“My pictures work like USB sticks for me. They store the feelings I had when I looked at something,” says Tabata von der Locht, 27. Transparent, blurry – and a bit like the hint of a memory, leave it like that describe the artist's works. She works primarily with impressions from urban spaces.
Tabata's art is inspired by the footprint of society. Tabata takes impressions of posters, tape scraps, construction site markings or whatever else she can find in public spaces and processes them further. “I see it like a 'give away' box. If you're allowed to spray paint the walls, then you're allowed to take it back and use it as a common good,” she says.
Discarded advertising pillar posters are piled up in her studio. Tabata first soaks the posters in a basin, stretches them like a canvas and then tears off the upper layers. This creates a tearing pattern, the layers underneath become visible and a new composition is created. “It's exactly this uncontrollable nature that appeals to me. I wouldn't be able to imagine such forms otherwise,” says Tabata.
In her pictures, Tabata works without color; she only uses the original color of the object printed. Tabata uses fabric canvases that she coats with a solvent. Then she staples the canvas, presses off the varnish and thus obtains the print. In search of new motifs, she rides her bike through the city, her backpack full of fabrics and solvents.
As Tabata makes her mark in public, people become aware of her. “Most of the time it's just strange looks. People look at what you're doing but don't ask,” says Tabata. But it doesn't stop there. When she makes impressions of construction site markings, passers-by feel disturbed. “People thought it was illegal that I was posting something and wanted to call the police.”
But she doesn't let such incidents discourage her. “It takes courage. I've often not taken prints and then felt annoyed afterwards,” says Tabata. With her art she can now finance her life and her studies at the art academy. “You're privileged if you can dedicate your life to art. I earn less than average, but I'm glad I can do it.”