My name is Eline Martherus. I’m a Amsterdam-based contemporary artist, born and raised in the south of the Netherlands. Looking back, I always expressed best in the application of different materials. I am naturally curious driven about patterns and logic and geometric rules behind this. The intertwining of ostensibly contrasting worlds (geometry versus instinctive organic application and spirituality versus tangibility of materials and application) is what symbolizes me as a person. We are all build from the same blueprint ,humankind. And this is incredibly powerful.
PIECE WITH ARTIST
JAN 20, 2021. AMSTERDAM.
Tell us your story, how did you come to painting?
When I was younger, I was obsessed with tiles and mosaic. You know the ones that you would lay out on the table into different patterns? Or the ones you can find in mosques and synagogues. That was my thing. I could sit there for hours building weird compositions and patterns, analyzing and trying to beat the logic behind it.
I constantly tried to re-frame and re-interpret with different disciplines from materials, techniques and expressions and to find new of presenting. I bought myself a book on geometrical patterns in art and a compass and started drawing.
I treated myself to a new language. Abstract expression rather than societies association on how life should be, where there was no longer a need to use wording as an expression. Replaced by nothing but colors and shapes, some days textures play a bigger role than others.
I learned about the flower of life. The Flower of Life is created by placing seven circles in an overlapping symmetry, called the rosette. Perfect in its shape, proportion and harmony, the Flower of Life is considered a sacred geometry with ancient religious value that depicts the fundamental forms of space and time. By definition the Flower of Life symbolizes creation and reminds us of the unity of everything: we are all built from the same blueprint. To me the Flower of Life symbolizes a visual connection expressing the life that runs through all living things. The Flower of Life has given a deep spiritual meaning and forms of enlightenment to many, including myself, and therefore has a central place in Hu.
I was so intrigued by the power of geometry and the fundamental forms that I started expressing this on a large scale trying to play and beat the geometrical logic. This fundament is at odds with my personal painter’s hand that has turned out to be very organic and ensures that my work has an abstract appearance in addition to the solid base of geometry and fundamental forms
How would you define your current painting?
My style as an artist is characterized by two ostensibly contrasting worlds: On the one hand I uses (sacred) geometry to construct the Flower of Life, the base of my works, and on the other hand I apply an organic, instinctual-driven painting method.
I like to say that ; The colour blue has naturally become thé central colour in Hu,as we are all built from the same blueprint. This brought me to the point to be more aware of my footprint as an artist. I think it's no longer enough to be making art a conceptual expression, to reach people and evoke emotions is amazing however what's the worth if whilst doing so my work has a negative impact in the production phase. Often when I’m asked to label my work I would say it’s spiritual, conceptual, that’s it.
Tell us about your style and technique. Any secret that can be told?
I use contemporary techniques such as sponges and brushes to add dimension to my work. Acrylic paint, wax and oil paint are the basic materials I use, but I also build a hybrid with my textile focused education and work frequently with hand-embroidery and tufting techniques to create wall carpets using naturally dyed yarn. No secrets but would always support to keep seeing things as playing.
How do you usually start your paintings? With a sketch, a draft or is it just an improvisation?
I work on large skill canvases which I staple to the wall. This are on average 5 by 2 meters. First I work on a base layer which I very geometrical making patterns using nothing but ecoline afterwards I add 2 to 3 layers using acrylic. In the end I end up cutting the big piece either on commission request or instinctually driven meaning on mural ends up in 4 to 5 end pieces which can rotate 180 degrees from the angle I painted it in. Always a surprise even to me.
What are your motivation forces? And the artists who have been and are an influence for you? Two simple things. As long as it feeds my soul it's ok. In times where I loose this feeling i try to shift energy and instead of creating I will do other parts of the business. Mantra for myself is that what I have now was once upon the things I only wished for. I try to keep my practice pure and close to myself.
What can you tell us about your studio, what kind of place is it?
It’s my save haven. I’m super gratefull especially in times like these that I have a personal space where I can do me. About 4 years ago my best friend and I started renting workspaces together, he in fashion and me as a painter. This group kept on getting bigger with people we knew from town or university, people that are all in the same start up phase as us. Curently we are in an old universal building meaning there is soundsproof cinemas and other fun rooms to discover.I’m in the warehouse where goods would be delivered, meaning no heater but in return I get a 7 meter high ceiling,which only benefit my works!I often have people over to drink beers, cook food and talk. I think it’s super important to have different and especially good energy around my works.
What is art for you?
Among the hectic pace which people live by nowadays, many people feel the need for a peace of mind and purpose. Using the Flower of Life as a base, I try to give people the point of centralization, or meaning, they are looking for. Regardless of the physical place where my work has been presented so far, it always creates a dialogue and a sense of recognition and awareness within the viewer. In the end it so simple art is whatever it evokes in you.