at life so far, the words to create and shape have been a great motivation in my actions and decisions that I have made both consciously and unconsciously.
For me, life is about to be inspired and feel the warmth and goodness in everything I do. Good and interesting art what is it? What the art world treats and describes, as art is art!
Daily language use tends to ask, “Is this art?”; Rather mean, “is this good art?”
My art can, but definitely does not have to be, a platform for debate, thoughts and ideas that are born and realized. What I hope and think is that the viewer likes what he or she looks at and likes to paint and design and create his or her own image of art.
Hanging Around (oil) size: 90x115 cm
Which values do you find important?
I have a strong belief in people, passion, inspiring others to perform and do good in the world, proud and happy to be able to lead / support others in collaboration, take pangs to stand up for people and ideas that I believe in. I am driven towards success, whether it is by leading the nation to wealth and prosperity or by leading the boys team to a fighting victory.
Describe your creative process.
I work in two different processes. Both processes begin with the idea of wanting to find different shades of color (oil color).
The more abstract process - here I go through three phases where in the first phase I go wild and crazy ‘spots’ on the canvas with different oil colors on top of each other. In phase two, I start adding shapes by sketching with a brush, knife or other tools. This phase I may put sand, fabric in the board, and in phase three a clearer picture begins to take shape.
In the second process, I have a clear picture of what I want to express based on my thoughts and impressions that I got by watching a movie, the news, flipping through newspapers, self-experience, etc. It starts with me making a simple sketch, then I paint the expression in several layers of paint (oil paint), in most cases this becomes images and expressions from humans and animals. For me, is how to put the lighting in the painting that makes the picture come alive and gives a depth. I want to convey a feeling that viewers themselves can interpret, feel and find in different moods.
Ruff Memories (oil) size: 87x106 cm (with frame)
What's your artistic background?
Let me take you on an art journey. The journey starts in Landskrona, Sweden when I was in the fifth grade. My teacher in drawing said that creativity is part of one’s character. She believed that I had it in me. I thank her for believing in me. It was in the fifth grade I painted my first painting. My mom and dad got the painting as a present from me and the painting hanging on the wall in theirs home even today. I laid low for many years then when I turned sixteen, I started to study economic and marketing and did that for three years. The two first years we had drawing on the schedule. In the second year I only did one painting. My teacher said to me that I should believe in my self and develop myself in the creative sector because he thought I had a gift.
I’m mostly self-taught. I have taken classes from an educated artist in the evenings and I share a small studio with some of my artist friends that I meet in these evenings classes. We have inspired each other. I have a degree in clothes design and cut from the academy and had my own company where I designed clothes and drew patterns.
What are the absolute essential components to being an artist?
It is important to be fearless, not set boundaries and dare to give it the time required for each work of art.
Stil (oil) size: 80x100 cm
What role does the artist have in society?
Great art has always come, and will always come, from within. It will always be based on the story the artist wants to convey. And so it must be.
In a defining and transformative time, art and culture have perhaps never been more important. Therefore, it is necessary to let it continue to develop and look for new expressions without political cues.
What has been one of the most transformative experiences of your career?
When I went from having my own studio to sharing with other artists. The wonderful thing is that you inspire each other and it is really to develop as an artist. In addition to sharing my art through public and corporate collections. Among the collections where BM Tidemand paintings are represented are:
Queen Silvia’s Children’s Hospital front-page annual report 2009 and 2010 and front page in research report 2016 and at Queen Silvia’s Children’s Hospital office, Gothenburg Sweden.
How has your practice changed over time?
I feel a freedom, security, and a calm when I stand in front of the easel. It is my world where I can express myself freely. Over time, I have allowed myself to take the time I need to find the expression I feel satisfied and comfortable with. I paint first and foremost with oil paint today. I have learned to build an image in different layers. Today, I feel completely free in my art.
What themes do you pursue in your artwork?
Humans’ experiences, and emotions in their stories, the power of nature and the animals’ wonderful lives. These are themes I am inspired by and always come back to.
Glamour size 45x55 cm
Have any other jobs you have had in the past affected your artistry?
On the contrary, I carry my great interest in the artistic that requires creativity and imagination into my work life and my life in general.
Funding in American schools usually takes away from the arts first. How is art supported in Sweden and how has this affected your career?
The municipalities offer common educations in various art forms at reasonable costs. Everyone can and may express themselves in art. Art is compulsory in Swedish schools.
That’s how I found my interest in art. As an artist in Sweden, you have no VAT on the sale of art up to a certain amount, which means that more people dare to invest in their art.
Do you feel a duty to how art represents the world?
Sweden’s cultural policy has for a long time worked to promote and improve the conditions for cultural practitioners as well as for cultural experiences and personal creation. An important guiding principle is that the content of culture should be free from political control and it is worth protecting and maintaining.
Our constitutions also maintain artistic freedom within the framework of freedom of expression. The form of government gives every citizen freedom of speech; a freedom to express one’s thoughts, opinions and feelings in speech, writing, images or otherwise. This applies not only to positive or harmless expressions but also to those that offend, shock or disturb the state or any part of the population. The public sector must not restrict the freedom of expression of individuals. It is an essential basis for a democratic society, an obstacle to censorship. The Constitution also requires that authorities observe objectivity and impartiality and may not intervene against anyone because they have exercised their right to express themselves freely.
Life's experience (oil) size: 45x55 cm
As the global pandemic continues to affect the world, people are now missing out on more art than ever before. Do you think this time in history has been good for art? Why or why not?
For art life, it is as if a thorny cannonball with full force has landed among the contacts and in a slow squeak or a violent exhalation squeezed out of all the air.
Artists and staff as well as collectors and others who have a relationship with the gallery are sincerely sorry. Many mourn the disappearance of this meeting place and the opportunity we have had to show extensive exhibitions with, in many cases, great international artists.
Now more than ever, people need culture. Culture makes us resilient, it gives us hope. It reminds us that we are not alone. It is a special time we are in now where many are in a demanding situation. In these times, we have moved a large part of the art experiences to digital channels that make the art available to a wide audience.
Success as an artist is a concrete thing and is about perspective. In your opinion, What defines success in this area?
You have to believe in yourself and your art to succeed. If you do not believe or feel something for your art yourself, no one else will do it either. However, self-confidence should not be confused with self-esteem as self-confidence is rather that which one as an individual shows outwards, that which the outside world can take a stand on while self-esteem is what is experienced in one’s interior, the value one gives oneself as a person. An artist can work very well on his own without the help of others’ encouragement and directives. Hence, independence is an important element for success.
2021 20 March - 8 April Gallery Engelson, Malmö Sweden- canceled indefinitely
2021 9-11 April 2021 Lokomotivværkstedet Art Nordic Copenhagen, Denmark
2021 22-25 April ArtExpo New York
2021 9-12 September Clio Art Fair New York, have been accepted for the upcoming Fair
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