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stills of mine

An air of contradiction lingers and bubbles inaudibly from beneath the patterned and highly polished surfaces of works by Eva Blanché that draw upon and delve into anexploration of the multi-faceted masks of beauty, youth and glamour of everyday objects and their associations with the superficial, artificial, processed and packaged.

Employing a combination of stereotype and irony the works have an all-encompassing approach to its subject matter, where mark making, colour choice, play and manipulation all form part of the process, and works revisit and repeat imagery that echo one another unpredictably.

The tension Eva Blanché portrays exists on a number of levels and appears to be focused around a idiosyncratic framing of her own personal surroundings, and the female image and the presentation and dressing of that. It’s apparent the work is highly manipulated and stylized and playing with the truth and mask of reality; the trivialities of the every- day partnered with the dreams of possibility and the quest for fulfillment.

A lot of works focus upon the portrayal and appearance of the female through a variety of portraits that seek to exaggerate dress, posture, pose and setting. Reminiscent of pinup posters of celebrity starlets, but also of regular family photos the women portrayed all straddle that much talked of arena of appearing as both the sexy and glamorous female and the almost matriarchal everyday woman.

Alongside her meticulously painted portraits there are those works that contain various objects (also predominantly associated with the female). These objects some-times also imply square biographies, both private and public, both glamorous and less so.

There appears to be a complicated love-hate relationship between the artist and her subject, especially when referring to the still-lives. Meticulously staged and posed Blanché seems to adore her subject matter yet has a certain contempt, or perhaps more humour, for the way it exists, or should be seen to. The recurring references to the domestic environment via furnishings (patterned wallpaper) and household items (television set and picture frames) amplify Eva Blanché’s inquiry. The domestic space is one’s own private space yet we often dress and present it for public viewing and it’s filled with very public forms of presentation (i.e the television and photographs) where we are encouraged to present
an alternative of ourselves.

In these spaces everyday problems unfold and cultivate a yearning for individual happiness. Passions and tempers flair in these spaces and are given the freedom and security to. Momentous moments also happen within them, yet at the same time they cultivate routine and repetition, the trivialities of daily life, the mundanities of self maintenance and survival.
There is something apparent through Eva Blanché’s work that comments on beauty as an undefined element; processed, packaged, artificial or real, one should embrace all and take delight in every form.

[ Louise Briggs, Glasgow
MA Contemporary Art & Art Theory (Edinburgh College of Art)  |  Preface of the catalogue "stills of mine" 2010 ]

Eva Blanché was an exchange student at Newcastle University from September 2005 through until December 2005. During this time she produced a series of  original and distinctive paintings. These explored a highly figurative idiom, dealing with elements of kitsch and irony. Much of Eva's figurative imagery was drawn from her own immediate surroundings or her own possessions: the view out of her window, a pair of her fluffy boots for instance,  but she was able to instil these small paintings with her own sensibility. Technically, the work was similarly obtuse, mixing a kind of naive approach to the painted surface with an obvious delight in the medium itself.

At seminars and tutorials Eva was an engaging student, participating well and speaking up for her work. She was energetic and conscientious, and produced a very satisfactory body of work during her exchange programme. I believe that she responded well to the pressures and challenges of undertaking such an exchange, and is clearly a motivated and self reliant student.

[ Andrew Burton, Senior Lecturer in Sculpture / Fine Art, School of Arts and Cultures, University of Newcastle  |  exchange report 12.2005 ]