Behind Malwine Stauss’ playful work is an important and empowering message

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Malwine studied at the Art Academy of Leipzig, and has gone on to teach the pre-course there now, which is something she is really embracing: “Teaching is so much fun for me and also a big challenge, so I’m learning a lot. I hope to be able to do a lot more teaching in the future.”

Much of her work during her time here focused on the spirituality of witchcraft, and the struggle of females depicting it down the years. She also managed to meet a lot of like-minded individuals who share her outlook on the world and creativity, forming the Squash collective with some of her peers. She continues to work with them today, and consults with them throughout her creative process.

“When I don’t know what to do or have a question, I post it into the Squash chat, and they help me to figure out the best way,” says Malwine. “All four of us use that chat as a place of art critique and it’s very helpful. I really couldn’t imagine not talking to anyone about what I’m doing whilst working.” Her process also involves much trial and error, as well as a range of emotions and self-doubt, “I’m sometimes anxious that nothing will come up and I will be unhappy and unproductive, but luckily that hasn‘t happened so far. So, in general, I would say my creative process is a roller-coaster ride between intuition, joy, fear and surprises.”

Her approach has clearly not let her down yet, recently releasing her first book The Trip, published by Colorama. There’s more to follow too, with a continuation of her diploma book Hexen (Witches in German) to be published later on this year by Rotopol. This move into the publishing world has long been a motivation of Malwine’s, describing it as “a dream”.

Not resting on her laurels, she also has plans for large scale paintings and illustrations, as well as an exhibition and book on love and sex, in collaboration with her friend Lina Ehrentraut. “We have explored in the past, that our works are very well together, and we want to expand that collaboration,” says Malwine. “So, if there are any exhibitions spaces that are interested in that project, we would be very happy to hear from them!”

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