Incoming RedLine resident Eileen Roscina Richardson follows more than one muse, though they all seem to meet back up in the end. As an experimental filmmaker, installation artist, trained natural-foods chef, team member at Downtown Aurora Visual Arts and the Rocky Mountain Land Library, and a budding botanical illustrator, all of her interests seem to intersect in the simplicity of nature, human and otherwise. Moved by her love for the natural world, Richardson remains mindful of what the world stands to lose as our resources and wild places disappear. She elaborates by answering the Colorado Creatives questionnaire.
What (or who) is your creative muse?
My muse has always been nature and the deep sense of awe it can provoke, along with the feeling of being dumbstruck by its endless beauty, complexity and infinitude.
My other muse and greatest collaborator is light. There is little more exciting to me than putting something in front of a light source to see its shapes, forms and mirages articulated through endless varieties of undulations and shadows. I am fascinated by microbiology — the tiny, invisible world that is all around and part of us, as well as the cosmos and vastness of the universe. Just the mere fact that we are alive on this planet at all is astounding, which raises myriad questions about thresholds and the unknown that I attempt to address through my art.
Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to invite to your next party, and why?
What’s the best thing about the local creative community in your field — and the worst? How about globally?
I work across many mediums, but the film industry is the one in which I have seen the most changes. I have seen labs close, film stocks discontinued and an older generation of filmmakers pass away alongside their deep knowledge of analog processes. This has been disheartening, but I still have hope because there are artist-run labs emerging and local groups like Process Reversal, which advocates and ensures the viability of film.
There is a renewed interest and passion to connect with plants on a deeper level through scientific and botanical illustration, in Denver and globally. Denver also has so many amazing youth arts organizations and programs, which is exciting to see as an art educator.
Are trends worth following? What’s one trend you love and one that you hate?
I wonder what the impact of cell phones and other technology has on our brains and lives. Oftentimes this can cause isolation and shortened attention spans, with our worlds becoming smaller, more online and less in direct contact with other humans. Opposing that trend is a renewed interest to reconnect with the natural world, spend more time outdoors. I am a part of the Rocky Mountain Land Library, a nonprofit attempting to do this through books and education.
As a chef and lover of good food, I’m so glad to finally see a growing demand for higher-quality, local, organic, non-GMO food. Even growing your own is trendy.
What’s your best or favorite accomplishment as an artist?
I enjoy showing my work at festivals and in galleries, but my greatest accomplishment as an artist has been in the classroom teaching. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing lightbulbs turn on in young minds, seeing their curiosity sparked and helping to amplify their voice. This gives me great hope for the future.
You’ve come this far in life. What’s still on your bucket list?
There are so many parts of the world I want to travel to and film with my Bolex. I hope to go back to school to earn an MFA and teach at a higher level. I hope to continue to do everything I can to support the Denver art community, start a motion-picture lab, build an artist-run planetarium, continue my efforts to connect spirit to nature, become a mother, plant an orchard, go to space.
Denver, love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?
Oh, Denver. I was born here, and most of the time I don’t recognize my home town, Old Denver. This place is changing so quickly, sometimes I question the integrity of the city. I hate seeing my favorite haunts torn down or old friends getting fed up and leaving. I stay because of family, my deep roots and the amazing creative communities that I am a part of. There are incredibly exciting opportunities happening right now and lots of creative minds moving here. Perhaps in the future I’ll move to the San Luis Valley and herd some goats for a more quiet life with far less traffic.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
Megan Gafford for her beautiful union of hard science and art, Regan Rosburg for her commitment to curbing climate change and the health of this planet, Viviane Le Courtois for how she uses food and fermentation in her art, Jordan Knecht for continuing to present unseen perspectives and connect people, and Chris Bagley for how he sees and uses light.
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
I’m very excited to start a two-year residency at RedLine Contemporary Art Center. This year will be peppered with lots of different shows and film screenings. I will be graduating from the School of Botanical Art and Illustration in a year, and in December am headed to Mexico to document and illustrate endangered flora — and, of course, continuing to teach art to students at DAVA.
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Who do you think will (or should) get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?
Djamila Ricciardi. This Colorado woman works tirelessly to connect artists, organizations and community members to each other to make amazing art happen at RedLine and beyond. She is a DJ at KUVO, a historian, an art lover, a film buff and a generous soul.
Learn more about Eileen Roscina Richardson and her work online.