EVA MAGILL-OLIVER / ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
Nature has always been my main source of inspiration. It informs both the subject matter and color palettes in my work. The natural world is an infinite resource for documenting and exploring shapes, patterns, and textures. It also invites personal reflection and meditation. My landscapes and abstracts are a perfect example of this intersection of physical surroundings and self-awareness. They are a simple representation of a contemplative process and express a quiet intensity that reflects my own personality.
Prjct Social / INTERVIEW
How is the art scene in your city/country compared to the U.S/Michigan? Are their distinct differences that you’ve noticed in sales approach, perception of your work, and personal taste?
The art scene in Asheville, NC is unique and vibrant with a strong emphasis towards craft and folk oriented work like ceramics, metalwork, and glass blowing, etc. There is a thriving art scene here for sure and the local community is very supportive of the artisanal community in general. It’s a great place to be based as an artist because you know your work is appreciated here.
Walk us through a day in the studio. When you are fully committed to working on a new or current piece, what is your mindset, goals you keep in mind? What kind of mood does your space give off?
My 4-year old son dictates my studio time so I am generally working around his schedule. This can be a bit chaotic and therefore requires a pretty regimented process on my part. I typically slip into the studio in the morning to organize my thoughts and approach for the day. I usually have 5 to 6 pieces in process simultaneously that are all focused on the same theme. Once the theme is developed, I have a good conceptual sense of where I want to go and I can begin laying the foundation for each piece.
What influences helped shape your imagination and authentic style?
The most powerful influences for me have been the natural landscapes and places that I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by in my life. I grew up on the coast in South Carolina, lived in Paris for two years, and landed in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, NC in 2013. The natural world has been a constant and ever-present theme in my work since the beginning. Nature is the foundation, but I like to infuse the work with other elements inspired by street art, fashion, photography, and music.
What do you do when you aren’t painting? Any other hobbies or vices you can’t live without?
I am a mother on top of being an artist, so that occupies most of my time when I am not working. In the very little free time that I manage to find, I enjoy running, getting outdoors, and constantly surveying the world for new ideas and inspiration.
Can you remember the first time you picked up a paintbrush?When did you know you wanted to become an artist?
I took my first acrylic/oil painting class in the 4th grade. Soon after, I started painting with watercolors as well. There was never any real question in my mind, I wanted to be an artist from the beginning. It allowed me to express myself through a different medium other than verbally.
How has it been working with Prjct OMNi for this installation in Northern Michigan? What made you decide to work with our platform?
The enthusiasm of the curator, Chris Sims, inspired and motivated me to participate in the project. The idea of introducing a contemporary art aesthetic to the Traverse City community and presenting it in an unique and non-traditional setting really appealed to me. This will be my first Michigan-based project and I feel privileged to be a part of it.
When someone looks at your work, what do you want them to feel?
My work is usually narrative and personal, but my goal is that the viewer relates to it visually as well as emotionally with their own unique sensibility.
Do you have a selection of pieces you would never sell?
Yes, but they are not my own. They are works from other artists that I love and admire and that I would never sell. Like most artists, I am always working on the next piece and never satisfied. Therefore, my own personal work does not find its way into my collection.
What do you want to happen to your work once life is said and done? How would you like to be remembered?
My hope is that my art ends up with people who have supported me and have a true appreciation for the work. I would like to be remembered as an artist with an aesthetic that is both reflective and feminine but with a strong, clear voice.
Anything else you would like to leave say before we part?
Honored and excited to be part of this great project and included in this group of excellent artists!