We had the good fortune of connecting with Eleanor Mahin Thorp and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eleanor Mahin, what makes you happy? Why?
One of the best things in life is sitting around a table eating with people you love or admire. My systems of support have always brought me great joy. When we can sit in space and share flavors, thoughts, and textures I feel present, blessed, and truly happy. There is always great satisfaction after eating with people where one is full of words and drunkenness, even if no alcohol is present. A table is a place where everyone can distribute stories and knowledge while nourishing the body. My happiest moments have been around a table of food with others.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As an Iranian-American from rural Utah, I learned how to be true to my roots and to the landscape that shaped me. Through drawing and painting, I depict beings such as trees, skies, flowers, animals, and materials that make up my home and the elements of my body. I use these subjects to talk about their delicate nature, and how their demolition is the destruction of time building. Through the observation of nature, I recognize time is fragile. This fragility of time is what has pushed me to work hard towards my goals. Simultaneously, nature also teaches us that nothing exists without the help of something or someone else. Sagebrush thrives when wildflowers grow next to them, birds eat worms out of dead branches of a tree, fungus decomposes material to create rich nutrients for other plant life. I am constantly reminded that I am at the place in my career now because of the help of others. I could not accomplish my goals solely, and therefore the greatest lesson I have learned is to give service to others. I am most proud of the communities of people I have had the opportunity to be around whether it has been through residencies, schooling, or local projects. We all need one another in order to thrive.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to recognize my family, particularly my parents and siblings who have nurtured my artistic practices and taught me how to exist in the world. I also want to thank my friends who have knowingly, or unknowingly helped me become a better person and artist. Lastly, I want to thank all of my professors and life teachers who shared their knowledge with me. Thank you all for being so willing to share.