Eva Rothschild explores her use of materials in her sculptural works.
In this video, Rothschild discusses the importance of the choice of materials she works with, explaining how she manipulates these choices to give the appearance either of something pristine and untouched, or of something that very much bears the touch of the artist’s hand. She also touches on how an artist can never see their own work as as the viewer does, as one can never ‘discover’ one’s own work.
I wouldn’t say I have a favourite material. I have a favourite colour, which is black. The thing with materials is you use what you need to get what you want. And there is materials that I, perhaps, don’t know how they would function within what I do. But sometimes something you don’t expect presents itself. But yeah, I mean, the materials are a kind of means to an end as well as being something in themselves. They have to do what you want to do. I, sort of, like quite a smooth surface but one that still has a sense of the hand in it though, a sense of touch. And, so it takes it away from a, kind of, industrial look but yet it has the, sort of, industrial machine rolled form.
For certain works, like works with the black Perspex and things and works like Riches, I suppose, there is a sense of they are almost, kind of, untouched, that they have sprung fully formed. I mean, the reality is, obviously, everything we believe has sprung fully formed is fabricated. But there’s a sense of a, kind of, lack of touch, there’s a sense of a, sort of, pristineness or a perfectness, sort of, almost other worldliness to that kind of surface. And for me in certain works it’s really important that’s there but then other works should be, sort of, full of touch so that there’s a complete sense of the hand within them. For me, I’m interested in those works being together so that there’s a, again, a kind of a tension between the, sort of, the touch and the untouched.
Those questions of its materiality should, sort of, lead to a, kind of, an intense look in where, sort of, an exchange takes place rather than a, sort of, passive looking, there’s a sense of search and a sense of demand from the eye in terms of what the sculpture might give it or what it might give to the sculpture.
You can’t have the same relationship to the object as the viewer because you can’t view it for the first time so you can never discover it in the same way as somebody who hasn’t been involved in the making.