Beatrix (Bix) Fife


Rather than being landmarks, the drawings I do are maybe trail marks on the road to learn how to draw and to express what I feel. At the same time, I continue to have this strong need to slow down, looking for my own rhythm inside. It is as if one part of me says to walk towards something outside, and the other one says to stop and look inside.


Realizing more and more that I have to move out of my parents’ house, I start taking small jobs here and there. All I need is to pay the rent, have some money for food, water and electricity, and time to draw. Finally

I move into a room. The only things I have are books, sketch books, drawing materials, and my flute. There is no furniture but a mattress on the floor to sleep on. I put up the drawings I do on the empty walls of the room.


Then, like many might do in this case, I start to feel even more lonely.

My first drawing of the sea, attempts at self-portraits or at depicting objects, disappear little by little in a big emptiness. I pull them down from the walls and start throwing them away. The heavy feeling I had inside me some time ago has come out around in the space I have chosen to live in. Darkness. A lack of something. Yes, I have friends, family and love, but my body and mind are getting exhausted again. Unsettled, I move to another room. What to do? Maybe I need to meet others who draw too. Go back to my previous countries ? I want to. But before that, I need to clear my mind and learn more about how to use the brush and the pencil…


Like that day I suddenly decided to go to a museum, I pull myself together, one morning, and walk into an art school. It is an underground, newly started school. I have no money to go abroad nor to classical art schools. The artist running it is wearing old clothes covered with stains of paint, his big strong hands are like a construction worker’s. I show him my drawings and he holds them upside down, walks back to look at them from a distance. The way he speaks, the way he grabs his chipped cup of coffee, it seems that he is giving his whole life to art. I am a little afraid of him, but all my body says this is right.


The following Monday, I start attending his art classes, in this old stone building. We are a group of around ten people, more or less my age or older, all looking for something inside, wanting to learn more. We all draw on huge pieces of brown paper, according to a theme chosen by him every week : shape, light, space, line, texture, colour, movement… It is the first time I am drawing next to others who are drawing too, and doing it with my hands, body and emotions, using paint, charcoal, paper, wood, clay, poster paint and canvas. Looking at the others, listening to them, listening to the teacher, I get ideas, and more structure. I am not alone in this work. It is fantastic, but some things are tough: everybody’s drawings are criticized by everybody, the teacher gives his opinion but leaves it open to people to say what they think. Sometimes we have to say the worst things we can think of about a piece of work done by someone in the class. It is almost violent.


– Keep them for later, the teacher says about some of my drawings.

So I do.


100 x 100 cm acrylic on canvas

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.