Eve Hindle’s contemporary art practice currently focuses on pencil drawings, specifically, a series of portraits that respond to the current lockdown culture, situated halfway between tragedy and comedy. Thinking about what it is that connects us in society at a time that feels so divided, perhaps the one thing that unites us all is humour. British culture, in particular, has always embodied humour to boost morale.
‘Pandemonium’, provides an insight into the private realms of her city life in isolation, 200 miles away from the madness of family life at home. A mix of humorous and honest truths of her family and friends joyful coping mechanisms exposed via virtual connection within the restrictions of the pandemic. Channelling similar values to the art movement Superhumanism, which is defined as an art of urban living, conveyed in a vivid and accessible way. Initially inspired by carnivalesque artists Bruegel, Bosch, J.F. Foulquier, Ensor, Erica Eyres, Martin Parr and popular British sitcoms.
Drawing family and friends has become an intimate act, and has created a sense of belonging as a way to escape Hindle’s loneliness in isolation by drawing their physical presence. The realism of the portraits emphasises the reality of the time in which we’re living. Drawing through a compassionate lens triggered memories that mark significant times in their relationships and enables her to inject each individual’s personalities. She documents celebrations and conversations that punctuate their lives through screenshots to find honest humour in the banal. A spectacle influenced by carnival where rules of everyday lives conformity are challenged, and rituals are parodied. By nature, each isolated individual decided to either become an eccentric character or allow telling inner emotions to surface. The function of the carnivalesque attitude is to engage the audience’s curiosity and evoke a smile, a reminder of what it means to be human.
The grayscale of the pencil drawings contrasts against the colourful screenshotted scenes purposefully to highlight the disparity at play of being lonely in isolation, creating your playful amusement to feel a release from the self through counter rituals manifested within lockdown. This portrait series depicts the resilient structure of our mental limits.
Our reliance on the digital lens to keep us in touch with afar loved ones fulfils our need for social interaction. Preparation before and during the acts prioritises virtual conversation. Therefore, the drawings are about conversations had in the process and to begin a conversation with the viewer about being alive in these strange times. This fragmented group of portraits also initiates an oscillating conversation amongst themselves contained within their frames.
Hindle’s satirical view has also been made into an Academy hang on Leith Walk, in Edinburgh, to energise public space and invite the viewer to become a part of the energy as they engage with multiple eyes staring back at them and relate themselves to the portraits that hold up a truthful mirror to the recent lockdown culture.