Joya: AiR / Tere Chad / Chile
“Two years ago, I was having my first solo exhibition. I was showcasing my handcrafted jewellery collection ‘Fusion – Haka Piri’ at Aukara Gallery in Easter Island. In that trip, I had the opportunity to see Toki, a music and arts school that attempts to protect their heritage and the environment. The architect from this school is Michael Reynolds, the ‘Garbage Warrior’, known for his Earthship constructions and promoting sustainability. I remember sharing lunch from a pot with volunteers from all over the world that where helping to construct this school. Who could possibly imagine that you could have such inspiring discussions about sustainability in the most isolated island of the world?
In that trip, I also had the chance to meet Cristián Arévalo Pakarati, Co-Director of EISP (Easter Island Statue Project). Cristián took me around the Island explaining me each archaeological remain and how their civilisation had collapsed through wasting all natural resources. Thus, there is an abyss between reading a report warning us from possible Climate Change consequences than actually experiencing the desolation of a place that was destroyed by humans. You suddenly realise, that is not a ‘Green Alarmist Fairy Tale’ the fact that we’re probably the only species able of extinguishing everything.
That trip was quite enlightening and changed the way I was reflecting onwards my practice. I started questioning myself how could I as an artist invite people to re-think the way we consume and relate to the environment. How can we find a balance among reassessing our haptic (tactile) sensitivity and incorporating new technologies? How do we face the Anthropocene? Maybe, part of the solution, is as simple as going back to the basics and reconnecting to the earth.
Later on, I moved to London, that must be one of the most creatives cities on the one hand, but with space and weather limitations to work outdoors on the other hand. Therefore, applied for the residency in Joya: AiR, Andalucía. I wrote an email to Simon vaguely explaining my idea, and asked him to collect glass bottles. The first time I went in June with classmates from the MA Arts and Science from Central Saint Martins. I began just with a couple of sketches and the image in my mind, but didn’t even knew how to make cob. Simon lent me his shovel and garden tools and taught how to make cob mixing clay, water and hay. With a bit of a back ache and hard work in collaboration with my sister and Olga Suchanova we managed to finish ‘The Re-Enlightment’ sculpture in 5 days.
When leaving, I realised my sculpture might not resist the winter, hence decided to come back in October with Olga who had left pinhole cameras in the outside and inside to study how would the light play on the sculpture.
In this second trip we were more focused, we needed to find the eco-friendliest solution to make the sculpture water proof. Again, Simon came up with the inspiration and suggested to cover it with beeswax diluted with linseed oil and pure turpentine. After a couple of days melting wax in bain-marie and without smartphone connection, I really had the space to reflect upon how do I want go to the next step on my practice.
The Re-Enlightment, is not only an aesthetical piece, in opposition to conceptual individualistic arts, requires collaboration and the involvement of a community on its construction process. Is a monument that makes a recycling statement and invites to rethink if the rational ideas of the Enlightenment really brought us the wealth we wanted. It attempts to give the new light for our society, even seeming alive as the bottles make a nice eco when the wind blows. It is a piece that speaks about the urge of not forgetting our ability of sensing the world through our hands, and not forgetting that our planet is alive”.
Chilean artist and creative inventor based in London. Strongly concerned about sustainability and promoting Latin American art abroad, she is a Co-Founder of the Latinos Creative Society at the University of the Arts London.
Through her mixed media practice, she exposes how touch screen technologies detach us from our tactile instincts and empowers the society of the spectacle. She attempts to invite us to try to find a healthy balance between reassessing haptic sensitivity and approaching new technologies.
She has had 5 solo exhibitions and participated in more than 15 collective shows in 4 different continents, highlighting: Hanga Roa – Easter Island, Santiago – Chile (Decorative Arts Museum, Fundación Cultural de Providencia), London – England (Tate Modern – Tate Exchange, Royal Society, Gordon Museum, Clifford Chance), Leeds – England (Central Library), Barcelona – Spain (Convent dels Àngels – Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona), Bucharest – Romania, Massachusetts – United States, Chengdu – China (Sichuan University Art Museum).
Recently graduated from MA Art and Science at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London; has just commenced the MA Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London, where she pretends to research for sustainable solution in sculptural practices, and how this could positively impact on the public space.