This body of work is the result of merging the iconography of the ancient Mesoamerican culture with icons of my childhood, assembling colours with shapes while playing with space and time.
On 23th of January 2018, Eva Burton received her Master of Fine Arts in Gemstone and Jewellery, from Hochschule Trier in Idar Oberstein.
A man plays only when he is in the full sense of the word a man, and he is only wholly a Man when he is playing.
/ Friedrich Schiller
Play is circumscribed into space, either materially or ideally. These places are all temporary worlds in the limits of the ordinary world. Inside the playground an absolute and peculiar order reigns.
What happens when play meets ritual? An extraordinary blend comes to light, and the playground that we knew becomes a consecrated spot. A performance full of symbolism is born where the players represent the opposing forces of Nature fighting to reach a balance, stretching their limits, seeking for the stability of the world where they live. This was the case of the Pre-Hispanic sacred Ball Game and the primary source of inspiration to materialise the practical work of my Thesis. This body of work is the result of merging the iconography of the ancient Mesoamerican culture with icons of my childhood, assembling colours with shapes while playing with space and time.
PART 1 - Understanding play: A scientific approach
1.1 - The origin of Play
1.2 - Homo Sapiens in Regnum Animalia
1.3 - Homo Ludens: Another category of our species
PART 2 - Defining play: A fan full of signifcances
2.1 - The ambiguity of play
2.2 - Play as a function of the living
2.3 - Play as an element for building society
2.4 - Play as a transmutative force: The spell of Fort-Da
2.5 - Play as an independent concept
2.6 - The power of imagination - Playing: dreaming awake
PART 3 -The beyondness of play
3.1 - Place, space and time
3.2 - Religious Ritual and Performance
3.3 - The neophyte
3.4 - Art and Religion: What came first, the chicken or the egg?
PART 4: When play meets ritual
4.1 - The Ball Game in Mesoamerica
4.2 - The Popol Vuh: The Mayan myth of creation
4.3 - The Ball Game in the Popol Vuh
4.4 - Formal aspects in the Ball Game: How was the game played?
4.5 - Formal aspects in the Ball Game: Ball courts architecture
4.6 - Ball Game paraphernalia
4.7 - Hidden messages and symbology in the Ball Game
>> Click here to read the complete thesis
On the works of Eva Burton.
As a teacher, one gets not often presented a graduation work so convincingly fitting to the students' character as this one. Eva Burton is colourful, loud, fast and has a contagious, splashing vibrancy – at first. Her works are as rich: forms, colours and materials - dazzling and mesmerising in astonishing combinations, united to a statement of joy and fun – at first. Describing the work in words like this, the reader might get a feeling of superficiality and decoration. This, however, is negated in Burton´s graduation work by her awareness of time, futility and fugaciousness of life. There is no real sense of “youth” or “childhood”, so the issue of play is elevated to adulthood. And thus becomes a mirror that doesn’t only convey a sense of happiness and makes us smile...
In the end, to me the most intriguing aspect of Burton´s work is a certain inner quality, the reminder of who and what we are – or maybe: of what we could have been. Looking at these jewels, at some point, one becomes aware that something inside of us has gone lost, unlearned, forgotten: the joy of playing, the game without material gain, the life we once lived as things were elementary. This blends in with sadness, grief and even a touch of despondency on being grown up – before brightening up the soul. Conveying this moment of awareness is the special gift of Eva Burton´s work.
/ Theo Smeets
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