// Eva is based in East Sussex, England. German-born and self-taught, she is both a photographic artist and poet interested in the process and the experience of creating. She shared a set from her series of ethereal looking petal compositions, a series she calls The Lightness of Being.
“My work is driven by my curiosity, my love of play and a deep connectiveness I feel with the world I live in,” Eva says. “Natural light especially gets me excited. I am often in awe, witnessing from one moment to another how light transform shapes, textures, colours and mood.”
She takes photos on her country walks and of collages that she creates from a variety of materials including paints and natural things she finds in the garden. In her photographic practice she experiments with natural light and shadows. “Themes that have evolved from my work touch on spirituality, memory, emotions, and fantasy. I often explore these further in my poems.”
“I began awakening to the infinite creative source that was beyond my awareness yet flowed through me. It is the same creative energy I realized, that has created all forms of life, and the universe.”
What draws you to the arts?
“I have been passionate about art throughout my life. During childhood I created detailed, colourful drawings, inspired by fairy tales, poetry, biblical paintings, and my vivid imagination. As a young adult I used art to work through childhood traumas and healing. During this period, I experimented with different mediums, including works that have often been referred to as “landscapes of the soul”. It was not until 2016, when I became a carer for my daughter, that I decided to become a professional photographic artist. Nowadays I would describe my experiences in creating art as intuitive, mindful and being in the flow. Photography especially helps me to process the world around me slowly and in depth, exactly as my brain needs it.”
What do you like best about photo art such as the images you have shared with us?
“The original images “The Lightness of Being” and “Visual Delight” have brought light to peoples’ homes. “The Lightness of Being” was the first framed artwork I sold at my first ever exhibition in Uckfield in 2018. The mayor of the town fell in love with the image and next day she came back with her children and asked them whether they liked it too. After agreement, I told her that the image was very personal and special to me, and I was happy for her to have it. In this emotional moment, we danced together. At the same exhibition another viewer referring to “Visual Delight” said to her child: “Do you know what this makes me feel like? ..….happy” This photographic art work also went to a good home. In 2021 something more unusual happened in relation to the “Lightness of Being” I captured it in a poem.”
“Experiences of Being” is an ongoing, evolving experimental project, combining photographic, handmade, and digital techniques. Floating feathers, flowers and seed heads are metaphors that depict the delicacy and fragility of bodies and human memory.
There is also a spiritual component to the images. “I associate lightness and light with spiritual energy and flow. Whilst living in one’s earthly body can at times feel dense and heavy, I imagine spiritual bodies as light.” Each image has an individual title, referring to its more specific meaning.
The original series, created in 2016 involved photographing flowers and feathers in an orange net. Whilst taking the photo Eva utilized shadows to create a sense of depth. She then digitally manipulated the image to construct lightness and an ethereal mood. In a following series she added pastels to generate texture and depth. More recently she used a post shutter double exposure technique, layering a painting with a photo, to create depth and a sense of flow. In one of the images, she used a photo of herself, showing her body floating between the physical and spiritual world. When Eva created the first images in 2016, she was going through a time when she felt anything but light. “I had become a full-time carer for my daughter, my mum was dying in Germany, and the Brexit vote and the direction the country was heading in cast a shadow over my basic sense of security. I felt mentally out of balance and experienced various physical health problems. Artistic work not only helped me to cope during this ongoing difficult time, but it allowed me to unconsciously express what I needed, a lighter way of being.”
The Lightness of Being has stories to tell.Eva Marschan-Hayes
A recent one made me feel especially well.
I had an exhibition
Shown it to locals and world- wide.
Something happened then,
reminding me of when my mum died.
A friend of mine, from Germany appeared,
telling me something really weird.
Her partner, a carer for the elderly,
went to a new place of work.
And there, “The Lightness of Being” re-emerged.
It was a gift to my mum
who stayed in the room,
in her last year of life,
as a reminder that spirits do survive.
After she went, I wanted to take it home.
but my brother said that it had gone.
So, I went back, without it, alone.
And now, years later, for the first time,
On a photo I saw “ The Lightness of Being” hanging there, on the wall,
What a special feeling,
of reunion after all.
I said to my friend, let it stay where it is,
a bit of light shine to those who it mostly miss.
“The Lightness of being” has been published in “Out of the Woods” by Fronteer Gallery and in “ Poetry” by Shutter Hub.
Click on the photos to see a larger image in original dimensions with its title.
ALL IMAGES © EVA MARSCHAN-HAYES
To see more of her photography visit Eva´s Instagram page .