Full circle: Eline Martherus

Eline combines contrasting disciplines in her art practise; merging the geometric constructs found in Maths and Physics with the organic, fluid movements found through painting. Her pieces centre around ‘Hu’ the ‘Flower of Life’ which symbolises unity and eternal creation. Eline talks us through how ‘Hu’ influences her art; the importance and necessity of music as she works; and her aims to create art more sustainably.

The way I paint using two opposite worlds is literally who I am as a person.

I like how your art combines the geometric constructs found in maths and physics with the freedom of instinctual, organic movement found in art. Can you tell us what inspired you to explore and combine the two subjects? 

From a young age I was intrigued by islamic patterns in mosque’s and from visiting synagogues looking at tiles and mosaic patterns. I’m a library book kind of person; I would always choose books over digital – e-readers don’t exist in my world. I went to the library and found a book on Islamic art and geometric design. I was intrigued by what shapes and repetition could create, so I bought a compass and started drawing circles in my bed haha! I started dreaming about a clothing rack full of shape patterns in different sizes and shapes. This comes from my clothing design background, I’m educated in traditional paper patterns. I never thought my studies into shapes would scale the way it did. This instinctual organic movement is created from my personal hand; even if I wanted to make an exact geometrical copy, I wouldn’t be able to – it doesn’t suit my personality nor my way of thinking.

How do you find switching between the two disciplines of digital geometric art and organic painting? 

I love to fall back on my exact and measured shapes. I work with a lot of contemporary techniques; drawing shapes of different sizes on illustrator which I later lazer cut onto wooden panels and thick foam layers. You will often find me in hardware stores using all different techniques apart from brushes! I think it’s good to have these tools to fall back on but they’re nothing more than a tool.

Your art pieces also centre around ‘Hu’ the ‘flower of life’ which symbolises unity and eternal creation. Why did you decide to explore this symbol? And how does the meaning of ‘Hu’ influence your art?

The flower of life is part of the terminology I work with, and it’s part of the geometrical patterns I explore. The flower of life and the blueprint of people has a huge impact in my life and how I express within art. It’s a piece of art and a piece of my heart. With the flower of life and therefore with Hu, I try to create pieces of recognition; a centred place for people among the hectic pace of life.

To reach like minded people regardless of their physical place on earth.

Walk us through your creative process .. what are the different stages of your work? From initial concept to the execution of your idea. What are your favourite mediums to work with?

I always work on a large scale, large meaning – a piece that can be up to 6 meters which I later cut into smaller pieces. Each collection is family; the outcome is always open to interpretation. I’m open to people coming to the studio to look at the murals; here they can choose a section they like which I cut on request. This determines the rest of the pieces too.. I love that in this way I am forced to look at a huge section through the eyes of someone else.

‘Kanso Wall’
Do you have any art rituals?

No, but I love to bring energy to the studio; I often listen to cosmic and African beats whilst I paint. I tend to write the name of the song I listened to whilst painting a piece on the back of the canvas afterwards because I strongly believe this influences my work too. I always hope that people put on the song whilst hanging the painting, to close off the creative process in a full circle somehow. And I like to bring my friends and eat and drink whilst being surrounded by my paintings – I love that.

With Hu, I try to create pieces of recognition; a centred place for people among the hectic pace of life

How does art and creativity affect your overall well-being? And how do you feel when you create?

It’s my way of expressing. The way I paint using two opposite worlds is literally who I am as a person. It’s a reflection of me. Therefore when days are high, I feel high. When days are low I feel insecure. It’s a continuous rollercoaster, which can be hard sometimes.

‘Absence Shi’
What are some of the challenges you face as an artist and how do you push past these?

I like to shift in energy, and I have learnt that you can’t force anything. It will be as it sets out to be. If I lack motivation I’ll do bookkeeping. If I’m restless I will clean the studio. If I feel energetic but unfocused … I will experiment.

What are your hopes and dreams as an artist?

To reach like minded people regardless of their physical place on earth.

Anything coming up we can look out for?

Lately I’ve been taking a closer look at my environmental footprint as an artist. I’m more aware of my footprint and I want to create a closed loop with up-cycling and recycling of my materials to ensure I am creating more sustainably.

To view more of Eline’s work:

Website: www.elinemartherus.com

Instagram: @elinemartherus

‘3 Wall’

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