Eva Nothomb has a master’s degree from the Brussels Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Visual Art (Drawing; 2016) and holds a BA in Graphic Design from the Institut Saint-Luc, also in Brussels.
The current body of work (TEXT IN CONSTRUCTION°
In 2019 2020 she continues screen printing's the Nothern Ireland experience in Belfast Print Workshop
In June 2019, she arranged a residency at the Seacourt Print Workshop in Bangor, Ireland, starting a work
around bog bodies. Since 2019 she has been a member of the Belfast Print Workshop, experimenting with different types of print in pursuing this work.
This work gave rise to an exhibition (“On the Brink”) in 2019 at La Chambre gallery in Brussels. Since then, the idea of spectrality has evolved, nourished by objects and elements encountered in Ireland, the poetry she read there, the voices she heard, the weather.
Since 2017, she has had residencies in Vanuatu, France, Northern Ireland, and Georgia.
From 2001 to 2011, painting as well as photoshop were her main creative mediums. Pieces she realised in those years were shown at the exhibition: “Magical Journey of a Certain Zero”.
In a collective context, she has had artistic experience for more than fifteen years in her various positions (collaborator, coordinator, project designer and organiser, and activity leader) at a Brussels cultural centre that organised activities and events aiming at multicultural work with different communities. During that time she arranged an art residency in Algeria (2016) and a number of workshops.
She is co-founder of the Cargo-Sinon collective founded in 2013 by five artists from the Brussels Academy of the Fine Arts.
Practice 2019 2020
My practice aims to erode objects and to imagine their spectral, mutable relation/s with others. Or, put otherwise, it’s a practice that tries to work from the edges — the lines, the blanks, the zones of silence — that separate objects but which also permit them to touch, and sometimes combine, transform, blur, and leave traces in one another.
While one could see the edge as something that offers a certain “hold” in reference to a system that circumscribes reality, here it becomes a point of silent passage, of gestation and transformation, objects struggling with their changing environment to redefine themselves.
Objects in my images lose their here-and-now. They cease to resemble: they evoke, they secrete an invisible. Such objects rendered other make something else appear, like the mummified bog body revealed by acid in the peat.Through salt etching and screen printing, various alterations of the image can occur by bitings or overprintings that silence the original edge/s of objects. If the former technique “erodes”, gnaws on the limits, the latter, by allowing me to superpose several thin “veils”, serves less to serialize the image in its repetitive process than to provoke the accident, a pluralisation or blurring of those limits.
Belfast Print Workshop's intervieuw Avril 2020
Belfast Print Workshops’ role and contribution to the cultural life of Northern Ireland is local, national and international. This is reflected in the workshops’ international membership.
Today I would like to highlight two members, Eva Nothomb from Belgium and later today
Josephine McCormick in conversation with Eva Nothomb:
When and how did you discover that printmaking was a medium for your creative practice?
I discovered printmaking in 2014, through my drawing practice. Silkscreen printing impacted my way of composing my vision/visuals: it has come to displace my way of seeing. With printing tools,
I was able to think more in terms of textures and heterogeneous surfaces than in terms of depth. These tools allowed me to work with the reverse side of the form and to take into account the effects of stains, scratches, fading, and wear and tear. The drawn object becomes no longer univocal: it can move through images where it is composed differently, altered by different processes.
At the same time, two “patterns” gradually became important for me in the course of my readings: Labyrinths and maps. Both induce the idea of the path, of displacements the stages of which the image in series can expose. The composition is then done in layers, in fragments which can be derived from one or more previous forms. There lies an “opacity” of the image that I like. Why? Because it is multiple and has no fixed structure. I don’t know where it will take me. It is to be read like an enigma.
Two years later, in 2016, my artistic work as it had been taking shape got to be put into practice via, amongst other things, a socio-cultural workshop for a refugee audience . In this workshop—that took place within a larger project called “Odyssey of the liberties” held over several years in Brussels—each participant was asked to tell of their “trajectory” (the route they had taken before arriving in Belgium) as they saw fit, in a storytelling style. At issue was: How can one help people discover uneven lives and how can almost “impossible” situations find a base or an inscription in
the space of a drawing? The difficulty was the lack of a common language: it was necessary to find ways of expressing oneself “without words”. To do so, we resorted to printing and engraving techniques which allowed us to approach the stories in the form of gestures and different plastic stages. One could say that these techniques have demonstrated their social “usefulness”:
they made it easier for people to register in the moment, to open up to the narrative, to enhance self-expression through poetic images.
What was your experience of working at Belfast Print Workshop?
There’s a great creative and dynamic atmosphere at BPW. I’d been eager to go there for some months, having been introduced to the place by a friend. There’s a feeling there of being “at home in being completely elsewhere”, or in all of us a creative spirit that seems to mark the place. A form of openness without emphasis, a climate conducive to work without control or mundane preoccupations. It’s an environment made stimulating by the diverse and committed artists as well as by the fantastic job done by the manager and the technical manager who are so energetic. I learned different techniques during the courses (and this format of courses we don’t have in Belgium) and I must say that these workshops are delivered very well. Before going to BPW I knew Seacourt, and had visited many other artistic structures. But BPW can only be compared to one of my best memories: the Master’s drawing workshop at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. My work moved and refined itself. And even if I got lost in testing techniques at the beginning, I never felt stressed. This freedom of action is really precious. I intend to pursue my printwork as soon as the quarantine is lifted.
Do you have a preferred process?
Serigraphy, salt etching, collograph.
Tell me about a printmaking project you enjoyed working on.
Last June, I was immersed in the subject of bog bodies. I was working on images of objects ungoverned by the imperative of resemblance. Such objects- rendered-other make something else appear, like the mummified bog body revealed by acid in the peat. Salt etching, screen printing:
I especially enjoyed using these techniques to surface various alterations of the image.
What project are you working on now?
It’s a work in progress at BPW between words/weather/ground. It’s a relationship of my imagination with the territory of Northern Ireland, among others. So it involves mythology and other stories that are very useful to me.
Formally, it is a montage that began with layouts working in particular with the relation between text and images. I plan to continue this project with a scenography that involves sound. It’s a project that is growing in size, and that requires a lot of experimentation in the studio.
How are you coping with Covid 19 lockdown, have you made any new work and future plans?
As the current project is strongly nourished by writing and reading, I am taking advantage
of this time to flesh out ideas. It is obvious that printing practice will have to follow to get
the project off the ground.