The concept of the Peacegarden offers out ideas of hope and renewal, and does not immediately bring to mind the prosaic reality of these public spaces. This balance between endeavour and disappointment is an aspect of Irish artist Eva Rothschild's practice.
Rothschild is interested in ideas and images that have powerful associations for those who believe in them. In her work these can vary from images taken from 'phantasy' art, to incense, to Celtic symbols. Eva Rothschild aims to re-invest these images and objects associated with new age spirituality with some of their original psychic power, to try and find a middle ground between 60s idealism and contemporary cynicism.
For Peacegarden, Rothschild developed sculptural and wall-based works that in their form adopt the conventions of recent art practice, in particular Conceptual Minimalism. By the combining of the hardness of Minimalism, with imagery and references from 'phantasy' art Rothschild creates her own 'magic minimalism'. The resulting works require a kind of 'hard looking', in the case of the weavings this is created by the combination of two images that have either been chosen, or drawn by the artist. The viewer is left searching the weaving for a coherent whole, in the sculptural works we are faced with seemingly impossible puzzles.
With thanks to Tim Byrne, Alasdair Steer, Hideatsu Shiba, Aleksandra Mir, Helen Nodding and Rosie Stewart.
Eva Rothschild: Peacegarden is supported by the Arts Council of England with National Lottery Funds through the National Touring Programme and The Henry Moore Foundation.