Mihaela Hudrea

Mihaela Hudrea (born in 1989, Cluj-Napoca, România) holds an MA from KASK – Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Gent, Belgium and a BA from the University of Art and Design, Cluj-Napoca. Through her work, Mihaela Hudrea investigates our surrounding world, while she poses fundamental questions about reality, existence and perception. Inspired from such concepts that are explored in philosophy and science, her practice takes shape through painting, drawing and installations. The artist reflects on our relation to Earth and the Universe in light of current cultural and historical contexts, as a relation between us and time.

You can follow Mihaela on her website and on her Instagram profile.

Q&A with Mihaela Hudrea

When did you discover your passion for art and what does art mean to you?

For me, being an artist means having a particular energy that you are born with, which you cannot learn; nobody can teach you how to be an artist. It’s simply a different way of being and seeing the world. I don’t think there’s any question about that, it’s something you realize quite early on. You just have that energy or you don’t. This has always been very clear for me, and as long as I stay interested and inspired by the surrounding world, I will be able to respond in one way or another and continue to make art.

Describe yourself briefly: what triggers your emotions or what makes you angry?

I think of humanity from outer space looking back to Earth, and this kind of time-space thinking is an exercise I do in trying to understand the world. It fascinates me that we live on a ‘rock’ that is spinning through space, surrounded by stars, but we are part of a whole that we will probably never fully understand. There will always be questions that humanity will not be able to answer, but I believe we are forced to live within certain limits. However, the key is to keep asking questions. But what I think about every day is whether we are capable as humanity of asking the right questions, but probably we are not. Even more so, I remain deeply drawn to the potential that the unknown and unexplored hold.

Describe your artistic vision: sources of inspiration, techniques, messages you want to communicate to audiences.

My artistic practice develops out of my curiosity about the surrounding world and the cosmos. I am particularly interested in the efforts we make as humanity to discover the unknown. We live in a time when there are many legitimate reasons to be cynical about the future, but the desire to unravel the cosmos is an important factor of our collective potential and a gesture that I find extremely poetic and inspirational. Through my work, I want to bring such gestures closer to the public, and to create a space in which is possible to connect with the cosmos and the surrounding world.

Who influenced you on your path and how?

It’s hard to narrow it down to one person, but I “follow” people who have something interesting to say, for example, about humanity, the world we live in, existence, reality and the cosmos. It depends a lot on who I choose to surround myself with, of course, but I tend to believe that I am influenced by people who have a progressive vision about the world; they are my mentors. One of them would be Carl Sagan, astronomer, author and science communicator, who has certainly made me reconsider the way I look at the world.

What work of art you produced you like best and what does it mean to you?

I don’t think I have a favourite one, or, better said, I don’t approach my practice in this way. For example, the preparatory drawings – that’s what I call them – which are not sketches but different variations and possibilities for potential works are important to me. They are part of my working process and very few people know about them.

What moment in your career made you happy?

I can only say that everything I have realized thus far has made me happy, because it brought me to where I am now, and I am grateful to be one of those lucky people who are able to pursue their passion.

What do you expect from Accelerator program?

Within this program, through the interesting activities, I had the opportunity to meet people with contrasting ideas, keeping the communication interactive. The interpersonal relationships that develop in such contexts are important. I remain open to the opportunities of this program.

What other artists inspired you and why?

It’s a question I could answer differently every day, because I would always choose another artist. However, I can’t say that I look for inspiration in other artists’ practice, even though there are many whose work I admire. For example, when I was a teenager, I used to look a lot at Claude Monet’s paintings, especially at “Water Lilies”, but not because I was attracted to the medium of painting, but because I was fascinated by his obsession with light.

Returning to the present moment, as I said, what inspires me changes from day to day. What I am looking for, depends on my mood. For example, I constantly return to James Turrell’s practice, where the fascination with light comes up again. In general, I follow the practice of many artists, who have different interests and work with different mediums, such as Sigurður Guðmundsson, Bruce Nauman, Ann Veronica Janssens, Ceal Floyer, Karin Sander, Jenny Holzer, Roni Horn.

What are your future plans?

I live in the present and I am interested in what is happening now. I want to show my work now, as much as possible, so that people can discuss it, whether they like it or not. I’ve always been interested in the present. On the other hand, it doesn’t mean that if I make a plan, things will evolve accordingly. I’m really amused by this human obsession with planning, even though it’s pretty clear we have no control over things.

Works of the Artist

in Back to Where It All Began Exhibition