An Enlightening Talk I Went To This Week....

On Wednesday night I rushed to bath child of three before some zoomy driving to drop off child of fifteen in one end of Norwich to race off to the other side of the city JUST in time for a fascinating insight into the world of artist Ana Maria Pacheco

The very second time I ever visited Norwich was to go to the Degree show of a friend of a friend at NSAD (to which the art school was abbreviated then).
Whilst in Norwich, I went to the Castle Museum and was really moved by a sculpture that was on show there at that time
That was twenty-plus years ago.
The sculpture was entitiled 'Man and his Sheep' and it was by someone I had never heard of before - and a woman artist - Ana Maria Pacheco.

I found the figures at once celebratory and eerie - uncomfortable. They were huge; slightly larger than life hewn from great chunks of wood, then painted, brought eerily to life by the insertion of glass eyes and fiendishly real looking teeth.
I still have such a clear and strong memory of the black clothing looking like charred old oak beams and the white shiny teeth - powerful stuff.
Fascinating to listen to, Pacheco still has a beautiful accent and spoke with such energetic speed that I had to listen extra carefully to hear AND comprehend her lively stories.
From my notes, I can share the following gems Ana Maria Pacheco talked of:
When talking about her upbringing, she explained of the environment - "drawing and drawing to start to understand and love the initially scary landscape"
She said that for some reason art with a figurative narrative can be looked down on as inferior.
Pacheco emphasised that the participation of the onlooker is a big consideration for her sculpture.
She said of her time as head of Fine Art at the art school something to the effect of - I am an advocate for the English art education system.
Her use of printmaking is as investigation or sketchbook and is not prescribing or repeated in the sculpture.
She is interested in the individual and in non conformation.
The nature of the power of women is an important aspect of her work.
She doesn't use brushes in her paintings, preferring cotton buds and 'pads' made from net curtains as there are no brush strokes, resulting in a kind of translucence. Pacheco then sands the paintings and waxes them with beeswax rather than using varnish.
She creates a 'circular narrative where we come back round'
Her work 'The Longest Journey' will be showing at the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich in 2013.
Loving the way narratives travel, Pacheco acknowledges our need for a wonderful world of stories that are similar across different cultures - and how her Brazilian heritage had strong oral storytelling traditions.
She admitted she is aware that some aspects of her work are 'not fashionable'

Finally I noted down something Ana Maria Pacheco said that rings so true for me too; this:
"You carry your father - you carry your own history on your back"

No comments: