From Russia to Toronto, from Toronto to China, from China to Iceland, and then back to Mexico, Daniela Edburg, a renowned photographer, travels the world capturing her experiences with charming subtlety.
Surrounded by brains made from yarn, in a studio that is unique in itself, Daniela Edburg brings out her strongest artistic voice to amaze us with the art of incorporating knitted objects in her photographic creations. “I’ve been knitting since I was a child, and from that time forward, knitting has always been a part my work. For a series I did in 2007, I decided to knit a tapestry as the stage for my characters. Yarn is a medium: it is symbolic, it is sculptural, but it is also an object,” comments the artist, who is in love with yarn and uses it to produce installation art.
Raised in San Miguel de Allende, she returns to her old stomping ground—an artistic haven—to share with us her journey into the unchartered. “What my photographs document is the conclusion of a very long process. The type of work I create is a mise-en-scène, a photo-installation, and I have always enjoyed every aspect of the creation process,” Daniela says while holding a knitted heart in her hand.
After studying visual arts and specializing in painting at the Universidad de San Carlos in Mexico City, Daniela Edburg began sketching out the guiding motifs of rather original scenes, brought to life through the medium of photography. Recognized in 2010 as the best foreign artist in Italy, she produces photographs by project or by series. During the creative process, her ideas emerge and slowly begin to revolve around a single concept. “Contradiction inspires me and it is something that is always present. The idea is akin to the celebration of destruction, or an element of consumption that, through overconsumption, ultimately kills you. I am struck by the moment when your creation turns to you to destroy you,” the artist exclaims passionately.
Daniela finds inspiration by simply keeping at it. Although she tries to avoid repeating herself, she does indeed have her own signature: but not in terms of aesthetic, but rather the mood and the concept of contradiction. She takes us to different periods in history, to undefined scenarios. “I love that you don’t know exactly where the scene is taking place” declares the visual artist with a solemn gaze.
Color and composition are the first elements, and from there, she starts to build and mold the image to the very last detail. “I want to create projects that are not solely under my control. I seek to work with other artists and in other disciplines,” she adds.
As a great admirer of film, art history, advertising and urban design, she takes these elements and adapts them to photography. In a playful tone, she elaborates on what she is trying to express: “I borrow from others, but I do it accurately,” she explains. From there she creates her own version. “The idea of originality is absurd. All we are doing as artists is absorbing outside influences and then passing them through our own filter. I have just completed a series based on the Renaissance painters, and mainly on Caravaggio.”
After returning from Iceland, and having been commissioned by the Musée du quai Branly in Paris for an exposition that is to take place soon in the French capital, Daniela Edburg is well prepared for an exhibit in Mexico City during the month of April at La Casa Abierta al Tiempo of the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana. The show is called El promontorio del sueño (Promontory of the Dream), inspired by Victor Hugo’s text that explores travel, creativity and the imagination.
Similarly, her “Parasites and Perishables” collection is an imitation of paintings from the Renaissance and contains portraits of sanmiguelenses posing with knitted food. This series is currently on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in the contemporary art section until June of this year. At the end of the interview, Daniela Edburg, an innovative artist, concludes with this: “I am on a quest that will never end, and in fact, it has only just begun.”