Do you ever find yourself drifting into the hidden realms of highly intricate artworks? For me, they are something special. On top of the fascination (how does an artist come up with these ideas?), the joy of unpicking the complex fusion of images and symbols ensures no artwork is left to a quick, two-second glance. In her debut solo show “What Happens at Night” at Equity Gallery, multimedia artist Eva Redamonti provides all of these experiences with her own signature twist. Even more so, this special series delves deeper into her personal life than ever before.
Exhibition Dates: February 11 – February 27, 2021
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 13, 2021 | 2:00 – 5:00 PM
245 Broome Street New York, NY, 10002 United States
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Equity Gallery was founded [in 1947] to support the professional aspirations of emerging artists. Eva well represents this community, and I was intrigued by her work and charmed by her earnestness and energy.
Under my direction, Equity has broadened its programing to include practitioners and makers associated with a wide range of media and crafts. This including illustration, book arts and animation. The hard lines drawn by galleries and the greater art world forcing hierarchies that silo “fine art” apart from other studio practices is out of touch with what young artists are in fact doing. They see no divide say between a painting on canvas and a illustrated book or a ceramic work.
We are thrilled to be hosting “What Happens in the Night”. It’s a signature show for Equity as it encapsulates all that we strive for in our programing. We trust its success will provide well deserved support for Eva’s continued exploration of our fragmented human condition.Michael GormLey, Executive Director at Equity Gallery & New York Artists Equity Association
“Comprised of hand-made ink drawings, a site installation, and a series of animated shorts, “What Happens at Night” offers performative imagery and auditory accompaniment that reference Eva Redamonti’s childhood growing up in a suburban New England town.
Through repeating visual motifs and experimenting with different line weights, the artist’s drawings explore narrative and visual depth by layering scenes one on top of the other in non-conventional ways which in turn signals the viewer a multitude of options for navigating around the work. This exhibit will be presented across two rooms; the first will display sixteen drawings hung over a vinyl mural that will stretch the length of the gallery walls. The second room will play five animations presented as moving interpretations of the above noted drawings.”
Interview with Eva Redamonti
Thank you for agreeing to chat with me, Eva! Your upcoming show, “What Happens at Night”, shares glimpses into your childhood growing up in a suburban New England town. At first, this sounded pretty sweet to me; I had visions of nostalgia and rose-tinted memories. But I soon understood that this solo exhibition is something else – a darker truth about your experiences of isolation. Can you share more about this topic?
I think you are spot on with both of those feelings. It’s a mix of nostalgia and loneliness. As a kid, I was homeschooled and didn’t have much of a social circle. My family environment growing up wasn’t healthy, but my mom dedicated a lot of herself to making sure we had creative upbringings. I spent most of my hours alone, mostly around music or art or around some type of imaginary space. This felt positive for me as a child, but later I realized also a crucial coping mechanism that separated me from my environment and my loneliness.
It’s always been an ambition of mine to showcase my work in motion. I also wanted to play into the idea of paranormal activity happening at night…
One of things that piqued my interest is the reference to you having lived in a haunted home. Are we talking real ghosts or a more symbolic haunting brought about in one’s own head?
I did see ghosts as a kid! I have a handful of defined memories of odd paranormal stuff happening in my childhood home.
Are any of these paranormal experiences referenced directly in the 2D artworks in your current show?
No. Many of the houses within the show have a similar structure to the childhood home I grew up in. Lots of nature.
As well as two-dimensional pieces, you have created a series of animations to coincide, and auditory accompaniments to the works. Was this visual-auditory relationship something you had in mind from the very beginning?
Yes, it’s always been an ambition of mine to showcase my work in motion. I also wanted to play into the idea of paranormal activity happening at night… so, the animations are supposed to play into the idea of my artwork “coming alive” off the wall, within the dark room [of the gallery].
I am curious about the emotions that you may be aiming to encapsulate through this project. Fear perhaps; or is it more neutral ground, something open depending on one’s own perception of hauntings, night time or isolation?
