Jallim Eudovic is well known for his minimalistic and conceptual wooden block sculptures. His highly skilled craftsmanship shows exceptional and a one-of-a-kind talent. His sculptures are layered with creative force, Caribbean wit, spirituality and poetry.
Mr Eudovic’s large-scale bronze sculptures are just as impressive as his minimalistic and conceptual wooden block sculptures. The Lucian-born artist has presented his work at several public art commissions in China and is set to return again this year.
Jallim also has his work showcased in various private collections in the Caribbean, United States and Europe. And, with openings at Miami Art Basel, Oxford Street in London, and Chelsea, New York, Jallim Eudovic will soon make an unforgettable impression on the art world.
Jallim Eudovic was exposed to a high level of creativity at a very young age; he’s been doing sculptures from the age of five and has successfully made a career out of his passion. “My father’s art studio was my playground,” he says. “I also dabbled in paints, poetry, and theatre. I was enveloped in the world of creativity at a very young age.”
Jallim’s creativity has been led by the belief that “inspiration abounds everywhere you look”. Global and geopolitical issues often stimulate him as well as subtle things such as observing people and cultures.
“We live in a global culture right now; the world is increasingly becoming a global community,” Eudovic shared. “Eventually we will become one intercultural melting pot.”
His work is heavily influenced by various cultures, but primarily African culture. “African contemporary, African traditional art, also western contemporary art, those are my biggest influences.”
Though he has many sources of motivation, he also has a number of influences that play a major role in his work. The sculptor says his father was his first role model and was instrumental in his development. Aside from his father, he especially looks up to people of colour that are at a high level in the art world. He names specifically: Theaster Gates, Kerry James Marshall and Kehinde Wiley. He also appreciates the great English sculptor Henry Moore, and the legendary Pablo Picasso.
Jallim believes he is a man on a mission with ideas and his priority is to contribute to the next chapter of the global conversation, as is a continuous role in art. “Civilisation has been pushing forward ever since the dawn of time and it’s up to me and my generation to continue pushing it forward, to develop the conversation.” Eudovic affirmed.
However, his goal as an artist is to create change in society, in his words, “To make mankind a little better than it was before and to increase people’s levels of consciousness through art, as well as celebrating life.” His message is one of empowerment to the marginalized so they may remove themselves from their inferiority complexes, as he firmly believes that we all have something to celebrate within our own cultures.
“Just like the Europeans and Americans have put their culture up on a pedestal through art, I want to put my culture and people up on a pedestal as well, internationally, so that we could be on the same level with any other country,” he says.
As an international artist he has learnt many valuable lessons. “Art is a euphemism for life and you learn about life through art.” He learnt about spirituality, patience, diligence, perseverance, love and how to communicate effectively. But most of all he learnt about himself through his work. “Self-determination and self-actualization are two of the by-products of being an artist, which has made me more powerful. I have learnt to be unapologetic for the things that I am passionate about and to apologise for my mistakes by becoming better.”
He told the STAR, “When you’re creating at a high level your spirituality is enhanced because you’re connected to the full depth of yourself.
“As artists, I don’t think we have only one message, I believe we have messages and you evolve with your work so over time your message becomes more dynamic.” However, he says his main message most often revolves around purity.
Embarking on his first exhibition at twenty years old, Jallim has not looked back since. He’s displayed his art in various countries and cities: Canada, Martinique, Africa, France, England, New York, and Miami. He is set to leave Saint Lucia soon for his fifth trip to China where he is due to erect his sixth public sculpture venture.
The theme for China’s Public Sculpture Park for 2017 is ‘Green. Ecology. Relaxation’. Jallim will create and erect a 12-foot bronze sculpture entitled ‘Mother River and Child’.
The sculpture shows the female figure which represents the mother river which flows through the city of Changchun, China and draws a parallel between the rural river culture of Saint Lucia where women carried buckets of water on their heads, perfectly balanced, in order to sustain the daily needs of their family. Jallim revealed, “The woman symbolises the river, the mother or nurturer of her children, a metaphor for the city itself. The river is the bloodline of the city, and the bucket symbolizes the ecological balance that needs to be achieved as the city continues to develop.”
Jallim is proud of the fact that he has proved himself worthy in the upper tiers of the art world such as in New York and England. However, he is particularly proud of the China public art commission as it has allowed him the opportunity for his work to reach millions of people “That’s what artists want ultimately. Having your work in closed quarters and making money is fine but at the end of the day you want your work to touch as many people as possible.”
He believes firmly that artists should be able to support themselves if they choose to pursue art as a career but he also believes that, on the whole, the arts could be appreciated a lot more. He explained, “I believe if we invest in the arts we would have a lot less problems than we have now, ‘cause we’ll have people positively engaged.”
He continued, “And the thing about the arts is, it’s not just about creating tangible objects, it’s about exploring ideas and stimulating thought. It’s a catalyst for introspection and it teaches people to value themselves, each other, nature, their culture; that is what art is about. It’s about appreciating something enough to want to protect it, care for it and elevate it.”
The government of Saint Lucia, in particular the Trade and Export Promotion Agency (TEPA), has recently been a driving force in Jallim’s career. It has assisted him extensively in two of his exhibitions: The Art of Black, during Miami Art Basel 2016 and his group show at the Thomas Jaeckel Gallery in Chelsea N.Y. earlier this year. However, he believes that organisations such as TEPA, which does critical work in exposing local artists to the wider market, need more financial support.
When asked what form of encouragement he would give to fellow artists Jallim responded: “I will always encourage other artists to live in the world – Saint Lucia is part of the world. We belong to a global community and we have to be part of that global community. Saint Lucia cannot provide us with everything that we need. Saint Lucia is already giving us the fresh air, lush vegetation and so much more. Part of our problem is that we see ourselves as insular, just island people. We’re not island people; we’re global people. We’ve given the world Sir Derek Walcott, Sir Arthur Lewis, my father, St Omer, to name a few. The Caribbean on the whole has given the world Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Bob Marley, Usain Bolt, Marcus Garvey, to name a few.”
Before the interview came to an end, Jallim wanted to express that in Saint Lucia we have many great young talented people and that more focus needs to be put on the practical skills of our people. “Not everybody is academic and we must stop looking at practical skills as something for people as a last resort.”