Following Kathrin Honesta's Journey of Faith Through “Ribbons: A Solo Exhibition”

The human journey of faith is not always smooth; there are times when the bonds of faith strengthen, and times when they loosen. It is this dynamism of faith that Kathrin Honesta brings to life in her visual works showcased in “Ribbons: A Solo Exhibition”. Open to the public until January 5, 2024, Kathrin Honesta shares her spiritual and personal experiences reflected in her works displayed at the Gallery at Indus Restaurant in Ubud, Bali. In the curatorial text for this exhibition, Nin Djani writes, "Ribbons showcases Kathrin Honesta's reflections on grappling with doubt and seeking His answers."

We had the opportunity to engage in an online conversation with Kathrin Honesta, delving deeper into the "Ribbons" exhibition, which stands as one of her career milestones in the world of visual arts. For Kathrin Honesta, "Ribbons" was an idea that emerged as she revisited her journals over the years.

"In those journals, whenever I had a thought, I would always sketch or write it down. From those journals, I looked for themes that intrigued me or the common thread among all my journal entries, and indeed, the overarching theme of faith always emerged in my journals," explains Kathrin Honesta.

For Kathrin, faith is something crucial and is the foundation of every aspect of her life, from her career to her relationships with others. The name "Ribbons" itself emerged when Kathrin discovered the recurring element of ribbons in her sketches. "Ribbons" thus became a metaphor for the journey of faith. Like ribbons, faith can be tightly bound and can loosen at any moment.

Visualizing the dynamic and abstract form of faith is no easy task. Therefore, Kathrin Honesta employs specific symbols of faith found in the Bible and elements from the universe. Curator Nin Djani states that Kathrin Honesta translates reflections on faith into a visual language of metaphors and natural elements. Ribbons and flowers serve as metaphors for the artist's journey of faith, expressed in her new works, sketches, journals, and old illustrations also displayed in the exhibition.

"The combination of old works and this new artistic exploration navigates the intimate nuances between acceptance of the unknown and the determination to continue with unwavering belief," writes Nin Djani.

Speaking about Kathrin's old works, the artist has long been known for her distinctive digital illustrations with a personal touch. In this debut solo exhibition, Kathrin aims to step out of her comfort zone by using traditional mediums such as acrylic and gouache. In her daily life as an artist, Kathrin often finds herself bored with the routine use of the same medium. Her decision to work with traditional mediums is a step to satisfy her curiosity about the unique colors and strokes that can be created through a process not as instantaneous as digital media.

"I think traditional mediums have their own uniqueness. For example, some colors cannot be replicated in digital media. There are also some brushstrokes in traditional mediums that we call 'happy accidents’, patterns created unintentionally that turn out to be beautiful. These patterns and textures cannot be imitated in digital media," expresses Kathrin Honesta.

Working with traditional mediums also provides Kathrin Honesta with an opportunity to learn about time management in creating art. Kathrin reveals that one canvas painting of various sizes can take two to three weeks to complete. In the process of creating her work, Kathrin also experiences trial and error. Instead of instantly undoing like in digital media, Kathrin has to start again from scratch. Overall, the creation of new works and preparation for the "Ribbons" exhibition took six months, from June to December 2023.


As an artist, Kathrin Honesta aims to keep learning and exploring mediums in her work, believing that it helps her to continue evolving. However, in regards to context, Kathrin believes that every artist has a true calling to address a specific topic. For Kathrin Honesta, in each of her works, she feels compelled to share personal stories about everyday life that resonate with many people. After years of working in the art world and introducing her work to the audience, Kathrin has found that many people feel connected to her art. After all, emotions are a universal language experienced by every human being.

"I wanna talk about 'the cooler topics,' like about the world and everything, but I can't. I feel like my true calling is not there. In the end, I decided to tell stories about everyday life and feelings that many people can resonate with; emotions, sadness, grief, which everyone has experienced at some point," says Kathrin.

Kathrin believes that her work can translate the feelings and emotional experiences of others. Interestingly, the context born from the personal experiences of the artist is collectively felt by the audience witnessing her work. Kathrin also expresses that she wants dialogues about daily life and life started from her works.

Creating works that can speak about emotions and feelings, and be relatable to the audience, is certainly not a simple process. Every process Kathrin has gone through over the years as an artist has been a healing moment for her. Whenever Kathrin feels intense emotions, she grabs a sketchbook and immediately translates what she feels into visual form. Kathrin feels that this practice is unhealthy because when her emotions are calm and happy, she loses inspiration and motivation to create. Now, Kathrin is learning to be more consistent in her work so as not to rely solely on strong emotions that come at specific times.

"Now, creating emotionally triggering works doesn't have to evoke memories from our past. I try to train myself by looking at it like creating work for a client. The emotions we present don't have to come from personal stories; they can also come from other people's experiences," explains Kathrin.

According to Kathrin, sensitivity to one's surroundings and what others feel is an essential skill in translating other people's feelings into visual art. Kathrin always tries to start a conversation with others who have interesting experiences to delve deeper into feelings. This way, Kathrin can pour human, universal, and relatable emotions into every line in her work.

The solo exhibition "Ribbons" is a significant milestone for Kathrin Honesta in the art world that she has been involved in for many years. Kathrin's journey has not been easy, but her love for art is what continues to drive her to create. Kathrin also sees hope in the growing art ecosystem in Indonesia that provides space for its creators. Kathrin can prove this with the increasing awareness of companies and institutions in Indonesia partnering with local artists and utilizing their works to convey specific messages. With the advancement of the art ecosystem in Indonesia, Kathrin wants to continue contributing to creating a space for dialogue and reflecting on dynamic daily life through her works.

About the Author

Alessandra Langit

Alessandra Langit is a writer with seven years of diverse media experience. She loves exploring the quirks of girlhood through her visual art and reposting Kafka’s diary entries at night.