Meet the Artist // Stella Wiemann

Introducing Stella Wiemann, a multidisciplinary artist from Germany working in the performing and visual arts. During her residency at GlogauAIR, she is focusing on queer visibility, shame, and solitude, examining their impacts on the human body and psyche.  

In her project “Pillow-No-Talk ” she centres on loneliness within the LGBTQIA+ community, highlighting the challenges of isolation in the journey of self-discovery and coming out, feelings of shame, fear, and rejection. A project that can resonate with individuals beyond the community as a shared human experience that unites us all.

How would you describe your practice as an artist?

My name is Stella, I’m from Germany and I studied acting and worked in the performative field for a few years.  I also did a lot of dance and started to work in the acting and dance field a bit more. But I’m also a painter and a children’s book illustrator. So I work in all of these fields and do a mix of all of them.

My practice is hard to describe actually, it comes from an intuition or a feeling about something. I mean this is really the difference I think between acting, dance and painting. Because in acting of course I need to think a lot about the character or for example, I need to know exactly when I have to be and where on stage. I need to know the others that I perform with and everything is really part of a structure.

When I paint, everything is more chaotic. I do what I feel, without planning. Even though, sometimes I know I want to do a specific painting; but it’s always evolving and changing. I love this freedom that I have with the visual arts.

I’m mostly interested in the emotions of all of us, of all humans. I’m always looking for emotions and showing  expression in faces.

When I dance of course it’s about the body, it’s about the rhythm and it’s about the music too. In acting it’s about everything: it’s the body, it’s the voice, it’s the facial expression. And I feel like it’s about everything too when I am painting. So I’m mostly focusing on these feelings and intuitions.

What inspires your work?

So many things. I mean emotions definitely.  What I love to do is to express a feeling that I have or that I see in others. But without words.

Even though I studied acting there’s a lot of words on stage. For me it’s really interesting what happens in this moment when we lose our speech and we don’t find the words for what we want to say. And what comes then?


How did your artistic journey begin?

When I was a child I didn’t speak that much. But I always painted. And I was really slow with learning how to write.

And how to write correctly especially. So I always drew the letters that I wanted to give to my mom. And then I just continued painting, painting again and again.

Then somehow I decided to study theater. For whatever reason. But painting was always still with me. It was always there.  And sometimes of course when I’m too busy with theaters and rehearsals and I don’t have time to paint, I really miss it. It will always be with me.


Do you have any memorable anecdotes or stories from your artistic journey that had an impact on you?

My bachelor thesis was about the topic of failure. And the topic of trying again and again.  With art it’s a bit easier than with paintings. For example, once you decide that you like a painting, it is still going to be fine within time. But on stage you don’t have that, you can perform amazing one day and the next day you might fuck it up completely. But you are always there trying again and again. This is reflected a lot in my personal life too because I fail a lot and try a lot.


How do you see your art fitting in the contemporary art world? And in the contemporary art market?

It’s hard to say, I just try to do what I like. And I know that it’s a bit risky. Because you also need to earn money to survive.

But especially with painting, I don´t try to fit in the market and I’m not so interested in working on that. I love the freedom it gives me. In theater it is the other way around, you must fit and be a specific type like blonde, brunette, thin… You are always doing the stuff someone else tells you to.

I enjoy this freedom that I have with the paintings. And I definitely don’t care about the market. I don’t.

How is the city of Berlin having an influence on your production?

I have very mixed feelings about the city, it’s a crazy rough place which has everything: if you want to go out, see different stuff. I feel this is really good for my art. You see many characters on the streets, people in the worst or most beautiful situations.

Sometimes I just like to take the bus and I ride through the whole city. I just like to see and it’s a big inspiration. But also sometimes Berlin can be too much  and I need to go out and breathe.


How are the other residents having an impact on you? Are you influencing each other?

Definitely. Especially with all the talks we have in between, small chats in the kitchen or our worries. We are sharing our chaotic lives where you can’t plan anything. As an artist maybe you have a residency or an exhibition, but then maybe for months you have nothing at all .

To feel that you’re not alone in this lifestyle is helping a lot. Also to see what other people are creating or where they take their inspiration from, it’s really nice and absolutely beautiful. I really enjoy it.

As a painter you’re always or most of the time alone in your studio, and at some point you can go a bit insane. It’s so good to be able to just knock on someone’s door or go out for a coffee.


And what are your plans after the residency?

Good question. I mean I will definitely continue with painting. I have children’s books to do too, theater and dancing projects. Just to continue creating, being inspired and hopefully surviving.