Pola Brändle, artist, about getting a name on Mallorca, Palma’s art scene, and how Berlin is different.
She had been an artist for quite some time but it was only on Mallorca when Pola Brändle got a “name” as an artist and started her professional career. The artist and photographer lived on the island for two years and refined her signature style, the art of collage. Rearranging strips and shreds of used, often weathered or half destroyed advertising posters that she has been collecting on her trips through cities all over the world, she creates something completely new, something one of a kind. Her works were shown in Galeria K and Rialto Living, as well as in numerous exhibitions on the peninsula, in Turkey, Germany, Russia, Austria, Hungary, and the US. A couple of her collages have remained on the island – for example at hotel Son Vent, or at foto studio Mallorca Flow, even after Pola moved her atelier back to Berlin-Kreuzberg. I met her for an interview over a cup of coffee shortly before she headed to Palma’s Nit de l’Art.
What made you come to Mallorca, Pola, and how did you get there?
I’ll always remember that day: It was 7 o’clock in the morning when the ferry boat from Barcelona arrived in Palma, a spectacular sunrise welcoming us. We did not yet know the island very well but we knew, yes, this will be our new home. A couple of days before, we had packed all our belongings in my old Fiat Ducato transporter, converted to a camper van – it was really packed up to the rooftop – and left Berlin for good. Well, at least for two years, that was our plan. My at that time American boyfriend and I had been looking for a place we wanted to live, a place that was unknown and had something to offer for both of us. So we checked the internet – and found out, that Mallorca is a great place for artists, as well as for rock-climbers, which was what my partner did. After two weeks of living on the island on trial, we discovered and loved Santanyí right away, the place we wanted to stay.
And then Mallorca gave you the start as an artist?
No, my start as an artist was actually in 2003, but Mallorca helped me getting a name – about ten years later. That was part of my plan, too. Living in Berlin, it was tough to get known as an artist, just because there is such a big creative scene, with everybody trying to get a bite of that apple. But you can become a well known artist in another country, and then return with a name. And that plan worked out very, very well. Mallorca, and Palma in particular, has a great infrastructure for artists, with its diversity of private galleries and large foundations like the Casal Solleric, the Fundación Juan March, or the CaixaForum. Plus, Mallorcans like it when you’re from Berlin (laughs).
Palma and Berlin are both wonderful cities. Do they have something in common?
Not really, I don’t think so. Of course, both cities have a long, eventful history, and a young and rather creative population, today. You find exciting bars and restaurants and a busy art scene in either of them. Compared to Berlin Palma is tiny, but it’s a grand and very beautiful city. Berlin is cool, interesting, and changing all the time – but I’d never call it beautiful.
What’s your favorite spot in Palma?
I love the Bar Bosch. It’s the very heart of the city and always a sure place to meet, for Palmesanos as well as for travelers. And, of course, Palma’s art events are fantastic – I’m particularly fond of the Art Palma Brunch, the beginning of the art season in April, and its corresponding closure, the Nit de l´Art in the middle of September. For me, those two are just the most important days in Palma. They have very different sounds, just as the air in spring and in autumn, but they are both equally amazing. Walk along the buzzing streets, enjoy the lively atmosphere, maybe with a glass of wine in your hands, and meet old and new friends. I still try to attend both events every year, so I’m very much looking forward to Thursday for the Nit 2014.