Eva Hild: Topological Sculpture from Life Experience

Nat Friedman

Dept. of Math., Univ. at Albany, Albany, NY 12222.



This is an introduction to the ceramic sculpture of Eva Hild.

Figure 1. Studio.

Eva Hild is a ceramic sculptor who lives and works in the southwest of Sweden. Her works may be described as elegant topological forms that are reminiscent of minimal surfaces since the surfaces basically have a hyperbolic geometry. It is interesting to note that the forms are not mathematically inspired but are inspired by her life experiences, as in the following quote from her web site www.2hild.com/eva_eng.htm

" Influence, pressure, strain. These words have been the foundation for my current projects that comprise communicating the theme in large hand-built clay forms. Delicate continuously flowing entities in white thin-built clay. They reflect varying degrees of external and internal pressures, and how, as a consequence, perception of inner and outer space is changed or challenged.

My inspiration is the ever-changing landscape of my own life and environment! I try to relate my work to my life. What is happening and how does it feel? Pressure. Flow. Strain. Ramification. Inside turns outside. As a starting point I put words onto my feelings, and use the vessel form to translate this into three dimensions. The size of the form relates to my body. The thin walls are pulled and bent in different directions.



Figure 2. Eva Hild.


I feel a great freedom in hand-building. It grows slowly, I have time to reflect, I can change direction, make connections and have a smooth surface with the same thickness. I build big forms, the clay will dry slowly and not collapse. When the form is ready and the clay is dry, I sand away at the surface and then spray it with a slurry of kaolin. The pieces are finally fired in stoneware temperature, about 1250į. "


In the above photograph, one can see that Eva Hildís sculptures are impressively large.

I find them to be amazingly beautiful graceful forms that lovingly enclose space. One can imagine traveling from one enclosed space to another by flying through the narrow passages. Two more sculptures are shown below. The sculptures are completely three-dimensional having no preferred top, bottom, front, or back. Rotate the photos for alternate views. They will also look quite different when viewed from different viewpoints. Each sculpture would also allow one to choose a variety of close-up form-space detail photos with varying light. The sculptures are symphonies of form, space, and light. You are invited to visit her web site above to view additional sculptures.

Figure 3.

Figure 4.

I have come in contact with many artists while organizing various conferences relating art and mathematics. As in the case of Eva Hild, it always amazes me to find artists whose work looks mathematically inspired but is actually not. They have frequently told me that they do not really understand mathematics. My reply is that "birds fly but they donít understand aerodynamics." Somehow these artists fly on their geometric intuition.

They truly feel the form and shape.

I wish to express my gratitude to Eva Hild for allowing me to include the above images.

Photo credits are: Carl Bengtsson, Andrea Björsell, Ola Kjelbye, Eva Hild.