Words by Whitney Fangawa
Art in itself has a powerful way of reminding us that we are not alone. For the most part, even if it is for a fleeting moment, art allows us to discover parts of our own reflection.
In other ways we are probably also trying to validate our own presence. We’re hoping to find ourselves within a sort of collective experience. Hoping that there may be a slight chance that someone in that same room is also experiencing those same sort of emotions we’ve cradled for so long. It was a little after 10pm on a Thursday night and an art exhibition was being held in Clapton in an underground London location named S.O.C Studios. The rhythms of underground tech house music could be heard as guests filed in. DJ Max Van Morrison and Alna both created an eclectic fusion of various music genres taking inspiration from the influences of drum ’n’ bass, hip hop and disco as galactic inspired space drinks were being served.
This immersive art exhibition was being held by 24 year old Portuguese illustrator Eduardo Vieira and Swedish illustrator Axel Christopher Lindkvist. The space was an eclectic blend of music, art and beauty. Make up artists, Do Me up Dolly brought the glitz and glamour and created stunning works of art with their face painting skills. It wasn’t just an art space but a space where various creative elements could thrive and collaborate. The idea itself was revolutionary, modern and exciting.
Eduardo named the exhibition Astropath as a way to present an alternative universe, a realm where he had total control of the elements. Unlike reality it was a figurative and imaginative space that allowed for his cognitive imagery to go unchallenged – a terrifying yet freeing thought. There was a common thread that tied both these illustrators together which was the idea of creating a micro universe whilst exploring youth, the pursuit of art, a Utopian world as well as nature and time. Eduardo’s latest project Galactic kidz, a collection of seven illustrations is ultimately a Utopian microcosm with his own interpretation of Adam and Eve and the element of nature and time personified in this universe.
Moving to London at the age of 18 to study art in East London introduced him to places like Shoreditch, Brick Lane and Aldgate. Those spaces made an impression on him and made him interested in creating art that was happening before his eyes, art that was new, relateable and contemporary. ‘I like to know what’s new. I like what’s happening now so I base my illustrations on what’s modern and what people want to see’ Eduardo says. He wants to be plugged in. He’s interested in creating art that makes people feel something, art that people can resonate with. That’s the very feeling I got from his collection. I saw people looking at his art work as a way to see themselves reflected. That was me as I looked at the young female character unapologetically asserting her identity as she gazed through the lens. His illustrations do exactly that, they have a unique way of blurring the lines of reality and art in a way that makes you think that the two are way more alike than one would have thought.
The night itself was a beautiful reminder of all the elements that are often involved in creating an immersive and creative space. The exhibition brought us a snippet of the future as the DJ’s, make up artists and illustrators fined tuned their talents and invited us into a collective space. Here’s to more dynamic and mesmerising experiences that make us feel as excited about the direction of art as we did that night.