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The Aventina

Nina Eaton’s Exhibition

Raffaella Jarvis, Reporter

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On Saturday November 5th from 4-7pm, Ms. Nina Eaton was invited to the Episcopal Church on Via Nazionale for her own art exhibition. She worked with Peter Rockwell, son of Norman Rockwell, to bring this exhibition to life. Eaton presented a variety of paintings, each based on the same source of inspiration: the ‘thought-to-be’, insignificant walls of an empty room. By painting the pictures that came to her mind looking at the plainness of each room, Eaton transformed these tasteless walls. She didn’t see the simplicity and lack of embellishment in these rooms, rather, she saw the beauty in them and decided to share her observations with anyone who had the right mind to appreciate them. The paintings are struck with shades of color and beams of light. The three dimensional perspective of each one presents an image of a room which has a concrete and palpable feel, but is simultaneously surreal and idyllic.

Eaton’s inspiration surges from the great ancient times during the birth of art history. She enjoys observing and appreciating such art and feels the need to try to “emulate” it- not to copy it but to “try to find within [her]self the possibility to do something great, or at least out of the ordinary.” In fact, Eaton’s favorite artists at the moment are Giorgio De Chirico, Edward Hopper, and Utagawa Hiroshige. By emulating their work she feels a greater connection to these estimable masters of art. “It makes me feel a connection with humanity to look at their works and then act on the feeling they give me. It is a feeling that goes beyond words, beyond pictures sometimes too,” says Eaton as she tries to put into words what her mind presents as pictures and feelings.

Eaton’s artwork varies from oil, acrylic, watercolors and mixed media. She wanted to represent architectural design, which include structures such as houses and dwellings. With these ideas in mind she wanted to “develop the images I would paint from life, or look at a photograph, or I would challenge myself to create a picture of a room completely from my imagination.” This resulted in many variations of “the possibilities of showing rooms, interiors, and some exterior buildings, in paintings.” When I asked her if she was satisfied with the result she explained that the result feels like only the beginning of “a very small beginning of what I would ultimately like to do.” Her audience is curious to know what she will create next.

When asked how she came up with this brilliant idea and what was going through her head while painting, she explained that when she decides the “rough composition”, she works her way from there simply by being so engaged in her work that the rest of her piece is continued through pure pleasure of “working the the development of the image.” She touches on the fact that while working her mind doesn’t stop thinking but rather, the more engaged she is in her work the more her “mind stops being distracted by extraneous thoughts.”

Lastly, she would like her audience to take away from her artwork a theme or a metaphor that they may find familiar, “after all, we all live in rooms all day long and the language of interior spaces is one of intimacy which is universal.” Sometimes her mind takes her to places she has never been and she wishes to share these visions through ‘introspection’. “I live inside my head…[it’s where] I store my memories and feelings.”

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Nina Eaton’s Exhibition