Thursday, March 13, 2008

Interview with Eden Veaudry

Last month Eden Veaudry had a solo exhibit at Million Fishes Gallery in the Mission. After seeing her work and talking with Tamara, the woman who curated the exhibit, I knew I had to talk with Eden. Here's the result!

Bio: Eden Veaudry is a Victoria, British Columbia based cross-disciplinary artist who creates optimistic art that addresses her experiences in the daily dream landscape while inspiring the viewer with a greater curiosity and appreciation of the strange, organic forms that make up the everyday world.
She works in a wide range of media including drawing, painting, textiles, and film. She is primarily interested in expressing everyday sensations by manipulating her immediate impressions of the shapes, colors, and moods she finds around her.

How have you seen your work developing, since the beginning? You use an assortment of mediums, which they referred to as "remix" in the Million Fishes blurb. Can you explain this further? Is there a new medium you are thinking about trying o

Drawing has always been my favorite thing to do. When I was 10 years old I started to fill my school notebooks with these elaborate, tiny flower mazes, which is definitely the root of what I am doing now. I've always been interested in patterns, tangled lines, flower shapes, and fabric. Around 2003 I began drawing self-portraits in black pen on white paper. Over time these self-portraits began to get smaller. I began to incorporate lines from the periphery of my vision.

I was reading a lot of Gertrude Stein at the time, and I was interested in how she was able to bring forth a very specific feeling without actually revealing the emotional specifics of that situation. I was interested in unpacking the lines that made up the room around me. I wanted to draw a self-portrait consisting only of, for example, the lines that made up the blanket or the clothing that covered the body. Gradually I moved away from the body entirely.

My ideas flow in and out of different mediums without any constraints. Sometimes I will 'sketch' out an idea in crochet, and it will end up in a monotype print. Or I will embroider a drawing that I found in an old sketchbook onto a piece of fabric.

I use photography to document all of my sculptures, and often I will photoshop the photographs until they are unrecognizable. Then I will draw or embroider the distorted photographs. It is always spontaneous. I like to leave things up to chance. Lately I've been making little films on my digital camera and manipulating them on my laptop. I am interested in spending more time making music.

In your recent exhibit at Million Fishes, you exhibited reflecting bodies of work, drawings, and textiles. How do you approach what you want to show in an exhibit? What is important to you in an exhibit?

This is an area in which I am still learning. I think some of the earlier shows were a bit sloppy, and I am learning to be more strict with what I show. It's tricky for me, because some of the gallery spaces are quite vast and my work is very small, so often it is not the best situation for viewing. I think my art is best viewed in book form, or on a computer screen.

Every six months or so a new body of work will slowly begin evolving. When I decide to have an exhibition I will sort through all the things I've made that have a similar feeling running through them. I set these aside and look at them and think about what it is they are trying to say to me.

What do you like about living in Canada? Did you grow up in the town you are now living in? If I were to come visit you where would you take me?

I like the quietness here, compared to the United States. There are fewer people, and a lot less visual noise as well, in terms of fewer billboards and garbage and so on. I also like that I can walk wherever and whenever I please, even long into the night, and feel perfectly at ease. Victoria has been my home base for the last 9 years, but I grew up in rural Southern Ontario.

If you came to Victoria I think I would take you to some galleries - the Fifty-Fifty Arts Collective, Open Space, the Ministry of Casual Living, and Fan Tan studio 16 1/2. We could go to Lady Marmalade for french toast, and then head to the Value Village to hunt for wool and dresses. Then we could walk along the ocean, gathering driftwood.

What/who are your major influences? If they are people that you know, do you ever tell them something like, "Hey you're amazing and amaze me?"

My heroines are Eva Hesse and Louise Bourgeois. Each one appeals to me because their art is abstract yet approachable, warm and tactile. In a dream world, I want to hug their sculptures. Their works possess a perfect balance of emotion and intellect. The forms they use are organic and recognizable to me, as though they were culled from my own internal landscape.

I am influenced by the spirit of dada and punk. I also enjoy Sonia Delaunay. I am interested in Olafur Eliasson's use of light. Every time I've seen a Vincent Van Gogh painting in real life, I felt like I'd been punched in the belly and I started to cry. I am often astonished by the beautiful energy & creativity of my friends and penpals, who turn letter-writing, home decorating, cooking, sewing, and dressing into works of art. I ought to tell them more often!

Many of your exhibits are spread out across North America. Do you enjoy traveling for them? What has been your favorite trip in general? What makes a great trip?

I do love traveling, though I am generally a bit of a recluse. I like to go out into the world and gather ideas to bring back home. I realized a couple years ago that I could use my art as an excuse to travel, and this has worked out well as I've met a lot of really interesting people this way.

My favorite trip so far, in general, was my first trip to New York city many years ago. I arrived in Manhattan at 6 o'clock in the morning after spending 3 nights on a bus, and to see the city skyline rising out of the morning mist was incredible. It was everything I imagined. It was the first time in my life I felt entirely comfortable in a place. I fell in l for the first time, as well, so overall it was a transformative experience.

A great trip is full of new colours, sounds, smells, and shapes. I know it's been a great trip when I come home feeling different inside.

Her Website.

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