Graduate Show 2019: Eva Louisa Jonas: Photography

My practice draws from my immediate surroundings, focusing on the self and its extensions as different interventions with the environment.

Often recording our gestural responses to the tactility of the natural world in a variety of textures, I then execute a making process to incorporate the frames and surfaces of the physical photograph into an exploration of materials and printing techniques.
My images often reflect aesthetic research just as they do a concept or idea, finding myself deviating in questioning the use of approach, abstraction or material and that is why I see each work (or series) as a progression – building on questions, ruminations and immediacies.

Image of sheet being held back by hand

Can you tell us about your final year project?

My time studying at Nagoya University of the Arts in Japan for a semester last year formed the foundations for my final year project, during my time there I became acutely aware of my surroundings and the interactions of men and women with nature. From this, I became aware of my own approach to the natural world and in visualizing this created a series titled “Girl Stood by Tree”. In which (in the photographs) you are presented with an anonymous human figure “Girl”, meandering through interactions with the world. A longing for closeness, balance and welcoming incorporation to nature beyond our understanding of differences are inevitably established with the figure standing next to the tree, then behind, holding, passing by, looking beyond it as they configure themselves within the environment.

Two curtains
The progression into my final work was firmly rooted in this investigation although titled differently I do see them as one of the same. My final work “That Thing over There that surrounds and sustains us” looks at the human condition to attempt to render the inaccessible, accessible, creating far-flung spaces beyond their own local geography. In which this expression of the exotic is still seductive to both the photographer and the viewer, inundated as they already are with such representations in modern culture. Beyond this lies a cultural and historical web of damage and displacement of the natural world, as a result of human exploration and expansion.

Nature presented as an exhibit, exhibition, dictates our experience of it.

I want to ask questions about what these spaces tell us about human aspiration, the obvious contradiction of infrastructural and the longing for connection to the natural world?

How have you found your time at Brighton?

Brighton has allowed me to grow as a creative practitioner, developing my own way of working and approaching subjects. The courses quite self-led structure has allowed me to account for myself in balancing university work with paid work and any other opportunities. Brighton in its self-offers a whole host of activities to get involved with.
For my final semester of the second year, I was lucky enough to be selected from the School of media in studying at Nagoya University of the Arts in Japan. This was a truly amazing experience in which I met some amazing people and took part in exciting University workshops as well as having the opportunity to travel and explore Japan!

What are your plans after graduating?
I’m excited to see how my work comes together in the Graduate show- although I am exhibiting a final project I don’t see it as really ‘finished’ and already have plans for how to develop it with travel to various countries in Europe. But meanwhile take a breather, I have a few opportunities coming up which will allow me to maintain momentum with my practice, one in London as part of a workshop/collaboration group running until October and another with the Dartmoor Summer School of Photography in August.

I’m also really excited to see what my friends end up doing after graduating – I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by some really talented creative individuals!

See more of Eva’s work

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