Eva Signý Berger
Eva Berger graduated in 2007 and works as a freelance set and costume designer in Reykjavík, Iceland.
Eva Berger graduated in 2007 and works as a freelance set and costume designer in Reykjavík, Iceland. Over the last few years she has worked on a number of productions in theatre, dance, performance art and puppetry. ‘’I love the breadth that designing for theatre offers, sometimes working with production teams to realise the design, and at other times creating and making stuff myself and letting the materials influence the design as I go along.’’
Eva’s most recent work includes the design for Breaking News, a puppet performance by VaVaVoom that was nominated for the Iceland Theatre Awards and was well received at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013, and Harmsaga, a National Theatre of Iceland production, which has been invited to perform at the ‘World Stages: International Theatre Festival’ in Washington in 2014.
Why did you decide to study at Central Saint Martins?
The emphasis that the course at Central Saint Martins put on new and experimental theatre, diversity of approach and open mindedness towards the nature of theatre appealed to me, as well as the direction the course was taking of giving students the opportunity to develop themselves as theatre makers, writers, performers and directors with design as a basis.
What did you enjoy most about living and studying in London?
The diversity of art and theatre that you find in London, the museums, the various small and venues for experimental performance to take place, and above all the people I studied with and got to know through living there.
What advice would you give to students who are beginning their studies?
To be serious about your time and work, the more you put into a project, the more you will get out of it. See lots of shows and exhibitions. Ask other students for feedback and opinions and give yours to others. Don’t be afraid of taking a chance! It’s not about grades, it’s about learning. Listen to criticism and think about it, figure out which of it is constructive and what is perhaps just a difference of taste, because even the tutors might not always agree in their criticism and then it is up to you to figure out which of it will help you develop your work.
And for students about to graduate?
Work with interesting people on interesting projects whenever you can. If you can afford to do unpaid work you should do it, but be selective and make sure you get something out of it and that it can be a stepping stone for you. Try to learn as much as you can by trying different things. Being reliable and ‘on it’ is incredibly important if you want to work in theatre or any kind of collaborative production.
What are you up to now? How did you get there?
Currently I am in the early stages of designing set and costumes for my second production for the National Theatre in Iceland, and have another very exciting project lined up after that with VaVaVoom and The Bedroom Community. I have a four year old daughter so at the moment I am content doing projects here in Iceland that don’t require too much travelling and being away from home.
After I graduated I didn’t feel like I was in a hurry to get anywhere so I travelled around and did whatever came up and I found interesting at the time and have worked in various capacities, designing, building, sewing, devising work, assisting, teching and lighting. Some of the work was paid and some wasn’t. Last year I got a one year substitute position as a technician and designer at the Theater and Dance Department at the University of the Arts Iceland. This was invaluable and gave me a lot of experience, both technically and creatively and it was also great to be back in a university environment, discussing theatre and performance in depth with students and teachers. It’s been a lot of work and juggling but I think every project and job I have done has taught me something new and introduced me to new people which I have collaborated with later.
How has Central Saint Martins helped in your chosen career path?
Studying at Saint Martins opened my eyes to theatre in a much wider scope than I had known it before and taught me to think of myself as an artist and to respect and trust my work. I had many great tutors who were supportive and inspiring. Training the ability to analize and criticise theatre and my own work has been incredibly valuable.
Visit Eva's website: www.evaberger.net/