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Patricia Aguilera
On works of 2020

Through its materiality, painting creates physical imaginary spaces and realities. My interest in it has led me to explore figuration and to consider composition with the intention of communicating a mental state.

I believe that a good painting should immediately convey a sense of wholeness and convey emotions and ideas. By placing each work in close proximity, I aim to make the viewer perceive the emotion, experience, and reality that I have constructed through my interpretation of the work. Through my paintings, I explore my doubts about the universe and the behavior of others, using composition to convey meaning. Chater (2018) argues that imaginative leaps are necessary to understand others and perceive the world. With this in mind, I aim to find meaning in the 'empty'.

I have noticed that at different emotional stages of my life I have specific predispositions for particular colors in my painting. My daily experiences affect my perception, and during times of uncertainty, I tend to use neutral and sober tones such as browns, beige, grey, green, desaturated blues, and ochre. These colors are reminiscent of the terrestrial landscape and elements such as earth, water, and green foliage. These colors serve as a foundation for me, grounding me in a concrete space. The earthy tones create a sense of attachment to the natural world.

"On Perception" was created during a period of isolation. At the start of the pandemic, the artist struggled to differentiate between reality and thought. The desire to ground herself in reality led to the creation of this work. "On Perception" is a large painting that immerses the viewer in a somber landscape. Three figures, positioned in front of a sandy beach, captivate the viewer with their proximity and scale. When facing the viewer, the cropped body of the figure on the right suggests an omnipresent observer. The gigantic body's scale embeds the viewer in the landscape, revealing a child's view from a cliff.

The watch on the wrist of the central figure marks a pause in time, accentuated by a sober colour palette that permeates the lack of clarity and certainty that characterised this period of the artist's life. The warm and earthy ochres, coppers, and yellows are a product of the artist's longing for the land of her upbringing, to which she felt a deep connection. In this work, the artist prioritised conveying emotion over realism, resulting in an externalisation of her state of mind during a caesura and a window into the world.

In 'Cactus', I changed the colour to distinguish it from the original photograph based on my perception of what a cactus represents. The mint colour and whites create a nostalgic tone that evokes feelings of fog, cold, and dexterity. The blue hues represent life, while the warm and earthy tones of ochre, copper, and yellow distinguish it from the photograph. The cactus, as an element or motif, can symbolise many things. For me, it represents the land I grew up on and serves as a link to the place I feel a part of. Both 'Cactus' and 'Killed My Old Self' aim to highlight the spiritual essence present in living things. The images are surrounded by a fuzzy white border that symbolises the energy they emit. Where there is life, there is presence, and where there is none, at least there is a vibration that distinguishes them.

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