Alma, a tree in Almería


This series was developed during the artistic residency ‘Joya:AIR Arte + Ecología’ (September, 2021), as a practice based on a contemplative and conscious record of nature in its multiple configurations. Based on Agnès Garda's phrase “If we opened people up, we would find landscapes” (2009), three drawing experiments were carried out: (1) drawings that trace the movement, angles and changes of a local tree discovered during one of the main walks (2) drawings and collages that move the tree to a larger ecosystem, using the material (charcoal) that this same tree offered within (3) large-scale self-portraits as perceptions of bodily and psychic territories triggered by these interactions with the landscape. The plant used for object of study was Alma, in reference to being an almond tree in Almería region in Spain.

Drawing, as a sensitive tool of the gaze, engenders a form of attention to bring the outside world inside. Its stroke carries the quality of the artist's presence during the making. And, as John Berger puts it, “for the artist to draw is to discover” (2007). When drawing, one discovers that what sustains the visible is through the ability to contemplate. Thus, who draws is not the hand, but the eye. The hand simply expresses what is already drawn in the eye.

In a world increasingly focused on new technologies and quick resolution of creative problems, the practice of drawing can awaken us to discover other non-human temporalities and sensitive ways of being in the world. In this process, I discover, with the poetic space, a space that is not closed in an affectivity (Bachelard, 1975).

Outdoors studio, tree, brown charcoal found inside the tree and drawings developed during the research

Bodily perceptions of a tree (4 drawings). Pencil on paper, 29.7 x 21 cm

Bodily perceptions of a tree (drawing on the left). Simultaneously with both left & right hands I drew a tree (drawing on the right). Graphite and natural tree charcoal on paper, 100 x 70 cm

Video process of Bodily perceptions of a tree

When I open my chest, I find bones (drawing on the left). Larger bodily perceptions of a tree (drawing on the right). Pencil and color pencil on paper, 100 x 70 cm

Playing with shadows and charcoal from a tree (drawing on the left). When nothing is better than something (drawing on the right). Natural tree charcoal and charcoal on paper, 100 x 70 cm

Sky trunks, tree clouds (3 collages). Charcoal and pencil on paper, 29.7 x 21 cm

Tree over wood. Oil pastel over wood, 10 x 7 cm

Ramifications in suspense and cavities (studies). Graphite and charcoal over paper. 29.7 x 21 cm (each)