Beatrix (Bix) Fife


One day I try again to draw the sea, with a pencil.

I suddenly notice my hand mechanically making shapes of boats on the ocean line.

I was making those boats when I was a child, but these stereotyped symbols are absolutely not what I want to show. I laugh, then feel sad, and put brusquely down the pencil, disgusted.


Peering at my black flute case where the flute lies, I think of all the hours and years I spent practicing scales and phrases. I guess it is the same for drawing, I have to learn a proper technique, as I did with the flute. But what’s the point, now I don’t want to blow into the instrument anymore… Maybe I need to learn a drawing technique that everybody can refer to. I never learnt any, or maybe I did, but I don’t recall anything.

As it goes, my head fills up with contradictory questionings, like a huge wave coming over me, somehow drowning me. I almost can’t breathe.


It is night time now. My neighbor, the boy, screams again. He is torn apart. I know how much

it hurts. The scream makes its way into me, a terrible sound. I want to close my ears with my hands.

In this country which is mine, where I just arrived a few months ago leaving my other countries behind, I

scream too, but a silent scream.


I would like to continue to draw the sea, so maybe I should go and see some drawings of one of this land’s artists. They often draw the sea of this land, I finally tell myself. The next morning, I grab the chance I have, to see the real works of the one who expressed, literally, a scream. Stepping inside the museum I look at the pictures. In museums I always used to be an onlooker, now I need to know what is on the other side, what is behind there –behind the painting. I then start to spend every Sunday, the following weeks, in front of this artists’ paintings, just looking at them, one by one, discovering new things little by little, slowly, as my eyes travel on the canvas. Sitting still, my eyes move. The brush strokes and heavy paint start reminding me of things that happened in my life, my mind gets a little clearer.


It becomes a kind of ritual, feeling comfort going to see his pictures. Every Sunday I watch a different one, for hours, among all these people passing by. While I am sitting there, on a bench, the artist climbs out of the canvas, comes by my side, and sits silently next to me. I don’t need to scream anymore, but gradually sense through his pictures that he speaks to my heart, beyond words, in a warm and calm way. He understands me. I don’t need to draw like others say and you don’t have to do like me neither, he seems to tell me. His pictures console me. I am still not able to go back to my drawing, but am discovering something new in myself.


(continues next month)


acrylic on canvas-paper 18x13cm

Beatrix (Bix) Fife
Beatrix (Bix) Fife プロフィール

Born in Stockholm, Bix grew up in Rome in a Norwegian, British and Italian family, speaking 3 languages. At the age of 7, her family moved to Paris, where she completed her secondary studies in French schools and also learned to play the classical flute.

While studying at university and management school in Oslo she also started to paint and to do theatre. She was a trainee for 6 months in NYC at the New Dramatists’ studio. She then studied art in Oslo and at the Fine Arts Academy of Budapest. In 1990 she won a prize in an art competition in Austria, giving her the opportunity to come to Japan. In Kyoto, she studied Japanese calligraphy and worked with performance art between 1995 and 1999, with philosopher Michael Lazarin and musician Mamoru Katagiri (Marki) and played music for dance companies in the Kansai area from 1997 to 1999. She moved to Brussels in 1999 continuing to paint, to exhibit works and to give concerts. As well as learning to play jazz at the Music Academy of Brussels, she played in the Bix Medard electropop group and founded the Brussels Language Activities, school of language and culture. She received a Master’s degree in Sciences du Langage at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon, in 2008.

After moving back to Tokyo in 2010 she started Bix&Marki, a musical duo of original French songs. Bix is a painter, a singer, a musician and a linguist. She sings, plays the flute and writes the lyrics of all the Bix&Marki songs. While working on her music and painting, Bix teaches French at universities, specializing in role-play and language through art and personal expression.