Born and grown up in southern Germany, Eva Graf began already at the age of 13 to create her own artistic designs in furniture, jewellery, sculptures and paintings. Her love for creating the unique accompanied her throughout her life in a number of different opportunities and positions to a curious filled artist, interested in exploring and experimenting with a variety of exciting art forms in Cuba, Venezuela, and Brazil.Before moving to Bahrain, she was working and exhibiting in her own art center at the Silver Street Studios in Houston. In June 2016 she opened up her latest art studio & gallery at Al Hilal Gardens, in Jannusan. Graf’s present art focus is on sculptures, object frames and wall montages. And now being a resident of Bahrain for 2 years, she will showcase the entire collection of her work created from “Natural Material of Bahrain” - for the first time. The opening night for this exhibition will be on May, 29th at Words Bookstore on Budaiya Highway.
In an interesting conversation with the Weekender, we learned more about the artist and the creative intuition behind every single project she takes up.
W. Does being an artist of any kind come naturally or does it require rigorous commitment and hard work to achieve recognition?
Eva: Firstly and most importantly: You have to be gifted with some elements of creative talent to become an artist. Being creative cannot be learned or studied. Transforming this talent into art is then up to the individual artist. Secondly, it requires engagement, endurance and courage to become successful. You have to find your individual style and create your own 'brand', which then can be used for marketing.
W. When did you realize your interest in creating artistic designs through different medium?
Eva: At the age of 13 I started to create my first artworks. I started with silk painting and aquarelle painting. Then I changed to jewellery and multi-media design. Recently I learned from my mother that I had started already at the age of 6 to collect natural materials when I was walking with my parents. Again, the creative intuition was there even before I could remember it.
W. You’ve experimented art in a range of forms- which remains the closest to you and why?
Eva: Working with natural materials for my artworks is most rewarding for me. You always deal with individual pieces which are always different and never perfect. I love to feel the materials and shapes with my hands. Creating sculptures and assemblages is therefore what I love most.
W. How has Bahrain helped in nurturing your artistic intuition since you moved here? Do you feel it’s a good place for artists to settle in?
Eva: At first I was sceptical when I moved to Bahrain, as I thought there is not enough nature to find pieces for my artworks. But I was wrong. I found a lot of different materials to work with. Also, I enjoy the tranquillity here - a big difference to the hectic city of Houston I lived before. Also the light and colors in Bahrain are special.
W. You would be showcasing your mini sculptures collection together for the first time, was there a reason to have delayed to showcase it until now?
Eva: It takes time when you have to collect the materials for your work in nature. I wanted to do a special series of artwork just from materials which I found here on the island. This series is now completed and I will showcase it for the first time.
W. You’ve mentioned that they are made of natural materials in Bahrain? What materials are you talking about exactly?
Eva: I am talking about desert grass, bark of tree’s, seeds of the drumstick tree, different kind of leaves. Things you can see on a daily basis, but are usually overlooked.
W. Apart from sculptures, you also work on object frames and wall montages. How are these similar and how do they differ?
Eva: Some of them combine for example acrylic painting with natural objects. But just come to the exhibition and find out yourself.
In a Glimpse:
Favourite place in the world: the jungle
Favourite artist: Cannot name just one - there are just too many
One thing people don’t know about you: I have a secret
The one thing you can’t live without: Nature (and my family)
If you weren’t an artist, you would have been a... forest ranger