Extract from the book Eva Hild, text Love Jönsson
Carlsson bokförlag 2009, translation William Jewson
There are many paths to be followed by anyone wanting to understand Eva Hild’s sculptural world. Like the lines of her sculptures, these paths wind their way along trajectories that simultaneously retreat from us and yet are open to view. Speaking of approaching her works in the form of movement along a path or track – and, in consequence, regarding the process of assimilating the work as journeying through a landscape – appears entirely natural when the art in questions seems almost to form a realm of its own. This is a country of remarkable, organic forms that, despite individual differences, all seem to have grown from the same root and in the same earth. And if we regard our consideration of her works as a journey, this corresponds to the idea that bodily movements form a natural foundation for how we experience and understand the work. A journey through a landscape gives a different type of experience than that which we gain from merely perusing the work. A journey through Eva Hild’s three-dimensional realm can take the form of daring to place our bodies in her sculptural landscape, of letting our own memories of physical motion and of being surrounded by other bodies resonate in our experience.
Should we choose to speak of paths, we must remember that these have two directions. The actual direction that we follow is by no means preordained and relationships are not fixed. We see interiors turned inside out, surfaces transformed into bodies and bodies turned into cavities. Forms that we believe that we understand as being calm and stable can suddenly appear twisted. The line that we are attempting to follow teasingly escapes our gaze, dodges out of sight and assumes a new direction. The thin walls of Eva Hild’s sculptures seem fragile but the forms that they create are resilient and powerful. Characteristic of her work is, precisely, its duality, the tension between opposites, the ambiguity of gesture pointing in different directions at the same time.
Faced with some of the softly billowing, virginally white sculptures, to speak of opposites and tensions may seem far-fetched. At first sight the works often seem to be portraying something already refined, a core, a state of rest. Eva Hild’s style has few elements and creates variations within the confines of a well-defined framework. The purity, simplicity – reduction if you will – can be interpreted as expressions of a strict and controlled aesthetic, concentrated on an abstract form. Her abhorrence of narrative or anecdote is clear. But it would be a mistake to regard the sculptures as private or inaccessible. On the contrary, they are notably communicative and, paradoxically, it is precisely their reduction that gives the forms their communicative character. Reduction creates space, empty space, both visually and literally; and thus it creates movement for the empty space is begging to be filled. The sculptures open up to the world as though breathing and listening. They do not tell stories but they encourage one to relate one’s own.
Our encounter with Eva Hild’s sculptures unites a sense of wonder with recognition. The latter is hardly visual in character even if the forms often seem close to objects that we can identify from nature. We can distinguish echoes of stones, shells and fossils. Some of her works from recent years seem to reflect swirling water, wind that forms patterns in the sand or clouds that are dissolved by the same wind. Yet more significant than the implied closeness to details in the natural landscape is the grounding in the topography of the human body. In reviewing Eva Hild’s very first exhibition, art-critic Pernilla Åbrink noted that the shapes and the sizes of the work only became comprehensible when seen in relation to the human body. We can recognize, in the lines and volumes of the ceramic forms, something of ourselves, the interior and exterior organs of our bodies and their movements…