I think out of any emotions, what I’m trying to encapsulate is loneliness. The paranormal activity is best represented in the artwork with ghosts, spirits, creepy-eerie backgrounds, and abstract shapes.
As a musician, in your own right, I presume that you have created the auditory elements yourself? How has this been different from the music you have written previously?
I directed the sound, most of what you hear is not as much music as it is sound design. Crackling of paper, door slams, that kind of thing. My partner Isaac Matus helped these come to life, as he’s a sound designer.
Is this the first time that you’ve worked on a project to encompass numerous senses within the experience?
I’ve worked with sound, animation, and illustration as separate practices, but never together for one idea.
I love how thoughtfully busy and surreal your works are; they’re the kind of works that you can really spend time looking at to appreciate all of the small details. It seems that the short animations you have created for “What Happens at Night” stick within these strange and dreamlike realms. You’ve described these as ‘moving interpretations’ of the ink drawings within the show. Are animations something you create often?
Thank you! I was always interested in animation during my time in music school because it was the most obvious connection to my drawing. I took a short adult education animation class at Massart and suddenly realized it wasn’t as easy as I thought. Since then, I have done a handful of five or so animations. Only this year, did I really dive head-first into making more elaborate animations. In 2021, I’ll be working on two animation commissions so that’s pretty exciting!
Working in illustration, I am usually encouraged to create work that feels more relatable, happy, commercial. This felt more independent.
Thinking more broadly, why did you decide to focus on this as your theme?
The way I grew up defines not only who I am but also my style of art-making on every level. For my first solo show, I think it’s fitting to tell that story – for viewers who are familiar with my work, or even seeing it for the first time.
How long has it taken you to complete the works for “What Happens at Night”? And did you try or experiment with any new techniques or ideas as part of this process?
I began creating work for this show in September of 2019. The animation was a lot of experimentation for me: learning new animation software, AfterFX, elaborate story-boarding. It’s been great and opened up so many new opportunities and projects around animation for me.
I imagine that working so long on such a personal, heavy topic could be exhausting…?
No, actually it was a nice change to be able to embrace that side instead of trying to “lighten” my work. Working in illustration, I am usually encouraged to create work that feels more relatable, happy, commercial. This felt more independent.
Creativity has always been a way for me to fight depression, anxiety around different situations, or resentment. A lot of artists feel this way.
Personally, I really like the style that you’re sharing in your upcoming exhibition and I’m sure many others will as well. Do you think you will be creating more personal, perhaps darker art now that you’ve cracked wide open this door while working on your solo show?
I’m not sure. I know that after this show, I want to go back to a brighter style for some time. There is something about the process in this style that was different than the rest – involving layering multiple landscapes on top of each other that completely fill the page – but I really miss drawing more 3D-looking artworks that live within a small space.
Even if you’ve moved on from the feelings of isolation and paranoia that you once had, experiences like that can stay heavy in the soul. Do you think this project has helped you to overcome, or move on, from these realities in your youth?
Definitely. Creativity has always been a way for me to fight depression, anxiety around different situations, or resentment. A lot of artists feel this way. In 2019, I suffered a hand injury in my drawing hand that – thankfully – didn’t limit my ability to draw altogether, but prevented me from being able to work on drawing for the usual unhealthy amount of hours I used to. Whilst creating work for this show, I had to learn patience. Without the happy buzz of drawing constantly, a lot of difficult dialogues emerged in my head. I feel like I am more in touch with who I was as a child, how that shaped who I am now.
How do you feel in the wake of the show opening?
I feel excited to see all the work together in the same space! I hope the pandemic doesn’t affect things too much – but also, it kind of takes the pressure off. Whatever happens, happens.
And finally, is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?
Keep an eye out for a totally different body of work in 2021! I’m excited to shift directions. Lastly, get in touch with Equity Gallery for a collector’s preview if you want to see a sneak peek of the entire show!