Johanna Schmal is a german artist working across fine and applied arts. With her strong passion for creation and fascination by the idea of the „Gesamtkunstwerk“ and relationship between arts and craftsmanship she studied architecture in Darmstadt, Barcelona and Berlin. After finishing university she worked for David Chipperfield Architects between 2010 and 2020 followed by a smaller practice focussing on monument conservation. Parallel to this work she always sought to cross the borders between the artistic disciplines in her personal work. What led her to study a postgraduate specialization course in children-books-illustration at EINA Barcelona in 2015/16. During this time she found her way back to an analogue way of creation using techniques such as pencil drawing, aquarelle and collage. Since 2018 she has also drawn her hand to fabric and realized several wall-hanging-series that can be seen as a development of her paper work into textile collages adding a haptic materiality and body to the art. Via the applied techniques such as quilting and embroidery and the sourcing of colours through plant-dying Johanna investigates traditional crafts and natural materials in search of a contemporary language and meaningful transformation. Johanna’s work is inspired by the beauty and power of nature and its rhythms, by crafts and folk art, by the mysticism and character of places, by new and old narratives, by the childly spirit, by people, their countries and cultural traditions, by exploring and crossing her own cultural roots, by protecting and transforming traditional habits and by the seeking for integral concepts. Recently Johanna is fully concentrating on her artwork with a latest exhibition in Bilbao at Segunda Libreria Galeria until December 2022. Besides her practice she hosts creative retreats in collaboration with other artists and is working on expanding this program for 2023. After a decade in Berlin Johanna is now living at the countryside south of Frankfurt am Main, together with her partner Cristóbal Schmal and their 2 children.

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