Eve De Haan’s neon artworks share snippets of stories for viewers to finish
The London-based artist tells us about the importance of storytelling in her practice: “It is a way of carrying culture.”
- Ruby Boddington
- 30 June 2021
Based in London, Eve De Haan’s portfolio is replete with neon artworks, each sharing a different story, thought or catchphrase through short snippets of text. It’s an approach that developed out of her theology degree, where she realised encapsulating narratives through the written word was the best way to evoke collective emotions in an audience. With clear visual references to artists like Tracey Emin and Martin Creed, Eve’s artworks probe topics including technology, youth culture, and relationships.
Eve takes inspiration from her everyday experiences and she describes her practice as consolidating her thoughts and putting them out into the world. It’s through this avenue that she shares personal narratives, telling us that “expressing my experiences is part of my form of storytelling.” While her work only shares a short part of a story, she sees them as tantalising beginnings that allow the viewer “to complete the story themselves.” On why it’s important to have this kind of connection with her audience, she adds: “I believe storytelling expands the imagination.” Storytelling, she continues, “is a way of carrying culture. I feel it is a vital part of my creative practice. Everything you create is a story, from beginning to end.”
The phrases that adorn Eve’s artworks are often fairly ordinary: “Make a decision and stick with it” or “Don’t sweat it, baby”. That’s not to say they haven’t been meticulously chosen though, as Eve explains: “Another aspect of my work is to add polish to mundanity, as I believe storytelling can raise awareness of the importance of everyday life.” Neon, she continues, has presented the best way for her to achieve this but it also allows her to explore “how malleable definitions of words and phrases can be.”
To date, it’s a practice which has proved successful. She’s held numerous exhibitions, her most recent of which was titled Destination at Carnaby Street. At the moment, Eve is working on “an immersive space for adults and children,” she says. “I have been studying the role of healing gardens and have created my own version of a ‘neon healing garden’.” With that project soon to be released, she concludes that “I hope in the future for a more diverse set of voices to be heard and celebrated. Everybody’s story is important and valuable.”
Eve De Haan: Barbados (Copyright © Eve De Haan, 2021)
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor.