In today’s highlight of the Atelier 33 exhibition, we interviewed Amy Eilertsen about her series Memento Vivere: A Study of Life. Amy’s collection of images puts an interesting spin on seventeenth century masters paintings. Scenes of her domestic fowl have become sweet memories, and reminders to live.
Why did Dutch masters’ paintings become such a great inspiration to you? How has this project helped you preserve the memories of your beloved animals?
I studied art history for a few years in college and fell in love with the Dutch masters because of the depth of color and shadow, the rendering of complex and the exotic still life. Historically, during the time the still lifes were rendered, Europe was recovering from the decimation of the Black Plague, and the upper middle class became infatuated with the exotic foods that they were now able to purchase. It was a time of plenty- and a celebration of beauty. Several of the animal actors featured in this series have passed away and I love the memories that I have captured in these images.
What do you hope we as viewers take away from viewing your work?
I hope that viewers will be taken in by the painterly tones and classic composition of the works, and be intrigued by the appearance of the fowl. The meta message of this project is “remember that you are alive” and I hope that the viewers sense the secondary message regarding animal cruelty.
Tell us what is next for you creatively.
I am in the cusp of deciding among a few projects- and will continue collaborating with my feathered friends.
To see the full collection of Memento Vivere: A Study of Life, visit the Atelier website.