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meeting grebnellaw

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

(Foto by Lamia Karic)

The first time I saw Grebnellaw online was In August of 2022. I was blown away by the simplicity of red and white mixed in with the all-kinds-of-crazy going on at the same time. What am I even looking at? The innocent white and the fierce scarlet red had me both at peace and scared. I was intrigued, touched, and the artist in me became a lot more open to performance art. Finally in April of this year I had the chance to see her perform live. Grebby carries herself high but in a very humble manner and there's zero doubt about the impact of her presence in the room.

Leading up to our meeting I had all kinds of questions I wanted to ask but at the same time I had to stick to the game plan and explore what inspires her and how that inspiration leads to her actions. It didn’t take long until the conversation became an adventure. Let me start off by saying that she doesn't see herself as a performance artist, she’s a storyteller which makes a lot of sense when you deep dive into her world of subatomic people made out of particles that haven’t been found yet. Yes, she said subatomic particles. Whenever I hear anyone talk about quantum physics I’m all ears! Her character is part of a bigger constellation. It’s not just Grebnellaw, it’s the entire population and animals, an imaginary world that she presents through photos, music and performances. The tricky part for her as an artist is to keep things following some type of scientific logic as she bases a lot of her work on quantum physics.

“We are just mediums, I feel like inspiration is a collective energy” she says.

I thought about that for a while and It does make sense. Why would it be individual? I mean, can you shut everything off and not get inspired? Everything around us does inspire us, it could very well be a collective force. Interesting!

One thing I can tell you, I don’t rely on inspiration. I can really agree with Picasso, It’s always great to get inspired but I work regardless if I’m inspired or not. If I get inspired, that's great.

I know that everything leads to action already. Now I'm surrounded by people that make items to put out for sale. That’s not what I'm doing, I’m a storyteller, and when I feel that I have a message that I need to tell then actions just come about. I don’t just make a piece of art, it comes from an idea. The action is not the important part, it’s the idea, a robot could make my art. For example if you work with a new media and you don’t want to go over your head you contact an artist to do work out some of your ideas. Actions were made out of my idea and without my idea the actions wouldn't take place”

(Foto by Grebnellaw 3d/CGI)

Our conversation led us to work ethics where we also had something special in common. Something we both feel is a foundation to our work ethics - being Finnish or being a Sisu rather. We both have Finnish heritage. I don’t want to deep dive into what that means so click on the link so you can get an idea about this special Finnish word. At this point our conversation had me going but she geared up and took it to the next level when she started talking about sports. I was blown away because if there’s something I’ve always felt as a strong advantage in the art industry it's my background as an athlete and coach. My determination to create and follow a game plan but also being dedicated to my craft in - and - outside the playing field has really given me strong tools in the art industry. I work hard, I grind, I fail and I get back up again. It's tough but I'm not here for the easy road, it’s about the reward later.

“Like people who do sports and go into art, they have a very strong foundation to work in the art industry. They have work ethics and are usually mentally strong in the ups and downs” - These words meant a lot to me and I could see how she became curious about my background and she even asked me a few questions on how I do my game plans in my “new” life as an artist.

I had to ask her;

“Can you compete in art?”

- Doesn't everybody already do that? Like galleries, it’s a store…

You try to build up an illusion of a utopian world where you don’t need to compete but galleries are just stores that sell different items and compete with other stores."

I guess you can compete but then the question becomes, what’s the reward? Fame? Cash? Making history? To me it’s the latter one but only the future can decide that.

Our conversation kept going for a while but I decided to shut the recording off. I felt like I had material I wanted to share. This is not meant to be an interview, it's a dialogue between me and different creators. I'm exploring what inspiration is to them and how that leads them to take action. From this meeting I definitely feel like I've come one step closer to what I'm seeking in my own journey. I am talking about seeing inspiration as a collective force. I haven't really put it into words yet, it's just floating as a feeling and thought right now but I also have more then ten people left to meet!

Thank you Grebby for this meeting. It meant the world to me to meet you in person and discuss this matter. From one artist to another.


On the Menu!

I had a wonderful and traditional Smörrebröd with roast beef and danish rémoulade sauce and Grebby went for one of their favorites, Skagen. With that amount of shrimp I can really see why that's a favorite! Also a big thank you to Vincent and his lovely staff at Nybroe Smörrebröd for a fantastic lunch and collaboration!

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