VAM 34 Artist Profile | Eileen Menzel

Eileen Menzel, Surface Treatment #1 Mixed media, 76 x 91 cm

1. Tell us about the artwork you have in VAM 34. Give us an idea of the conceptual framework you used in creating this piece. What inspired it? Why did you choose to use that particular medium? Why that particular perspective, set of colours, subject matter, etc 

This is a continuation of my ongoing Wall series in which reflective walls enclose an ambiguity of  luxurious interior/exterior space. This is Surface Design that’s been given the Surface Treatment. It has no past and likely has a limited future – living for today with instant attractiveness which is conveyed by intense colour, high value contrasts and a balanced composition. Drawing back into the acrylic paint with conte and chalk ,on paper, gives the work energy and the look of a preliminary study. In fact, 3 more related paintings follow this one with the subtitle, Fabulous Space for Today.

Its pedigree is Richard Hamilton’s “Just what makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?” It is a tribute to him – he died in Sept 2011 – and ties in with my current exploration of temporary vs. forever walls.

2. How would you describe your creative process? What medium do you use most often and why?

My creative process comes from a dialogue between self expression and the subject. The process is a visual problem-solving to create a coherent painting with a certain attractiveness and a clear message.

I use whatever materials convey the message and give vigor to the work . These include acrylics, gel medium, wall paints, spray paints with mylar, conte, charcoal, chalk, ink with photographs and collage. I also use cloth, fibres and layers of various papers when an active surface texture is needed.

3. How would you describe the Mississauga art community? What excites you most about it? Why should art lovers from Toronto come visit? What can you do to ignite the Mississauga art community? How do you think the AGM can ignite the community?

The Mississauga art community reflects the benefits of its varied demographics. The attraction of local and non- local people on a regular basis comes from varied programming of a consistent high quality,   which is expensive. But support comes when transparent and knowledgeable budgeting, with non- stop fundraising, shows that money is being well spent on guaranteeing worthwhile events for all visitors

4. Art should be accessible. Agree or disagree? What does “accessible” mean to you? How can galleries make art accessible even to people who’ve never been to an art gallery? If you disagree, why?

Arts accessibility starts with the natural interest of the young, and their role models, who have access to quality arts education. A great deal is being done and will hopefully result in a wider acceptance of finding ways to fund this.

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