IT'S ALL ABOUT EVE AN ARTIST STATEMENT WRITTEN BY EMMA BEER
Have you seen the film, All About Eve, the one with Bette Davis in it? Where she is an ambitious ingénue in a man’s world? It shows the limits and extremes that one woman chooses to undergo for recognition. Her actions are distasteful, but it’s a such a fabulous performance that somehow you like her anyway.
My father’s mother’s name was Evelyn. I loved that woman –I would sing to her, forever wasn’t long enough for me, at her request. A memory that I will treasure always.
Maybe It’s All About Eve is a reference to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Earthly Delights?
I pay homage to Yves Klein, yet I’ve feminised his name in an intentionally cheeky manner, as I quietly challenge gender stereotypes and roles. Or am I just being a smart ass?
When making these paintings or more specifically when I think about making these paintings, I can’t help but suck in the same air that Yves Klein exhaled when investigating the Void. I think about two things; raw material and pure sensibility.
I need raw material for is its power to literalise my process and simplify the construction of the painting.
Pure sensibility is something I strive for in the studio. I mean slowing down the digestion of the image and really just looking at what I see and perhaps even letting myself feel it too. It manifests in my paintings through intuition, responsiveness, sensitivity, awareness and delicate discernment between raw material states. These paintings offer possibilities rather than conclusion.
This all seems very serious, but most of the time it’s not.
Sometimes I want to explain myself to me. Am I Eve? What is all of this really about? I think about making paintings all the time. I think about painting when I’m running up the ridge, when my lungs are pushed to the limits of their capacity and I don’t even register the ideas because I’m thinking of something else. I make paintings in my head when I swim, when I close my eyes in the shower in the morning, even while I’m fucking. I make more paintings in my head each day than I would in an entire year. But I guess I think about swimming or fucking when I’m painting, so go figure.
When I think it’s mostly about the act of painting, what it feels like to make a painting. What temperature is it going to be next time I’m in the studio? Will that make for some fast painting? What mood will I be in? How long will I be there for? Will I leave feeling better or worse than before? How much can I reduce or deduct before there is nothing? Nothing is Nothing. Everything is something.
What appears at first glance to be a simple image through contemplation reveals a more complex engagement with pictorial space – a slow release.
- APRIL 2016.