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sarah illenberger interview
original content
aug 22, 2011
sarah illenberger interview


sarah illenberger : ‘good weather’ exhibition

at: gestalten space, berlin

from: 18 august — 11 september, 2011

© sarah illenberger, image courtesy of gestalten




designboom spoke to the berlin-based artist on the opening weekend of her exhibition ‘good weather’ at the gestalten space, berlin.

DB: can you explain to us a little bit about the ‘good weather’ exhibition?
SI: the exhibition brings together my favorite images created in the past 8 years.
many of which have also been featured in the book from gestalten verlag called
‘sarah illenberger’. although most of them have been seen in magazines alongside
with text, I think they can stand well for themselves. alongside are some newer
installations and small objects which I created independently from my usual
magazine work. a black tie with a nozzle which ‘could’ be inflated- symbol of
the bank crisis, a pair of die made of cobble stones, a wig out of candle wax drippings.
these are all ideas which use materials in an experimental way.



© ‘good weather’ by sarah illenberger, image courtesy of gestalten

which materials / medium have you enjoyed working with the most so far?
paper definitely goes on no. 1 on the list. it’s easy, quick and still surprising.
food and flowers would be the follow ups.

which new materials / medium would you most like to work with in the future?
am trying to discover more old fashioned and traditional materials and techniques
like basket weaving or glass blowing. I would like to travel to japan soon and
see what they have to offer.



© ‘good weather’ by sarah illenberger, image courtesy of gestalten


© ‘good weather’ by sarah illenberger, image courtesy of gestalten


© ‘good weather’ by sarah illenberger, image courtesy of gestalten




© ‘good weather’ by sarah illenberger, image courtesy of gestalten


© ‘good weather’ by sarah illenberger, image courtesy of gestalten

much of your work appears to be the result of many hours of thinking and making
yet the majority of your pieces are successful because of their wit and simplicity,
are you cautious not to over-complicate the end result?

yes, I always try to get rid of all excess baggage, so to say, and use only what is
necessary to communicate the idea. I compensate this minimalism with the use
of colors and details in the work.

if you have a good idea for a new piece do you create it as self initiated work
or keep it in your head until the perfect client comes along?

depends on the size of the project. self initiated project work when the idea can
be processed into a large amount of images and time plays no role. if I feel that it
works in 5-8 images, then it’s better to use it as a magazine feature. I would prefer
to spend more time on more extensive subjects.

most of your work looks hand made,
do you ever use the computer to enhance images
or to produce quick preliminary visuals?

I always use photoshop to create precise moods and layouts before commencing the handwork.
it’s good to see how much material, accessories or other products I need.
and often the photographer enhances the images in post-production,
removing glue gun excess which sometimes can’t be avoided :)


© ‘good weather’ by sarah illenberger, image courtesy of gestalten




© sarah illenberger, image courtesy of gestalten

have you ever added movement (animation) to your pieces?
is animation work something that would appeal to you?

I love to use movement in my work, but unfortunately it is requested too seldomly.
I have a you tube channel which I use on experimental basis to keep my mind open
for animated ideas. I have worked on animations for design shops where the chairs
where dancing, kissing, spinning and talking. right now I am using kinetics in shop
window display work, which is great!


© meloncholie, 2010 by sarah illenberger. fine art print, 40 x 60 cm, ed. of 50. courtesy of gestalten


© ‘chili con carne’, 2008 by sarah illenberger for enroute magazine
fine art print
70 x 84 cm, ed. of 25
courtesy of gestalten



© ‘soft brain’, 2009 by sarah illenberger for sz-magazin
fine art print
20 x 26 cm, ed. of 25
courtesy of gestalten


© totem, 2011 by sarah illenberger for rubbersoul/goodyear. courtesy of gestalten


front cover of the sarah illenberger monography published by gestalten, 2011

you can see images from the exhibition
opening over on gestalten space’s tumblr


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