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How To Succeed In Your Life Through Beauty And Art: An Exclusive Interview With Eleanor Cardozo

Leap of Faith

The second of ten children, beautiful Eleanor Cardozo was born in London and spent her early childhood in Africa and Malaysia. She was classically trained in sculpture at The City and Guilds School of Art, London and in portraiture at the Cecil Graves school in Florence.

Eleanor celebrates the beauty of figurative sculpture and considers the human form the greatest artistic challenge. She devotes much of her time to portrait commissions and her work can be found in private collections throughout the world. She believes that a true artist sees with the ‘eyes of the heart’ which recognise the spirit within.

Eleanor, tell us how did you become an artist and why are you so passionate about sculpture art?

I come from an artistic family. My grandmother, also called Eleanor, was a Royal Academy portrait artist, my mother is a violinist and pianist and my father’s family is in the creative arts. Music, art, dance, sport, were all encouraged from an early age and my fascination with the human body was born out of that. Figurative sculpture captivated me more than paintings and when I was 16yrs old at school my art master encouraged me to make my first sculpture. I was seduced immediately by the feel of the clay, the creating something beautiful out of a lump of earth, the challenge of the three dimensions. I never looked back!

Your sculptures look so beautiful, young and mostly have athletic forms. Is this a tribute to women’s beauty or gymnastic sports? How are they born? Are they real people or just your fantasies about beauty? Who and what inspires you?

My art celebrates the beauty of the human form and the magnificence of the human body and the spirit within. My models tend to be dancers and gymnasts because the anatomy of the professional athlete is so perfect and the muscle tone so defined. They are sculptures in themselves and make enduringly fascinating subjects for artists. Sometimes I am privately commissioned to sculpt a particular person, so my model is real and I try to create a perfect portrait. Other times I work from my imagination, without the constraints of getting a likeness and allowing the sculpture to evolve as a work of art.

 COSIMA 1/2 life-size bronze sculpture with traditional and Italian patina.

Cosima

Poise outside Westminster Abbey

Poise

What motivates you and where do you take inspiration?

I am inspired by beauty in all its forms. Figurative art captures my imagination and heart more than abstract, still life or landscape, so I generally work with live models, who are an inspiration in themselves. I am motivated by their beauty, their grace and elegance and their skill as dancers. I believe that the art of a nation reflects its society, which is why the role of the creative artist matters so much. Art can lift the spirit and speak to the heart’s capacity for delight and wonder. It can also shock and depress the spirit. I try to do the former.  

How often do you feel a failure? What do you feel and how do you change the situation?

Failure is a hard word and I don’t think of it much. Even when I don’t achieve what I set out to, I don’t think of it as a failure because I always learn something. However, there are times when I’m sculpting something particularly demanding and complicated where I think I can’t do it. That’s when I want my old teachers and professors back! Often though, it’s a case of leaving the studio, taking a break and coming back to it with a fresh eye. I can usually sort it out on my own!

Eleanor sculpting in Geneva studio

Eleanor sculpting in Geneva studio

Eleanor, what are your favourite sculptures you have made?

My most favourite is POISE. The original ½ life-size version I first sculpted for the 2012 London Olympics. There is something so ethereal about the lightness of the gymnast balancing on one toe on top of the world. There is a perfection and symmetry in the composition itself, which reminds me of the Art Deco style.  My model was also particularly graceful with perfect proportions, so I started out with the best ‘ingredients’! The famous Swiss photographer Cyril Torrent photographed the final piece in black and white and that image has become synonymous with my name. It is my ‘logo’ if you like!

Where can people find your works in London and also worldwide?

I am represented in London by the Hay Hill Gallery, who are right now moving premises, but Maddox Gallery in Mayfair and Osbourne Gallery in Knightsbridge will be showcasing some of my work in the meantime. Galleries in St Tropez, Paris, Courchevel, Switzerland have all exhibited my sculptures during this year and previously they have been shown in Beirut and Dubai and the Far East.

Poise at Clinic Lemanic

Poise at Clinic Lemanic

Where can people find your works in London and also worldwide?

I am represented in London by the Hay Hill Gallery, who are right now moving premises, but Maddox Gallery in Mayfair and Osbourne Gallery in Knightsbridge will be showcasing some of my work in the meantime. Galleries in St Tropez, Paris, Courchevel, Switzerland have all exhibited my sculptures during this year and previously they have been shown in Beirut and Dubai and the Far East.

Who is mostly your client: men or women?

Both are clients. More men ask me to sculpt their women, rather than the other way around, but I have often been asked to sculpt heads of State, Military commanders, company CEOs etc.

How often you can see that your sculptures stay in a wrong atmosphere and what do you feel?

Not very often as I usually help to install my work, so I make sure it is positioned correctly, but sometimes if a portrait has been badly framed, it is disappointing to see my work undermined or not shown in the best light.

Eternity

Eternity

What do you love reading? Listening?

I listen to a lot of beautiful music when I work. I have created my own ‘INSPIRATION’ playlist for my studio. Ennio Morricone, John Barry, John Williams, Puccini, Debussy, Stan Getz, even a couple of Clint Eastwood’s compositions are on it! I play the piano, so there is a lot of keyboard and orchestral. For dancing I like Latin American and Swing.

I like philosophical books, quantum physics, questions and theories about evolution and humanity and how the physical and spiritual worlds interconnect. I like it when science and devotion find places of intersection. It has been said that ‘the search for truth is the noblest occupation of man; its publication is a duty’ and reading the thoughts of great masters and theologians fascinates and inspires me.

Let’s imagine, you’ve caught a fish. What three wishes you will have?

That’s a difficult one because most of my dreams and wishes have already come true! I guess I wish for nothing to happen to take them away! I am grateful every day for them!

I would like to leave a legacy of beauty in the form of sculptures in public and private places around the world. I’ve started this but I have a long way to go!

I wish for my children to find the love of their lives and enjoy the world and living as much as I do.

Please, name your three favourite places in London

Hyde Park for running in the early morning. Scotts in Mayfair for the seafood. Harrods just for the glamorous experience and because you can find virtually anything you want.

Eleanor, what's the most important beauty tip you can give to DigitalSekta readers?

Love life, love your family and friends, laugh a lot, enjoy the good things in life and exercise enough to compensate!

If you are interested in works of Eleanor Cardozo (sculptures and portraits) please feel free to drop your questions here: digitalsekta@gmail.com