Maple wood and white paint provide an intentional tranquility to Liza Eurich’s minimalist artwork. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Western Ontario, Eurich will be a featured artist of the 2016 Trinity Art Show. As a precursor to the event, I spoke with her about her career as an artist and the source of her inspiration.
The Varsity: Do you align yourself with a specific movement? Is there a certain emotion you want your art to evoke? What is the meaning?
Liza Eurich: “I’m interested in process. It’s very much where my work comes from -— investigations in the space of the studio, playing with materials and different construction methods. I’m always looking at ways to think about process or show process that’s not necessarily illustrative — so it might not immediately be evident in the finished work… Flexible because you have to multitask; mobile because you often have to travel somewhere else to work; and precarious because this kind of labor is often contractual – there is nothing [that’s] long term about it. One way to contest this move is through oppositional modes of descent that foreground latency. Meaning and processes are always deferred to some extent. When I talk a lot about process, I’m very interested in failure, and things that don’t work in the space of the studio that then lead you somewhere else — to something unexpected — so it’s a way of working through sideways movements, thinking about potential outcomes rather than predetermined ones… I want the viewer to be able to engage with the works on some level, but for that to be a little more critical; that they might have to work a bit harder or take a closer look at the work to figure out or decide where meaning is for them.”
TV: Are there any themes that you’re interested in portraying in your art? Other than exploring the concept of process.
LE: “A lot of the work deals with mechanisms of display. Thinking about the relationship an object has with the other object that’s meant to display it. There is usually a hierarchy between those two things. Whether the frames, the plinths, they’re meant to appear very impartial or meant to appear as invisible secondary component — so I try to interrupt that. The piece Through and Through from the front looks like an object on a plinth, but when you move around the space you see that they’re actually connected — so it’s one work that doesn’t privilege either component.”
TV: What drives you to create art? What is your source of inspiration?
LE: “Because I have a background in English literature, I do always go back to texts. When I’m stuck I start reading different things that might be generative of an idea. Sometimes I read something within the contemporary art discourse, or other times I’ll just take a step back and read something unrelated, which gets me thinking about things again in a different way. That’s how I can pull ideas or decide on new directions I might potentially want to go.”
TV: Do you have any advice for young artists?
LE: “Mentorship is very important… invite people to see your studio space and have discussions about the work. When you’re making stuff you’re so embedded in it that sometimes you might think it’s doing something, but it’s actually having the opposite effect. Inviting people or having some sort of engagement with the arts community on a broader context — are so important and trying to be active in the community is very important like going to openings and those sort of things so you can meet the other people that you potentially would want to collaborate with. I also think that it can be very useful to do very tedious things like learning how to write a thorough or clear proposal for exhibitions.”
Liza Eurich’s artwork will be on display at the Trinity College Art Show from April 1-3.