Gisela von Eicken: And there I was with this wire, and then I started really getting into it, and taking the wire and spending like two or three days with a pen knife, pulling the plastic coating off the wire, because often it was coaxial cable. And youd have that center cord and then the plastic around it and then that messy part on the sides, which I would use partly in the sculptures and so on.
And whatever it was, it told me what to do, and thats the part that I loved so much. People have said to me so many times, youre not supposed to say that something tells you what to do; youre the person that does it. And I say no, Im the person who listens and sees what it tells. You know, Im getting the message; its coming through to me.
Gisela von Eicken was artistic since she was a young child in Montreal, sculpting, painting, and designing.
Gisela von Eiken: Art-wise, I know that when I was going to school, I guess it would be kindergarten or grade one, I went to a class for gifted children. The teacher would take a roll of brown paper and roll it down the gymnasium. And it was maybe a foot wide. And we would then be given brushes, and we would just sort of walk and paint and walk and paint and do whatever all the way down. I remember developing an interest in making things, and creating stuff, and watching stuff happen in front of me with what I was doing with my hands. I mean, that started very early.
As far as art is concerned, I was just always inventing things myself. I found -- I really was quite rebellious, and I think that I found training for anything was odious as far as I was concerned. And that whatever I could figure out on my own seemed to me to be far more interesting and important than doing something somebody already knew how to do.
FF: What was your eye attracted to? Was it architecture? Was it art? Was it fashion?
Gisela von Eicken: It was everything.
FF: Everything ...
Gisela von Eicken: I mean, I couldnt even sit in a room without lining stuff up in my head. I would find a shape that appealed to me, or a shadow on the wall, and the next thing you know Id be, you know, mentally painting it or drawing it or moving it around, or altering it or cutting the top off it and putting the top somewhere else. There was just a constant building and rebuilding of shapes and things that interested me from the very start. I was always trying to take paintings, or tapestries, and wear them, instead of just having them on the wall. I seemed to want to put them on my body or -- whatever had not been done I wanted to do.