Luca Curci talks with Earnest during MIXING IDENTITIES, third appointment of CANVAS ART FAIR, at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space in London.
Earnest allows life to be her inspiration, resulting in energetic and transformative paintings. The Importance of Being embodies the core of the work of Earnest. Who are we? Really? To what extent are we who we are? In what order do the others limit us in our being? Or do we put boundaries on our self out of fear or ignorance? Can or will we be able to detach ourselves from patterns and systems in which we were purged? Do we close our eyes for what happens in and around us? Do we linger in superficiality or do we accept the challenge to experience the depth and the height? Do we open up for a universal connection or do we cling on to indifference and individualism?
Luca Curci- What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Earnest – I learned the métier of oil painting from Waldrada Onzea. She taught me the trade as it has been past on from mentor to pupil for generations, dating back to the Renaissance. After two years of these private classes, I joined the Roger Van Avermaete Academy to improve my drawing skills. I combined these two educations for another two years. At a comic book workshop, I met Serge Baeken, who became and still is my mentor in making my graphic novel. Occasionally, I also join his life model drawing sessions. I participated in several exhibitions and organized some group expos. In my first solo ‘Silent Conversations’ I showed my inner motions and their translation on canvas. For the ‘Power’ series I investigated the inner and outer struggles of what power can do or be within and without me. With the allegory of Plato’s Cave I told this story with paintings. For this expo, I also made an Artual, a booklet with 15 loose reproductions and a small book explaining the story and a manual for an alternative way to experience art. Regarding the experience that has influenced my work the most, I think creating the painting ‘No More Mrs. Perfect’ marked a turning point in my artistic practice. Before this painting I tried to paint realistically, prove that I am capable and skilled to be an artist. I let myself be guided and corrected by my mind. In creating this work I broke free from this ever overlooking ego. This work opened the door for my intuition and my soul to become my guides.
LC – What are you currently working on?
E – A set of paintings representing untangible landscapes and another set visioning the universe and the multiverse.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
E – I love being an artist. It is what I do. It is who I am. Every time I enter my atelier I am grateful to have the opportunity to be there and to create. Being an artist in the 21st Century has great advantages as we are easily connected throughout the world. I can follow artists from around the globe through their Instagram account and see what they are up to. In this society we get a daily overload of images. Choosing to create one specific image and spending time on this is a bold and necessary decision, I think. To stop, breathe, slow down and go within. This flood of images and the race of our time has resulted in people spending an average of 13 seconds looking at a painting. This is a challenge for us artists to stimulate our audience in prolonging this moment to discover more. Even now during the Covid-19 pandemic some things are not different for me as an artist. In creating my works, I work solitary. I need this solitude to conserve my creative bubble and allow the flow to exist. So, once I got to my atelier, I was fine. Being home with the family a lot, resulted in less creative time and less output. At the outbreak of the Covid-19, I participated in the first expo of the Female Artists Club, which closed prematurely. All the events of this expo were cancelled as well, which was a great pity.
LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it like your medium of expression?
E – Yes, of course. For me it is vital to create. If I don’t, I get ill or cranky. I think I express what is happening inside me but also the unknown. I don’t always know what I am creating or where it will lead to.
LC – What is your creative process like?
E – I manage to let my curiosity win from my impatience in making a new work. Working with oil paint requires waiting. One layer has to be dry before another can be put on. This drying process inhibits a time period in which I have to work on something else. Forcing me to take distance from the work every time. At this moment I am working on 12 paintings. They all are in a different stage of production. I do have some rituals before I start. I put on my apron, painting shoes and vest, water the plants, make a cup of tea, burn some Palosanto and put on some music. I ask my intuition or soul what it wants to work on. And always in that order.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
E – The concept of MIXING IDENTITIES relates with many of my work. The expression of the transformation of my identity/our identities and this conscious evolution is what I try to translate into images.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
E – I have chosen the work ‘Coming to terms’ to be a participant in this festival. In our inner struggle we encounter both the light as the dark sides of ourself. Finding a balance between the two is challenging. How can we embrace their existence in order to be authentic? A spiritual connection, shedding light on it, can help as a guideline on the path to acceptance and love. It is this mixing of our light and dark side, to accept them both and become one, that made me choose it for the MIXING IDENTITIES concept.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
E – As far as I can judge from afar and from the movies on Instagram, it looks very well organized and set up with respect for the different art pieces.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
E – Yes, I certainly do. ITSLIQUID Group offers opportunities to show your work to a broader audience, in different countries.
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
E – First, of all, I am very satisfied with the communication which is always very clear, concise, gentle and on time. A suggestion could be to offer the service of an art dealer, who would get a certain percentage of the sale price when sold.