ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Doris Buehler

The Academy is pleased to share a new ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT series on our blog, to showcase what our graduates are doing. Here, Doris Buehler, MFA 2000.


What are you currently working on?
I was been preparing for a Single Show at the Gallery Bachlechner, in Z├╝rich, June 18th -31st July 2011. I  showed a collection of sculptures, paintings, mixed media and some animatronic pieces around the "belly button". I have also created a series of wax pieces called Burning Issues that highlight some of the concerns we as human beings have regarding our political and social environment.

I am moving away from the traditional forms that I have previously used and exploring a far more abstract state which I enjoy immensely. This allows me greater freedom in my communication; addressing the issues of today in a way that is more congruent with my feelings. The belly buttons, and the wax pieces, have allowed me to show a slightly more frivolous side, playful and exciting. However, the "belly button" is built around more serious messages. The "belly button” or the Umbilicus Urbis*

Our "Umbilicus Urbis" is the centre of our body, a central point of our spirit, where we make decisions - a gut feeling if you will. It reminds us our historical roots, and the ties to our ancestry are still clearly visible. The materials I have used all coincide with this theme. They generate an emotional environment, colored with humorous pieces, that brings the message home in a focused and confrontational way. The works are there to challenge, to be discussed and to open the debates that these ideas bring to the fore.

What was your most recent big thing?
I currently have a splendid show in a beautiful Park in the South of Switzerland. I also participated at a major event in Switzerland in 2009 where I showed a couple of life-size pieces called "in between" and "Gaia". I have also shown works in Germany, Israel and the USA.

Doris Buehler, in between, 2009, Lifesize, Acrystal Prima, Size of Glass 1m x 2m high
What do you find challenging about your work?
To set a goal of where I want to be with my art in 10 years from now. Since my art encompasses so many different materials and styles it is hard to decide with which I should precede. In the studio I find that the biggest challenges are to find the right materials and reliable suppliers, organising shipping, and organising other people to deliver on time and against promises! Finding time to do my PR, maintain my website, design invitations and plan events is also a challenge, there never seems enough hours in the day. I must get to do that project management workshop!

What do you find rewarding?
The paycheque is nice but much more rewarding is the joy to create, to develop an idea with the right material to attain the utmost expression of what is on my mind. Also I find it rewarding to catch people’s interest and make them curious.

What’s on the horizon for you?
Currently I have two private commissions in the pipeline that will keep me busy until the fall. I have been asked to show a big piece in New Orleans. I am however most excited to put aside some spare time to create a new body of work, a lot of which has been in the drawer for a while, and show it towards the end of the year.

Doris Buehler
http://www.dorisbuehler.li


*A special monument in the Forum Romanum, indicating the symbolic centre of the empire: the "Navel of the City of Rome" and representing the Mundus - a gate to the underworld. It was opened three times each year, and these days were particularly nefasti (fateful) as the evil spirits of the underworld could escape and interact with the living!

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