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01 februari 2021 | Nieuws

The Piket Art Prizes in times of corona (39): Eden Latham

Theatre makers, actors, visual artists, and dancers are much affected by government measures to keep the corona virus under control. What is the impact of these measures on the young (former) nominees and winners of the Piket Art Prizes? Part 39: Eden Latham, 2018 winner of the Piket Art Prize in the Painting category.

In these corona times former winner Eden Latham (Painting, 2018) presents her work in a display window at gallery and artist-run space Trixie, Scheldestraat 1 in The Hague. Under the title Window Lab 1.1.

Eden exhibits a series of experimental studies of everyday materiality. The work derives its inspiration from the seemingly illogical contrast between the commonplace and mental disorders, and aims to be a kind of ongoing investigation into this form of imbalance. Because of its organic state, the work has the potential to endlessly change its form. “The subject of mental health is undervalued,” Eden feels. But in times of corona it gets more attention. “As an artist, I am always inspired by what happens behind people’s front doors. Corona means less privacy. Via Zoom you look into living rooms and become more aware of emotions such as loneliness.” Eden speaks from experience. “I’m struggling with mental problems myself. On the outside, I’m a cheerful person, but inside there’s a struggle going on. I only mention this now, but why should I keep it secret? And, naturally, you can find this in my work. Corona makes me realise how much I love having people around me. I mostly miss the feedback on my work.”

Images of Window Lab 1.1. Photos Eden Latham

Impact of the measures

As an artist you are used to working alone in your studio. “Nothing has changed in that respect. At Trixie’s I just moved into a larger studio. I work a lot, but corona has given me a different rhythm. I start later, around lunchtime, and work longer, although now I have to take the curfew into account, of course.” Somehow, corona also creates peace and quiet. “I was always so busy. Sometimes I had two different waitress jobs. All of that is on hold now, but I do feel like a bit of bustle again.” Because shops are closed, it is also harder to get materials. “Fortunately, I work a lot with second-hand materials.” Eden favours organic structures and textures and has an interest in growth and atrophy. “I like my work to be slightly mysterious. I want people to look at my work a little longer, cast an extra glance.”

Research in Nevada

Eden is still happy with her Piket Art Prize. It meant she could travel to the US for research in 2019. “I visited the North Nevada desert. It was truly a very special experience. I do miss travelling.” She hopes to soon hear more about this year’s exhibitions. “Now is the time to plan things, but there’s much uncertainty about dates. I greatly look forward to having exhibitions with visitors again.”

Visits to Eden’s studio

During the lockdown period, Eden’s studio is open to visitors, albeit one at a time. Those who are interested in seeing her work are most welcome and can make an appointment through her website. “In this way I have been able to sell some of my work in corona times,” Eden says.

Photo: Hessel Waalewijn