As a child, Eve’s grandmother encouraged her to draw and paint a lot. Eve has always felt drawn to creative pursuits, this was consolidated at GCSE level when she was first introduced to design alongside fine art, becoming instantly drawn to the former.
Eve’s interest in design led her to the BA in Design at Goldsmiths, University of London. The course, she says, has completely changed the way she thinks, her process and her outcomes. Eve describes the course as a “big leaning curve” but believes she is finally beginning to adapt to a new way of thinking. If she would have studied elsewhere, Eve thinks it unlikely that she would have been inspired beyond the desire to design “nice packaging for nice things”, whereas she now hopes to do something on which she can place a higher significance.
Where do we draw the line between what constitutes an artist or designer these days? Is it even necessary to make that distinction? Eve considers it a spectrum, although feels like she definitely leans toward defining herself as a designer: she likes to work from a brief, and struggles to create only for herself. She does believe that there absolutely shouldn’t be a distinction between the two, that artists/designers should embody traits of both. Eve says: “The longer I’m working as a designer, the more ‘arty’ I seem to be getting.”
Eve’s featured piece, Pole/Tube seems to fall most fittingly into the category of performance art. Pole dancing was the starting point of her project based on her enjoyment of it. Eve faced certain limitations while creating the piece: she doesn’t consider herself particularly skilled at pole dancing, and certainly doesn’t consider herself an exhibitionist. She tells us of the difficulty of performing in a public space: “to try and remove myself from my body and just dance in a very public space, very much on my own and very much sober was tough.” She says it was also challenging to set up the shots with only one person to film, but the biggest challenge was to direct and perform at the same time. The reaction from the witnesses of her performance was surprisingly positive: “I worried I’d get a lot of disparaging looks, maybe even some negative comments, but people either (very British) sheepishly looked the other way or were actually interested in finding out what it was I was doing.”
Eve has been inspired by many different artists and designers. Pole/Tube channels Wes Anderson’s cinematographic style. Eve also admires David Carson’s graphic style, as well as work by fashion designers Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto. In general, she admires the “extremes” in art and design.
(All images and video featured in this article are the intellectual property of Eve Nightingale)