Artist Profile: Evie Cahir

When people mention young illustrators in Melbourne, Evie Cahir’s name is sure to come up. Her illustrative style is an incredible culmination of delicate objects and considered composition. My favourite element in Evie’s work is her study of light and shadow, considering how it effects objects, spaces and moods, inciting an emotional comfort that any viewer could identify with. Not only is Evie’s work incredibly thoughtful, her technical skills and speed is second to none.

I love hanging / shooting with Evie, not only because her banter is some of the fastest and best in Melbourne, but also because her talent is incredibly humbling. As she jokes and chats about what she’s been up to, the innate aptitude of her ability quickly becomes apparent. She works quickly, decisively and with precision — seeing her in her element would be inspiring to anyone. I was lucky enough to interview and shoot her home studio the week before she jet off to her Art Residency in Finland. Best of luck to her and make sure you stay in the loop, Evie is set to be a game changer.

Hi Evie! First of all, congratulations on all the success you’ve been having lately. It’s great to see your work getting the recognition it deserves! Can you tell me a little bit about what you’ve been doing lately?

I’m currently in residence at Arteles Creative Centre, in a tiny ‘town’ in Finland, so what I have been doing lately is very different from the usual grind. Lately, I have been trialling new routines, hobbies and activities. This includes but is not limited to: Running, meditating, yoga, being naked a lot aka enjoying saunas, chopping wood, scaling trees, tree watching and painting trees.

What were your hopes for the experience and interaction viewers had at your recent collaborative exhibition ‘Heavy Leisure’ with Gemma Topliss?

For me, the aim of the game with Heavy Leisure was simple. I hoped to create an engaging exhibition that transformed the way objects, actions and seemingly insignificant items are viewed…You know all those little things in your bedroom, studio and bed-side table that are so precious you would probably save them from a house fire instead of a housemate? Those are the items that I painted and installed in Heavy Leisure, with the aim of assigning new meaning, a heightened sense of awareness and active immersion in the world of ‘creating’ for the viewers.

I know that a lot of your drawings centre around objects and routines in everyday life, what’s a routine that is important to you?

My morning routine is most important to me, as I feel that it sets the pace of the day. Between 6 and 7am is when I feel I have the most clarity and positivity. My morning routine of coffee, stretches, another coffee, music, cigarettes and spending time alone is the framework to my day. That being said, there is no specific routine to a successful day or feeling inspired, but simply sharpening the pencils, refilling the paint water and painting on a fresh sheet of paper every morning is the most important thing.

Much like you, I also come from a much smaller city than Melbourne, and have found great comfort in meeting other creatives. I find being surrounded by like-minded artists incredibly encouraging to forge my own path in Melbourne. Who are some artists who are inspiring you lately?

Definitely, I was eighteen when I moved out (my birthing-hut is located in Ballarat, which is two hours outside of Melbourne) and began my first year of University, studying a degree in Illustration. University was great in that it acted as a gateway for creating solid artist friends. Aside from best mates formed through University, there is a long list of ever-changing artists I am inspired by. To name a few — Emi Ueoka, Grant Groenwold, Chad Wys, Carla McRae, Jake Terrell, Sam Alden, Stanislava Pinchuk, Oscar Perry, Ghostpatrol, David Hockney, Naomi Hosking, Aidan Koch, Mamma Anderson… Seriously though…I could just keep on going.

How important do you think handmade art is? Not only to yourself, but to the future of creative practices?

On a personal level, art is so Important to me. The routine, the self-imposed pressure and deadlines, the indescribable happiness when you solve an ‘art-problem’ or think of a great idea are all key elements to leading a happy life. Art is 74% important and the other 26% is everything else in life (Centrelink Meetings, paying rent, taking your Fibre Capsules and staying hydrated). The importance that handmade art plays in the future of creative practices is one of interaction, as it gives artists new contexts for connecting with communities. Which is vital.

I like your use of humour interjections in to your work. What draws you towards the particular mixtures of subjects?

What draws me towards the inclusion of humour within art is its ability to disarm the scariness and boredom of the world. “All art is just a homage to things you like”, according to Ed Ruscha, which to me means that I just really enjoy creating artwork that involves humour. Basically, if ya don’t laugh ya cry

What is your proudest moment? 

My proudest moment was just recently actually. I ran 7km whilst talking to a friend about creative process and memory, which might sound easy but it was extremely difficult to hold a conversation and move my legs and focus on not passing out. “Fit and Deep” 

Can you curate and share a 3 song (or short) playlist that is ideal for understanding Evie Cahir?

I thought you would never ask! I cannot narrow it down to three separate songs, three sources for possible playlists is more realistic:

This is usually really good for finding music to listen to while you’re in a deep drawing-trance. Anything without lyrics (Unless it’s chanting, love a good chant) is conducive to drawing.

The world needs to know. This is fantastic. Thank you Kes.

Northern Soul, Japanese pop and Pakistani Folk Music. It’s all there.