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Meet the artist I Noura Djurić 's intimate view in art.

This week ,we gladly introduce to you, Noura Djurić's intimate perspective in art. The intimacy she suggests unveils the tension and serenity that come up when exploring different states of closeness. These states include themes of sexuality,mythology and personal narratives, which are apparent in her encounters. Consequently ,her artistic approach constantly raises questions about how her art resonates with her identity as a woman and artist.

Dive into Noura's perspective and learn more about her artistic practice and upcoming projects!

Photo of the artist taken by:Sara Sani

A. The concept of sensuality is apparent in all your works of art. How do you maintain this while incorporating naïve elements?

Intimacy is at the heart of my artistic approach. I think it encompasses so many themes that are important to me such as  identity ,the body and trauma. Given that I often depict women's bodies or scenes of embraces.As a result,female gaze is very important to me because it makes me think about the way we look at the people around us.

Apart from that ,I also try to bring a form of nobility to individuals who haven't yet been given enough visibility in the art of painting.Sometimes suggesting eroticism can be more striking than an explicit scene. Noticing that there is a great lack of representations of sexuality and intimacy by women in the history of art,we understand that its because of the fact that we ourselves are constantly hyper-sexualized. So it's very important for me to be able to express myself on this subject.

Obsession in the middle of the night,Oil on linen,265x222cm,2021

B. How do you involve the unconscious in your artistic creation process? In your other interviews, you explained how other artists, your memories, your experiences and your feelings inspire your art. Could you explain how you draw on these sources?

Painting is a very meditative practice and I always try to embrace what Duchamp called "the coefficient of the work of art"; that concept in the creative process is the order of the accidental and the uncontrolled.For me it's very important to retain spontaneity even if the work is very researched and prepared. I try to be in tune with something bigger than myself that flows through me and that sometimes gives way to some very nice surprises.

My work is very auto-biographical, but it is also nourished by the stories of others. I'm very inspired by what people around me are going through and how they tell me about their experiences.

Sometimes, even if I'm doing a self-portrait, it's going to be filled with feelings that don't belong to me. I've always felt a need to paint people I know, sometimes I don't know them in depth yet and yet something about them inspires me. Often these anecdotes mirror questions that I already have and become part of my research and interests.Specifically,if I decide to deepen the subject, it will involve a lot of discussion, almost interviewing people before the portrait, and sometimes it's the other way round. At the moment, for example, I'm working on the theme of the Sleeping Venus, and this theme has led me to choose women around me who remind me of this figure or who embody what I'd like to deconstruct from the legacy of this concept. My friends Ines, Nassia and Evdokia.

Sleeping Venus I,Oil on linen ,100x40cm,2023-2024

C. How do your colour palettes set the mood for your paintings?

My colour choices are both instinctive and highly symbolic. They range from an intuition when I'm in the paint shop to a reference to a period that marked me as a young painter, for example the early Renaissance. The combination of pink and milky green came to me after seeing Veneziano's Altarpiece of Santa Lucia dei Magnoli in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. But above all because the colour pink embodies many struggles and concepts throughout history. In Europe until the 19th century it was the colour of virility and I find it fascinating that this has been reversed today, it's rich in terms of gender, sexuality, feminist revolution, politically and artistically.

Romain, a mask and a cigarette,Oil on linen,2021

D. How do you balance the sense of intranquillity in your art so that it doesn't become too morose?

I wouldn't mind if it were morose, but I think that despite my colours and the tenderness that can come through in my paintings, my figures are often intranquil, full of questions and at the edge of something. There's a tension there, because my subjects also embody my concerns and are part of a very unstable and violent society. Even the example of the Takotsubo series, which aesthetically appears almost soothing, in reality conceals behind it all an investigation into trauma and what it reveals about our human condition in our time.

Takotsubo I,198x156cm,Oil on linen,2022

E. A few months ago, you put online a draft of unpublished drawings with references to mythology. How do you plan to incorporate the mythological element into your current work?

Mythology inspires me because it's part of our cultural heritage and also embodies my sensibility and love for art history and the history of Greece. I love its allegorical aspect and the fact that it has stood the test of time and still resonates with us today.Even though, it doesn't play a huge part in my aesthetic rather than in my references ,it often underpinnes my work. Some examples that I've been marked by include Greek mermaid sculptures and Cycladic tears containers. I feel very lucky to live in Greece in that respect.

F. How has Athens contributed to your artistic identity as a city and as a society? What aspects thrill you?

Athens has been one of the most beautiful experiences of my life, especially in terms of the people I've met and my love of culture. Because of my Serbian-Moroccan origins, I feel a very strong familiarity with the country. Everyday life in Athens is very inspiring, but the people around me have been a key element in my work. I also think that, subconsciously, my palette warmed up once I settled here.Saying that,all my colours are soaked up the Mediterranean light, but I'd say that it's above all on a personal level that I feel connected and inspired which obviously influences my artistic practice.

Tender flesh,33x22 cm,Oil on canvas,2022

G. I saw your Artemisia project. How did you come up with the idea? Do you think it could help you evolve your techniques and concepts?

Artemisia really came from my friendship with the designer Sofia Saerens, with whom I collaborated to create the shirts. The initial idea was to merge our practices and we wanted to create a unique garment that would fit as many people as possible without changing sizes. The shirt came together very quickly and for the paintings I tried to bring together several recurring themes in my work, including self-portraits, embraces and portraits. We'd love to work together again in the future to create other types of clothing and as a painter I'm totally open to future collaborations. These are very stimulating and inspiring experiences.

WIP taken by:Sara Sani

All other photos are taken by Alex Kurunis


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