Interview w/ Noa Gammelgaard
Hi Noa Noon! Can you briefly introduce yourself? Do people usually call you Noa or Noa Noon? Where are you from, how old are you, what’s your zodiac sign?
I go by Noa – tree letters – Noon is my middle name. I live in the heart of my favourite city, Copenhagen, where you have the freedom the bike anywhere. I study fine arts at “The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts”. I am 24 years old and a Virgo.
As soon as one looks at your work, one recognizes a very specific colour palette of white, black and different skin-like shades. How did you arrive at this distinct palette?
I have always been very drawn to these colours. And naturally, everything in my home and wardrobe has these colours. My favourite colour is white because it is so beautiful and clean, but I do also love black and a certain soft shade of light pink. Black because it heightens beauty, pink because it is such a happy and delightful colour. I am, as you mentioned, very inspired by skin colours, they are truly beautiful. I also have a fascination with the natural colours of salt minerals, from light blue salt to pink Himalaya salt.
I also noticed the gold leaf element that you use in almost all of your works. What does it mean to you?
My main inspiration is always balance. Finding the perfect tension and balance with shapes. The gold leaf is the connection holding the balance. It is also a nudge to Buddhism where they use the gold leaf for offerings in the temples.
There is also a very distinct repertoire of organic shapes in your work. How did you decide on these forms and what do they mean to you?
My work is very abstract, for me, the shapes have many very personal motives. They have always followed me. Looking back at childhood drawings I drew the same shapes, I call them friends. But the only message behind it is the balance. For me, the shapes speak for them self. There are no rights or wrongs. I want people to shape their own meaning into my works. I am a sucker for an Ellsworth Kelly art piece and find it so much more defined and mysterious than a figurative artwork. I absolutely love abstract art.
You don’t restrict your practice to a specific medium but express your aesthetic in a variety of forms.
I work with different assignments from painting and making jewellery to art direction and graphic work. I grew up always loving to create stuff. And I am always very curious to work with new materials and learn. I have a very playful approach to materials. I don’t even know where it really started – I just have a natural urge to experiment with the different materials.
How do you decide on what technique/material you want to use?
It always starts with an idea – then a form – and then how to convert that into a material. There is the saying that “Form follows function” I like to think that “Function follows form”. The form always being the starting point. I like to stretch an idea out and try it out with a variety of different materials.
Is there a discipline that you prefer over the others?
My amazing mother who is an artist and painter, thought me ancient disciplines and techniques, that painters used for over 200 years. We make our own paint from raw pigment. I feel most comfortable when I am working with a piece all the way. Doing all by my own hand and giving the materials the time, they need. I make my painted prints all by hand. I originally started with them – wanting to create them with a silkscreen, but because I use my own pigment paint it ran right through the silk screen leaving a chaos – since then I worked only by hand painting them. It is a longer process – but so worth it – and therefore every painted print is an original.
You’re a fine arts student at the KADK, right? When and how did you decide that’s what you want to study? Also, what’s studying fine arts like?
Yes, that’s right. I am currently on my second year at KADK “The Royal Danish Academy of Fine arts”. My mom is the most amazing artist. I grew up in her studio amongst paint and brushes, so it came very naturally to me. I am so grateful for having the best Sensei! I have always dreamt of studying at KADK and knew that it was my goal to get in – because it’s one of the most difficult schools to get into in Denmark. It’s is truly amazing – it’s a five-year education – and I cherish each year and moment. I feel very lucky to study and practice what I truly love.
Where or when do you feel most inspired?
Definitely in nature – the colours and magical natural phenomena. I love to travel and experience different cultures and climates. I have a thing for salt mines, I truly find so much inspiration in them, the colours - organic shapes.
What other artists inspire you? Do you have any idols?
I have so many! But my two biggest heroes are Alexander Calder and Ellsworth Kelly!
What music do you listen to when you’re working? Or do you need silence to concentrate?
I love music and I always listen to music when working. I love music that puts you into a trance. From jazz music to techno. From techno as NTHNG to jazz music - my favourites are the young Danish minimalist jazz musicians - Bremer & McCoy, Swedish Jan Johansson and always amazing Stan Getz – the list is too long!
What are your top 5 artsy Instagrammers to follow?
Where can the readers find you online?