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Patricia Aguilera
Before Daybreak

In the shadow of caves, the first human beings were portrayed by the light of flares and torches.

"These early painters would return, bearing their torches, and the beings they had rendered in black would shimmer back to life. Permanent shadows, thirty thousand years old..."
Teju Cole

The shadows they created would be permanent, dancing in the inconstant light of the torches. This work takes as its starting point the last lunar eclipse, also known as the "fire moon". The central idea of this work is to emphasize the position of human society. It poses two questions: where are we headed? And what can that say about us?

This series consists of experimental works that focus mainly on color. They can be classified as abstract and figurative. During the working process I sometimes perceive shapes and figures which I then depict with the brush and bring to life with color. The depiction of these figures is inevitable because perception is essential in my work. It is part of a body of work that accesses the thoughts, dreams and memories that shape my perception in a particular way. I aim to create an atmosphere through color and blurred figures that have a ghostly quality.

"Luna de Fuego" shows a landscape in flames, with three figures walking in the same direction, connected to their surroundings. I am interested in creating a strong sense of place by exploring the relationship between man and the environment. The figures on the canvas illustrate different levels of awareness of an urgent situation. The central figure raises his fist in a show of strength, while his neighbor looks towards the third figure. The fire envelops the entire landscape, from the ground to the top, together with the landscape characterized by light and vegetation. The central figure turns to make out a landscape between the canopy and the flames. The sombre white eyes of the fire contemplate the scene in the upper left corner. The figure on the right appears introspective as he looks at his hands. This gesture is a symbol of contemplation. Above his palms, a smoky glow illuminates his thoughts.

The areas where color blurs the boundary between one thing and another are due to my belief in color: that it is a variation of temperature and dimension in space, that it homogenizes the world. I want my work to show what I cannot express in words. I want color to be a unifying motif between cultures. I want to expand the idea of color in an inclusive socio-cultural direction. I want to show the continuity of nature. The landscape is presented in a patterned composition, which is different from the way it is perceived by humans, where objects are separated from their surroundings. Color permeates all the subjects in the painting: suggestive representations of the human body, bushes and trees. My aim is to create a link between man and the environment, blurring the boundaries between the two through painting.

This series comprises smaller experimental works that mainly focus on color. They can be classified as both abstract and figurative. Occasionally, while working on the canvas, I perceive shapes and figures which I then shape with the brush and bring to life with paint. Depicting these figures is inevitable because perception is essential in my work. This body of work accesses the thoughts, dreams and memories that in a particular way form my perception.

I find that my dreams and memories are dominated by visual images. Upon awakening, I can reconstruct the context by recalling what I saw and experienced in the dream, enabling me to narrate the events. The coherence of my dreams is determined by the visual and tactile sensations. I consider the emotions and sensations I experienced while witnessing the events in the dream, as well as what each situation reveals about my current state of mind. Such emotions and sensations can provide valuable insight into the dreamer's state of mind. How do I make sense of the seemingly random images that appear in my dreams? I collect sensations through memory and translate the dream into a narrative. I refer to this process as 'imaginary visuality', which allows me to convey information and receive data. Similarly, I recall experiences and thoughts and convert them into images.

"Darkest Hour" features a memory of my brother. The painting is a reflection of a challenging period in my life, to which the title alludes. My priority was to convey the atmosphere through out-of-focus figures and color to create a ghostly quality. Through the artwork, I delve into themes of nostalgia, hope, and perception. Reminiscent of one of the most disheartening nights I have ever experienced, this artwork's dark color scheme captures the deep night just before daybreak, when the sky is at its blackest. Despite this, it is a stirring portrait of hope, with my mood infusing the entire picture. The gesture with the hand is an offer of help. The figure's dramatic stride, with one foot facing the viewer, reveals my gaze. To one side, lines of crimson, green and white trace the pavement and fade into the background. The lines sharpen the perspective and extend beyond the canvas, framing a moment in time.

"Time Knows No Lies" depicts a fragmented landscape with lines and geometric shapes. The top of the painting features two triangular mountains in deep ultramarine blue, separated by a sky that is divided into flashes of light. The light falls on the sea, dividing the waves into streaks of light. To me, it represents a fragmentation of time.

"I'm No Longer the Creature From My Dream" refers to surpassing a self-perception from a dream. The artwork portrays two figures: a boy and an anthropomorphic figure that is half-human and half-wolf. They are walking in opposite directions, signalling a rupture. The atmosphere is sombre and permeated with mist. Stars, fireflies, and vegetation glimmer here. The child seems to be detached from the creature through the mist. The creature refers to the ecstatic content of my dreams, whether wild or violent, sometimes even dreaming of being someone else.

The artwork 'Meditation on a Full Moon' explores the imagery used in a guided meditation. I am interested in the mental ability to move between places. During a meditation session, the group was asked to visualize themselves in a forest, facing a body of water. My interpretation of this moment culminates in this painting. The face of the figure is blurred, suggesting a partial presence. The reflection of the figure in the water symbolizes the journey towards oneself. I am interested in exploring spirituality through painting.

"Sleepwalker" portrays a figure walking through fog in an ambiguous landscape. Strands of saturated color envelop the figure, creating a dreamlike world that emphasizes the sense of unreality. The image conveys both uncertainty and courage as the strand propels the character forward amidst the clouds of haze. The distant stars create depth and evoke the feeling of a night sky. I envision the figure as a daring explorer, embodying the spirit of adventure and advancement.

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