Q&A: Eveline Kotai

Invited to paint Fritz Hansen’s Arne Jacobsen Series 7 chair as part of Mobilia’s Design Circus, Eveline Kotai’s design made a big impact on a representative from the Fritz Hansen Republic who bought the chair at the fundraising auction. We caught up with this local talent to find out what makes her tick.

Name: Eveline Kotai

Occupation: Visual artist

Location: Fremantle, Western Australia

What interests you most about being a visual artist?
It’s always changing and growing, forcing me to be both open to and in tune with intuitive responses – not only within my practice, but also in life.

Do you have a favourite material or technique you work with?
For the past decade or so I’ve been cutting up my paintings and reconfiguring them as stitched collages. The palette is sometimes limited, but the permutations are endless, and I still find their unpredictability very stimulating. I’ve recently been flirting with pure design by translating some of my work into scarves, carpets and architectural surfaces. I’m pleased to say the imagery is not lost in translation; rather, it has gained a sensuous tactile dimension.

What has been your biggest career moment to date?
In 1999-2000 I was a fellow of the Mark Howlett Foundation (Commission #5) and was able to spend a concentrated 18 months developing my ideas and skills. The effects of this support continue to sustain my art practice to this day. Being co-winner of the Blake Prize 2012 was a highlight, and I’m also pretty chuffed that my chair will be going to the Fritz Hansen Museum in Copenhagen.

Who or what are your top influencers?
Over my 35-year art practice, visual influences have been many and varied. Agnes Martin stands out in my mind as someone to aspire to – her imagery is generated by her philosophical approach to making, and the influence of her encouragement continues via her writings on beauty, truth and creativity.

If you could collaborate with anyone on any type of project, who would it be?
In recent years I’ve had the privilege of working with architects and designers – creating building integrated artwork. I enjoy the challenge of influencing the ambience of internal spaces and the outward appearance of structures. I’d also like to collaborate with a composer or filmmaker to try sound with imagery.

Where can people in Perth see your work?
The Art Collective WA – 115 Hay Street, Subiaco + my website: evelinekotai.com.

Eveline was one of nine artists invited to paint Fritz Hansen’s Arne Jacobsen Series 7 chair as part of Mobilia’s Design Circus.