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Echos …
Who were they?

17 Paintings



“La collection des oevres présentées témoigne de sa recherche de l'authenticité à redonner une nouvelle vie au regard. Un regard humain. La beauté du vécu de ces gens traverse ses toiles. A travers les textures éxpérimentées et les apparitions des visages, Eva Paulin, brise le silence des âges.”


“The selection of paintings on exhibit is testimony of her quest to create a new authenticity for the gaze. The human gaze. The beauty of these people’s lives fills the paintings. With the emergence of faces and her experimental textures, Eva Paulin breaks the silence of the past.”


Marie Robert




The starting point for this series is photo negatives on 10 x 15 cm glass plates from the 1920s to 1940s. I was given an archive of photographs from the era taken in the German region near Luxembourg.


The photographs are portraits of people, both alone or with someone. There are photos of extraordinary moments, standard social situations, festivals, and celebrations, driven by a need to immortalize the moment, to remember it for long into the future and to highlight its special significance.


I see my work as an extension of this desire to share the specialness of the moment with an even larger audience. The looks and positions of the people go beyond the formal approach of the photographers, who were working with the clichés of their time.


I know neither their names nor their actual stories, yet the photos are insightful narrators of these people, who appear ageless with their happy or unhappy or unusual feelings. Their anonymity turns them into archetypes who share their experiences with the viewer.


There are many traces of these now bygone individuals, their successors, their ashes, objects that they owned, their work; or their photos, their self-presentation. There are also unseen indications, such as the impact of heart-to-heart emanations. All this comes together in what is the diversity of the secret of life, into the echoes that reach and broaden our sensory perception.


As a human being, it is not hard to identify with their emotions. They are familiar to everyone. I put the people, specific details and aspects of the photo into an abstract frame that is modern in comparison to the old photograph. The contrast densifies the timeless aspect of the important moment of the photo in the painting. A transformation into archetypes or archetypical situations takes place. The living people are transformed. This moment in their life becomes a painting, an object. With this painted image, they can now trigger new stories within the viewer.


Although I approach these individuals and their stories with great respect, I am not lacking in the curiosity needed to explore the contrast between the expressions of another era, which had to and wanted to hide so much from the eyes of others, and the abundance of emotional facets that remain unchanged over time.


The fact that these special moments were voluntarily captured for the subjects and for future generations, gives me a kind of legitimacy and basis of trust to use my vision to continue the stories of my glass-plate models, to let their story reach forward into another era.


With my help, they escape oblivion for a few more years. Is it possible to reconstruct a life from these faces? One will never be able to say with any certainty if this is their story. But isn’t it more important to continue impacting and triggering associations in the viewer than to lose oneself in the silence of passing time?

Eva Paulin

Phone: + 35 26 216 144 14



1, Kiirfechstrooss

6834 Biwer



Éditions musicales MusiNova
102-1455 Boul. Brassard
Chambly, Québec, Canada
J3L 6Z4

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