The Chain – Roots, Resilience, Connection, Migration is comprised of a dropdown artist book and a series of ‘intervened screen prints’ exploring shifts and sonority in colour and shape of compound chain-like structures. This work is an abstraction, inspired by the Opuntia cactuses of the ‘rhizome’ family, a type of cactus. Rhizomes are the roots that connect horizontally and spread, without need for seeds, facilitating colonisation. This growth pattern is a central reference point in my practice and is based on the rhizomatic system explored by philosopher Gilles Delueze and psychoanalyst Felix Guattari. In ‘A Thousand Plateaus’, they used this system as an analogy for non-hierarchical knowledge structures that multiply, communicate and grow easily, describing new ways to relate, connect and ‘migrate’.
The project includes a series of screen prints, developed as sketches and tests for the artist book. However, these prints found their own identity through the addition of graphite, gouache and coloured film. They add an important layer to the book and are aligned to its central reference of rhizomatic growth.
Walking is probably the best form of experiencing a landscape, because its many possibilities: you can chose speed, even stop if something calls your attention ...
This is series of screen-printing experiments inspired by landscapes explored during many walks in Scottish land. The West Highland Way initiated the series and was part of a commission from Glasgow Piano City. It
Rhizomatic Growth -MRes in Creative Practice-
Rhizomatic growth is the subject of a research project that proposes shifts in perception and interaction in outsider art contexts; focusing on artists with disabilities, mental illness, or those deemed on the margins of art and society.
It is based on the hypothesis that collaboration can create a non-hierarchical connection between tutor and artist, resulting in open attitudes that potentially enhance the learning experience and facilitate the flow towards growth.
The non-hierarchical way to relate is linked to Deleuze & Guattari’s theory of rhizomatic systems, which in turn inspires a series of large scale screen-printings on fabric, several installations and one performance.
How to eat a cactus fruit
Prickly pear, or chumbera, is a resilient cactus that easily propagates through its rhizomes or by rooting its leaves. This makes it very resilient, growing fast and almost everywhere.
Its sharp spines make it a very well defended plant. Very often, it grows as a kind of impenetrable wall, but there is no doubt it is an edible plant, commonly used in Mexican food, with very good health properties making it well worth the effort of braving its ´pinchos ´.
The project `How to eat a cactus fruit´ plays around the image of this cactus, using as inspiration its capricious shapes, intense colours, its ability to adapt and its patterns of growth. This is a body of work created mainly using screen printing techniques, not as a way to produce a large volume of prints, but more as a creative process. It also includes photographs, one of them a series to explain the safe way of eating a prickly pear, and digital prints.
Screen-printed banners -after Treeless
Since I moved to Scotland, I started working regularly with screen printing on fabric. First, using some of the images made for Treeless that, little by little, inspired by medieval japanese banners, grew a personality of its own. It still depicts Extremadura landscape, trying to grasp its essence by creating clean images or symbols. This is why banners ended up being the most appropriate form of expression.
It is still a work in progress, because each installation requires a different combination and sometimes new additions.
`La Seca' is a disease badly affecting old gorgeous oaks in my home area, Extremadura. Around my family house, this disease and a fire (another 'plague' of dry areas) dramatically changed the landscape of my childhood. This was a long process that left dead trees standing for several years, like ruins. During that time, I began to draw them to keep track of all those skeletons, to remember them.
The tittle, Treeless, makes reference to the desertification process, accelerated by la Seca and fires, that it is reducing the numbers of oaks, turning the area into a land with no trees.
The trees portrayed in this project are the ones I used to climb, or where we sheltered from the summer sun. I even did my first exhibition, at 13 years old, under a dome of oaks. But the connection with them is much more than just emotional. Man and Tree are intertwined living entities and this bond needs to be acknowledged as such.
aLUZinaciones (Light Hallucinations)
Everything just started by extensively observing the light and the changing shadows onto the wall . The first pictures I took were from my bed, with the early morning light coming into my room and waking me up. In Ireland, where I lived for 4 dark months, the lack of sunshine made me become aware of the quality of light and how relevant was for me. When I got back to Spain, the research continued in a East-facing classroom at the Art School in Cuenca. There, the light used to flood into the room, shifting throughout the day like sea tides.
The project took the shape of big paintings, 2x2metres, where the canvas was dyed with coffee (essential part in my morning routine) and painted just with light (white paint), as in my first irish visions.
In 1998, I wrote a dissertation on “The Process of Developing a Vessel” which examines the symbolic meaning of each step involved in said process. In parallel, I worked on a series of drawings of vessels using compressed charcoal and coffee. I conceived these drawings as the visual side of the research, to better understand the process itself.
In these sketches, the vessel is drawn the same way the potter uses the wheel, building the inside and the outside at the same time. The charcoal strokes outline the mouth of the vessel by drawing mechanically lines that become a spiral. Just like the potter uses the wheel, everything is built up through touch. This way, you can get a glimpse of what our sight cannot comprehend, the inside, and expose a gap allowing us to perceive it more openly.
“An enormous head lies upturned on the gallery floor. The cavity carved deep in Hollow Head lends a vulnerability to the work in spite of its gigantesque proportions. Up-ended, the monumental head is an empty container and indeed, the representation of the head as a vessel to be filled is borne out by Consuelo´s casting of another work from the sunken interior.
Memory Bag has been fashioned from the chiselled hole of Hollow Head, mimicking the traditional sculptural process of working from a negative mould in order to create a positive form. (...)This repository of memory is as portable as the past itself and an image to accompany us beyond the gallery walls”. Fiona Kearney.
“The seed is the original metaphor: it falls onto the soil in a fissure, and it feeds off the substance of the earth. The beginning resembles the end. As soon as it falls into the hole, the seed fills the furrow and it swells up with life. Its fall is its resurrection: the laceration is the scar, and the division is reunion. All times are alive in the seed.”
Octavio Paz, Corriente alterna, Siglo XXI, México, 1984, p. 27
It is a series of 8 wood sculptures, based on photographs illustrating an article in El País that it had a strong impact on me. The caption read: “Children of traitors to the motherland in Moscow in the thirties" - in photographs from the records office of a centre ( probably an orphanage).