East Bay artist and inaugural recipient of the Jonathan Bernbaum Memorial Award for Autonomous Art*, Eveline Darroch, has always had a love for captivating art that challenges our understanding of the world around us. Residing in Alameda, she currently works with international teams to create unique experiences in arts and entertainment.
Eveline’s next artistic endeavor is to create a soundscape experience that incorporates some of Jonathan Bernbaum’s work.
EBCF had a chance to learn more about Eveline. Check out our one-on-one interview with her!
How art has played a role in your life?
Art has played a significant role. It has been the highlight of most of my great adventures.
I have worked professionally for 18 years around the globe creating metal sculptures for myself and other artists; creating, designing, fabricating, painting scenic elements and props for cirque, opera, commercial installations and theater; and lastly, building machine art/kinetic art with an artist in a festival in the Netherlands for many years. I have also worked on projects specific to architecture such as lighting and design. Art has allowed me to travel the world!
Before working professionally, I was making and installing guerrilla art in the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. The undertones of those pieces were mostly political or humorous.
When you create, are you seeking to cultivate an experience through your art? If so, can you talk about the experience you want to create through the project you proposed?
This current project is a new area of creativity for me. I will be using sound and video as my palette, and images that are not set in realism. This project is about the sounds and how they are manipulated in the architecture of the cathedral (Grace Cathedral), and thus how their physical presence will be embodied by the listener. I want the sounds to have a physical presence that creates an emotional response. I always want an emotional response from the art that I create, otherwise it is just “plop art” or something you see to take up space. I would like to curate sounds that will be unusual for the building. Most importantly, Jonathan Bernbaum’s video content will be used and projected on the cathedral. I chose to use his work, with the grace of his family, because his work was world class and lives on through the creation of this grant.
What artists inspire you?
I greatly appreciate many forms of art for their detail of execution and the evocative nature of each piece. Two of my current favorites are,
Francois DeLaroizie (La Machine – France): The style – even down to the mechanics – is of exquisite beauty. The concepts, the interactive nature, the massive immersion, and removal from reality that his work brings you into is a fairy tale come true. When you are present at one of the performances, you are in that world. The mechanical engineering is unique (and gorgeous) as he integrates industrial, farm, shipping, and other technologies together to create a living creature of beauty.
Anouk Wipprecht (The Netherlands): She challenged academics to create her path of study in engineering and fashion. When academics would challenge her, she kept her course. The attention to visual detail in her work is aesthetically beautiful. I love the biosensor driven element of most of her work. She has used proximity sensors to activate everything from smoke screens and spider legs to wearable kitty ears, among others. Integrating art and technology has always been a fascinating concept to me. She nails it exquisitely!
Is there a style of art that you are most drawn to?
I am attracted to immersive pieces that change the environment around you. I think this is my top favorite. I believe that we all want to explore or to be fooled. I have a great preference for work that is subversive and explicit yet stunningly beautiful.
I am also attracted to kinetic, machine art. I can get lost in a small articulated piece by following the story, the design, and the engineering. Larger scale pieces can be profound. The simpler the kinetics and more refined the finish – it wins my awe.
As a recipient of the Jonathan Bernbaum Memorial Award for Autonomous Art, can you tell us more about the project you proposed? What is your vision? How did you come up with this concept?
I am fascinated with historic architecture. I love to explore in a physical realm. My life has been “one of wander and wonder” so to say. In vaulted ceilings, a whisper in one corner of a room that would play as a normal voice on the other side is an aspect of this. That is a brilliant effect. I wanted to play more with the idea of architecture creating illusions with sound. Most importantly, I walked into Grace Cathedral at the beginning of the process of co-creating the Ghost Ship memorial last winter and the story unfolded before me; the original sounds were highly industrial, almost as a lament of waving a fist at the economic derision that caused the death of so many. We shall see what will become of this project. I have a few highly skilled collaborators in mind. I want to use sound as an experience to evoke curiosity and thought, as well as a physical feeling. I have chosen to use Jonathan Bernbaum’s video content to project on to the architecture to help evoke these emotions or physical feelings. Jonathan was a creative genius and a fan of music that also evoked [in the listener] many feelings to the core of one’s being. Unlike the previous event I co-produced at Grace Cathedral, this one is not a memorial but an experience for those who are present now. It is a different chapter.
As an artist in the Bay Area, have you seen ways in which the Ghost Ship fire has affected the arts community?
There are massive holes in people’s lives from where 36 vibrant people had once lived.
*The Jonathan Bernbaum Memorial Award for Autonomous Art was created in memory of Jonathan Bernbaum, a world-renowned visual projection artist whose life was tragically cut short in the 2016 Oakland Ghost Ship fire. The award, worth up to $2,000, is given to an artist or group of artists in the Bay Area whose work demonstrates innovation.
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