Evelyn is an Artist living outside of Sydney, Australia. While she was living in New York she worked in various capacities in men's fashion design. We emailed with Evelyn and discussed memory and what she values most.
Springtide: We know you live outside of Sydney, but can you describe the environment and what you like about living there?
Evelyn: Sydney is actually huge. Where I live (suburbia) is still considered 'Sydney' though if this was Europe... maybe it would be a whole different town!
I was born in Sydney and I feel pretty fortunate to call it home. I really like living here for the people, the weather and the ocean, amongst lots of other things. Sydneysiders are pretty happy-go-lucky and friendly, most of my friends and close family live here. The weather is almost always good! There is ocean along the entire coast, I think you forget about how great the ocean is until you're in front of it again.
Springtide: Would you say growing up outside of Sydney exposed you to a lot of different cultures?
Evelyn: Sure - because I think this country is built on immigrants, including Europeans who arrived here something like 200 years ago. My parents came here in the 1980s from Malaysia, and our backgrounds are from all over. There are so many villages within Sydney, it's like this melting pot of people and cultures which is great. Right now, I live in a Chinese/Korean neighbourhood.
Springtide: What is the first piece of art (film, book, image etc.) you remember resonating with you personally/ emotionally?
Evelyn: Dumbo, that Disney cartoon, is the first that came to mind. I remember feeling very sad and sorry for him that he was made fun of because of his big ears. Roald Dahl books also meant a lot to me when I was a kid. They were just really magical. You could get lost reading for hours.
Springtide: Have you had a particularly memorable teacher? If so, what did they teach you?
Evelyn: I have this one teacher from University that I actually work with now. He's taught me to shut up and just do it. We have a love/hate relationship!
Springtide: When did you last make a friend?
Evelyn: I'm really into other people and making new friends. I'm happy to say that I've met lots of new and interesting friends over the last two years (since moving back to Sydney from New York). Laura is one new friend I've made. I took her picture on this roll of film. She's wearing a flowery headscarf in the photo.
Springtide: Do you write or keep a diary/journal?
Evelyn: I always carry around a planner - I write everything down. I'm a bit crazy like that. I think it stems from high school when they would issue us with high school planners. I also keep a diary on my laptop for moments that I really want to remember or thoughts that I feel need to be seen in words. But I tend to write them only when something really dire has happened... it would be a tragic read for anyone who were to read it!
Springtide: Is there anyone who has opened you up to new thought patterns, or a new process to work with?
Evelyn: There is an Arabic calligrapher that I've newly learned about named Mouneer Al Shaarani, who picks out non-religious middle eastern poetry and philosophy that he feels illustrates human feelings. He interprets these into these beautiful abstract works. I think it's a really eloquent expression of his thoughts.
Springtide: What is most valuable to you?
Evelyn: I've always placed high value in people and relationships. If there isn't this then I'm not sure what the point is.
Springtide: Is there something that you have lost or misplaced that you still think about?
Evelyn: In terms of possessions, I do miss this framed portrait I used to have. I was studying in San Francisco then and I bought the portrait at a market in Bernal Heights from this nutty Filipino lady. The portrait was this childlike drawing of an androgynous person with long blond hair and a face like David Bowie. I bought the portrait for laughs but ended up really liking it because it was the first thing I saw waking up from my mattress on the floor every morning. I think about it now and then and wish I had packed it with me.