Kirsten Wechslberger, an established Namibian artist, graduated at the end of 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring with a single major in two-dimensional studies from the University of Namibia. Early in her career, Wechslberger sought holistic experiences through the arts and unsurprisingly, her oeuvre has become expansive without boundaries between art, craft, design and performance, multimedia and multi-sensory art.
Personal and corporeal connections between the arts, affect and communication continues to raise a deep curiosity in Wechslberger, as is expressed in the reoccurring symbols she uses in her work such as masks, windows, spirals, faces, social network communication signs, connected twine and woven string. These significations facilitate her exploration
and juxtaposing of themes such as emotions, connectedness, pain, spirituality, feelings, introspection and consciousness.
Soft, neutral, low-key colours are often combined with an appreciation of the textural qualities of the materials she chooses to work with. Her subtle tonal and textural combinations result from intuitive actions pursued after intensive questioning, reflection and analysis. In combination these elements grant Wechslberger’s work sensual and textilic characteristics which indicate her nuanced understanding of the subtleties involved in dealing with ever-shaping and sensitive emotional fabrics – her own and those of an ‘other’.
Definitely embracing in her art the ‘other’ (her audiences) and the ‘other’ within herself, Wechslberger explores her subjectivity, the ‘who’ and ‘what’ she is in relation to her fellow humans and environment. Consequently, identities, the human-centred aspects of peoples’ emotional fabric and aspects of the human condition, such as the ongoing search for meaning in life, underpins Wechslberger’s art.
She chooses alternative ways to familiarise herself and her audience with one another through experimental and participatory performance art and by drawing attention to interpersonal connections and the presence and movement of people within familiar and conspicuous spaces. The skilful execution of her work results from complex interactions with labour, endurance and obsessive attention to detail.
An important foundation of Wechslberger’s work is how it relates to time through the repetitive nature of her creating techniques and her minute to minute occupation with her materials such as paper, clay, wood, glass, textiles, paint and metal. These are the temporal spaces she occupies to ground herself by slowing down and discovering her own emotional and physical realities through materiality. ‘I am the most me when I am able to express things practically … feel the clay,paper, metal’ (Wechslberger 2014)