Paradise will be screening a series of works at its Video Art space, at the upcoming festival. One of the artists showing will be Elise Bonato, a multidisciplinary visual artist from Adelaide Her predominantly experimental and performance-based practice aims to create an oeuvre of elegiac beauty through a synthesis of moving image, installation, drawing and painting.
Paradise's Video Art curator, Melissa Edwards, spoke to Elise Bonato ahead of her screening at Paradise Music Festival.
Tell us a little about your work / identity.
Multidisciplinary visual artist, practitioner of the visual-aural arcane and esoteric creator based in Adelaide, SA. My experimental practice investigates contemporary notions and versions of the sublime and mysticism, through a synthesis of moving image, performance, installation, drawing and painting. My work aims to elevate the potential for otherworldly and supranatural experiences, which may be sublime in nature. This includes a sensorial exploration of the interconnection between the lived body and the metaphysical mind through immersive environments.
Where do you find inspiration?
Most immediately, music. Nature and landscape also play significantly in influencing my work, both in concept and aesthetic. Materially speaking, I’m obsessed with colour and light—more so for the meanings associated with them as well as their concordant etheric qualities. On a smaller scale, I acquire inspiration for my work through literature, poetry, ancient history, esoteric lore and mythology.
How heavily does modern digital technology influence and your work?
Working with film, video and sound, my work depends on the fact that I am influenced by contemporary digital technologies. In order to create, realise and present my work within a gallery space or according to a cinematic paradigm, I dedicate a significant amount of energy towards ensuring the technology supports the immersive experience effectively. Experimenting with new digital technologies and developing new ways of connecting with the audience continually influences the development of my artistic practice.
What do you do with good ideas?
It depends on the work. Being multidisciplinary, different mediums call for varying ways of ideating the start of a new work or project. On some occasions, through the development process, a “good” idea will be subverted, challenged or corrupted—sensationally so.Practically speaking, most of my ideas eventuate intuitively while meditating or listening to music, especially in regards to my performance and video work. When these ideas form cinematically in my mind’s eye, I assess whether they have potential to become a visual-aural experience and if so, I log these directly into my journal.
Describe your creative routine / creative environment.
Key to my creative routine is maintaining a creative journal of my ideas, notes, poetic and critical writing, alongside my general research. This is paramount to ensuring the health of my practice, due to the fact I process my thinking by inscribing it. Or drawing, excessively. My studio is typically neat and methodically organised with stored artworks. Which is at odds with my music selection, which is anarchic and diverse. But always present. Music is irrevocably transformative and stimulates my ability to visualise new work. Otherwise, my creative process + environment usually involves myself, my equipment, an energetic landscape and a vivid sky to spend several hours filming.
How do you recharge your creative batteries?
Rest, music, connecting with/in the natural landscape, meditation, reading.
Do you take inspiration from other fields of work?
Music; in particular, independent and experimental artists and producers. To a certain degree, the fields of fashion, literature and archeology also provide intermittent inspiration.
How does being an Australian artist influence your work?
My practice is consistently subject to the influence of the natural environment; whether by means of where I locate myself to conduct performance art, the actual physical appearance of landscape in my work or the reimagining of it through my painting experiments. Identifying as an Australia artist affirms this to a further extent. The connection to land and the relationship we have with our country is an aspect of my conceptual premise that I am exploring avidly at present. Besides this however is the pervasive desire to honour the Australian landscape in my practice by fabricating immersive environments influenced by real and ‘suprareal’ spaces. Through video installation, I imbue the space or site with the presence of an entity and landscape of my re-making, in order to subsequently influence and entice the viewer’s own experience of that environment.