Artists under Lockdown: Nacho Carbonell
A designer based in Eindhoven.
The Design Edit (TDE): How are you keeping busy in self-isolation?
Nacho Carbonell (NC): I am only really experiencing the lockdown by proxy, through my family in Valencia. Here in Eindhoven, the authorities have closed down the restaurants, bars and shops – but the studios are all open. My house is in the centre of town and my studio is on the edge, so as there are no restrictions I go between the two. BUT I have my children, aged six and three, at home, 24/7, and so that means I have an extra job! I have made some changes in the studio, arranging shifts so there are never more than five people in the studio, and trying to make sure everyone has an independent assignment. I am the weak link, going between – I tell them to keep their distance from me! We were working on a few commissions before the lockdown, so we have managed to keep going.
TDE: Everyone’s pace of life has slowed down considerably; what is the impact of this new rhythm on your work and home life?
NC: Firstly, my work has always been related to the idea of the human body and this idea of the cocoon and self-isolation. The human figure is the centre of the art piece. So I have been able to research this a bit more deeply – making things and drawing. The work has taken on even more relevance, it has added a layer of meaning, because the works are like little environments, companions, embracing the single figure within a specific environment. Certainly at home we are all trying to find our own space within the house. Secondly, this new regime leaves me no time, so I am using my time differently. We bought a new house recently so when I come home I share time with the kids – moving earth from one place to another, digging, building a garden. You have to adapt.
TDE: Do you have a favourite self-isolation recipe to share with us?
NC: I am very involved with cooking, because we only shop once every 1-2 weeks. So every weekend I find myself making large quantities of paella, some of which we freeze, so that we can have good quality food at any moment. It is one of the best times of the day – arriving home after my digging, having a shower, a glass of wine, and then trying to compose something for dinner.
TDE: What is saving your sanity under lockdown?
NC: Digging … but also creativity. I do believe in Louise Bourgeois’s dictum, “Art is the guarantee of sanity.” She too was very preoccupied with the idea of self-isolation. She managed to create her own universe, through self-reflection over many years, which then bloomed in the last period of her life.
TDE: Which online exhibition/gallery viewing room, or other internet offerings have caught your eye?
NC: I haven’t had time to look! I have the feeling that I have less time than before. While we could laugh about it in the first week, now it’s not funny anymore.
Nacho Carbonell – is known for his tactile approach to sculpture, playing with texture, experimental techniques, and natural materials.
Carpenters Workshop Gallery – produces and exhibits functional art by international artists or designers, both rising and established, going outside their traditional territories of expression