Eva Antonini exploring ‘the fragility and transiency of life’ through her creations. Excerpt from an interview with Lucky Compiler:
Eva Antonini was born in Rapperswil, Switzerland and spent much of her formative years there before moving to Geneva in 1981. Her artistic soul tried finding many outlets, through music and dance and even through her studies in linguistics. She traversed many a path, in England, United States, Italy, Middle and Far East. The gems of experience gathered from all these journeys and cultural interactions were collected with care and were tucked away into her heart that later on permeated into the moulds of clay or alabaster that Eva lovingly caressed and cajoled into various forms with her hands. Eva honed her skills under the watchful eyes of the masters in the studios of Oreste and Antonio Quattrini, Giorgio Eros Morandini, Giovanni Cimatti and Ettore Greco. She received honours during International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Florence in 2005. And it was only the beginning. The former student of linguistics has learnt to speak in a language that is all pervading in its sublimity.
Your work is a depiction of feminine beauty and fragility. What inspired you in exploring the sensuality of feminine forms? What is your thought on the increasing vulnerability and dissatisfaction with one’s own body that society is experiencing nowadays?
As mentioned above, my work is about the fragility and transiency of life in general, but also about its beautiful and harmonious, as well as tragic and sad fleeting instants. The female body with its delicate and soft forms is particularly suitable for this kind of exploration, although I occasionally also create male bodies whose pathos emphasizes the more dramatic aspects of my perception.
Unhappiness and general dissatisfaction are symptoms of our material society and lead, in many cases, to problems in relation and friendships, lack of self-esteem and consequent refusal of one’s own appearance. It is a worrying trend in a society that seems to put the priority of being slim and attractive before any other values and interests. Above all, unrealistic standards set by media lead to obsession with one’s personal look. Women, more than men, are continually bombarded with images of the ‘ideal’ face and figure. Focus is on glamour, not on joy and thankfulness for the gift of life.
You work with different materials as a medium of your story telling. Do you first decide on the story and then the medium to be used? Is it a conscious choice to often sculpt a portion of the human body than the whole?
I mainly work with clay and plaster, in some rare cases with stone.
Yes, I first choose the theme to be represented. The initial phase of the sculpture is always realized in clay. Quite often, I mould the entire clay sculpture in plaster as a second step and then partially reproduce it with clay slabs, providing it with that worn out and ‘experienced ‘ aspect and surface, which is the main focus of my present research and exploration.
Sculpting only a portion of the body is a conscious choice, but the outcome is often a very spontaneous fragment, which stands alone and has its own energy and expressiveness.
Observers tell me that they are challenged with the completion of the image through their own imagination.
Image Source: The Artist