A short interview with Heino Schmid
Published: Jun 22, 2013
Heino Schmid, a Bahamian artist living and working in Nassau, was recently interviewed by Finnish art blogger Inka Juslin.
You were born in The Bahamas, how did that build your artist identity?
My father is German and my mother is Bahamian but I was born and raised in The Bahamas where I’ve lived my whole life outside of my education. I did my undergraduate studies in the U.S. and my graduate studies in The Netherlands. My artistic identity is very much rooted in my experiences here and I find a great deal of fodder and inspiration in my immediate environment. As a country, The Bahamas really lends itself to a lot of material investigation and I’ve really enjoyed having my studio and my creative practice based here. It’s close enough to the U.S. where I am still able to see significant exhibitions but it’s private enough for me to develop a body of work on my own terms.
What does globalization mean to you?
Globalization, in terms of the creative process, means communication. Through social media, it’s never been easier to have constructive conversations with your peers, and that is really exciting. The Internet also levels the playing field in terms of information. It’s a wonderful time to be a creative thinker because there’s so much information available, which I can filter at my own pace and discretion to construct a viable practice.
How did you experience VOLTA, what did it offer you personally?
The VOLTA NY experience was extremely constructive to me. I believe that as an artist you initially control the medium of the work, the content, the presentation and the context of the work, but the context is the most fluid and gives your work life. It was hugely exciting for me to take my work out of the context in which it was made and place it in an environment where the dialogue would be completely different. The conversations that I had at VOLTA NY were constructive, positive and completely impossible to have, I think, in The Bahamas given the change of context.
Where is your focus as an artist, the media and the location?
As an artist I try to really approach art in itself as a visual dialogue so the media and the location hold equal sway in the production of my projects. The balance between media and location is always an interesting problem to solve. On the one hand you want to stay open to the environment you’re in no matter where you are to produce work, and on the other hand you want to make the work that’s relevant to your own practice in a sustainable way. When considered responsibly I think the tension between the two is always an exciting and productive challenge to embrace.
• Schmid completed his MA in Fine Arts at the Utrecht School of the Arts in The Netherlands, and got his BFA degree in photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, U.S. He participated at the VOLTA NY Show with Nassau-based Popopstudios International Center for the Visual Arts in March 2013.
• Reprinted with the permission of Popopstudios International Center for the Visual Arts.