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AEYDE x Johanna Dumet

In honor of Berlin Art Week this year, we’ve asked Berlin-based painter Johanna Dumet for her own interpretation of FW19’s #InFullBloom.

Read about Johanna and her work below
Visiting Johanna’s studio at the historic Villa Heike is nothing short of a treat. Located on the outskirts of Berlin, it’s Roman columns and impressive spiral staircase have you thinking you’ve left the city completely. Entering Johanna’s studio is like stepping into one of her paintings – vivid, surprising, with a bit of whimsical charm. She shares the penthouse floor with her partner Manuel Wroblewski, who’s larger-than-life sculptures hang from the ceiling, giving the studio the apt nickname ‘the playhouse’.
aeyde: Can you tell us a little bit about the exceptional history of Villa Heike, and how you managed to score the penthouse as your studio?

Johanna: Built in 1910, Villa Heike was the home of wealthy industrialist Richard Heike until he was shot in 1945 by the Red Army. After a brief seizure by the Soviet secret police, the Villa became the central storage for secret Nazi files until 1990. It remained empty for 25 years until an architect named Christof Schubert bought the building and turned it into an Atelier house.

My partner Manuel Wroblewski and I were looking for a new Atelier, and we found this space by chance on the internet. It was almost too good to be true – but we applied and were lucky enough to be accepted!

A: You moved to Berlin 7 years ago. Has the city influenced your work at all?

J: Yes, I really grew up with the city. It’s home now. What influenced me the most is that everything is possible in Berlin. I learned to be free within my life and my art. In my opinion, it is one of the only big cities in Europe where you can live a really well without a 9 to 5 job. This is a total luxury.
A: You studied fashion design, and currently dabble in textile design. Is there a link between painting and fashion for you?

J: The process starts the same, creating on a piece of fabric. For fashion it’s cut into a functional piece, for a painting it’s a large piece of canvas stretched on a frame. As a fashion designer there are rules to follow, but as a painter, there is no one telling you what should do. It’s pure freedom and creativity. Of course I always juggle between fashion and art because the line between the two is really thin! I’m over the moon when I see some of my work printed of fabric, it’s like wearing an art work.

A: To be ‘In Full Bloom’ means to reach your ‘aha’ moment, the point of clarity in one’s life. Have you experienced a moment like that yet, either in your work or life?

J: Yes, I’m right in there! I am really happy at the moment. I feel that I’ve become the person I always wanted to be, and this feels great. I believe that the coming years are going to be wonderful, that I found myself at the right place doing the right thing in both work and life. So I’ll just keep on painting, being happy, keep on loving myself. Also Matisse said once “there are always flowers for those who wants to see them”, which reminds me to look for happiness, beauty and harmony instead of negativity.