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Project Room N˚5

I A M R O OT E D, B U T I F LO W MARÍA GIL ULLDEMOLINS


I A M R O OT E D, B U T I F LO W MARÍA GIL ULLDEMOLINS


Design and layout Daryna Dombik Photography Cathryn Innocent Text MarĂ­a Gil Ulldemolins Plaza Porta de Santa Catalina 21b 07012 Palma de Mallorca t +34 971 717 835 m +34 656 965 423 info@abaart.com www.abaart.com

Š 2016


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I am rooted, but I flow

A B O UT M Y SELF When I was a design student, I learnt that “ form follows function”. In other words, the physical properties of an object come from their purpose. I never designed much, so I never got really far with that advice.Later on, as I learnt about meditation, I encountered another sentence that rang a bell. “Form is emptiness, emptiness is form”. This comes from the Buddhist Sutra of the Heart, and well, is not that straightforward to explain. From what I gather, “form” is that which we process through our senses. “ Emptiness”, this idea of impermanence. A shortsighted, blunt interpretation could be: “what we physically engage with in the world, is fleeting, it is not true... And this principle? Is not quite something to hold on to either - otherwise it would be a form of sorts”. As a beginner both in design and meditation, the superficial connection seemed interesting. Sometimes, seeing things from afar, a bit blurry, fires up one’s imagination.

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I’ve got notes that try to play with logical deductions, they go: “If form is function, And form is emptiness, Then... Function is emptiness, And emptiness is function”. Our purpose is fleeting, and this flux is our purpose. With my work I experiment with getting closer to this conclusion. I try and flow with the moment, the shapes, the happy accidents. It teaches me to be there in the moment, and also to not judge the outcome, or expect specific results. It keeps me a beginner, it promotes that “blurry” vision that makes me curious. I thought that if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, this quality of presence could be, too. Anaïs Nin said: “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are”. So don’t try to read the images, read yourself. Use the colors, lines and blobs of paint as a mirror to see yourself, being, right now. A last note: the title “I am rooted but I flow” is not my own. Virginia Woolf wrote once a playpoem called The Waves, and it’s a line stolen from it. The text is a stream of consciousness from several characters. Woolf later explained that those voices were actually different facets of one same being. You can think of the pieces as individual voices, or as aspects of one. You can wonder if the thoughts of all the visitors can come together. Or you can just be rooted in your own present. As you stare at the paint, firm within your body... let go and flow.

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I am rooted, but I flow

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I am rooted, but I flow

AGATHES 110 x 73 cm 750â‚Ź (VAT included)

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A C ONV ERS AT I O N W ITH MARI A At what moment did the need to create arise in you? How do you describe your creative process? I come from a creative family. My mother is an artist and my sister and I are in the same field. I have written and drawn all my life. For me it has always been very normal to spend hours reading art history encyclopedias, going to exhibition openings, and have friends who are engaged in this; it is part of my vital tissue. My creative process has a certain professional twist. When I trained in design I learned to work with Design Thinking, which is a process that guides you through the following phases: Research, ideation, prototyping, iteration. Is a fractal cycle, you can always research within one iteration, for example. I’ve always emphasized research and supported theoretical practice, which accompanies all physical experimentation. As I have learned more mindfulness and meditation (which I still have much, much, much to learn), I have been redefining the balance between what I know by heart and what I have learnt from experience. My daily practice of meditation is reporting my practice, and my idea of how to be. I’m trying to find ways to explain in words what I see, but that is a process that has only just begun (and which might be counterproductive).

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When did you decide to devote your life to art? I have decided and re-decided a number of times. Being an artist is a very big thing as when you say; very scary, myths, legends and expectations that one can never reach or become. But there was a time when I had to admit that the desire to make art was very stubborn, and with the current economic climate, the excuse “it’s very difficult to live from art” was useless to me; it is still very difficult to live on medicine, construction, architecture. I have to persist and muddy to push through anything, and the only thing that gave me the willingness and strength to face down and try again, was art.


I am rooted, but I flow

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I am rooted, but I flow

What are your art history sources and which artists do you admire? I studied a Masters in History of Contemporary Art and Visual Culture, but I’m also a product designer. I am interested in artifacts and works of art as much as contextual and personal reflections. My favorite artists tend to be women; Louise Bourgeois (of course), Agnes Martin and Helen Frankenthaler (also Mona Hatoum and Kiki Smith). Of course I also love Rothko, Cy Twombly and Anish Kapoor. But I am also passionate about drawings from Bouroullec brothers. I like “primitive” art (however I do not like this term due to its prejudices and prefer the term “classic”, despite my disdain for Europe’s labeling for no reason) regions of South Africa (where I studied); Australia, or even North America. There is a book called Tantra Song showing meditative paintings in Rajasthan 17-19 century (if I remember correctly), and it is absolutely fascinating. If you compare Bourgeois’ drawings, Martin’s paintings, sketches of Bourollec and tantric paintings by side, they all seamlessly fit.

What do you like to read? Which authors? Do you read essays, books on philosophy, literature...? I am an omnivorous reader. I read both fiction and non-fiction (although I read less than I would like). Right now I have accumulated a catalog of Agnes Martin’s work from the Tate, books from Guillaume Wolf (very short reflections on what it is to be an artist), books by Brené Brown (an academic researcher for vulnerability), and several articles on creativity and mindfulness. The latest novels I’ve read have been from Elena Ferrante.

What culture inspire you? What are your ultimate sources of inspiration? Many of these responses overlap with the explanations above.

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I am rooted, but I flow

AGATHES 110 x 73 cm 750â‚Ź (VAT included)

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I am rooted, but I flow

What type of music do you like to listen to? Do you need it while you work? I have no great ear, I listen to everything. Amongst my favourites, I have lately been listening to Champs, La bien querida, Fantasma, Django, django, Benjamin Clementine, Fiona Apple. My husband has a mini music collection from Mali which is spectacular; I always listen to it passively when he plays it, whilst working. Sometimes I listen to podcasts or to music, or just I just work in silence, quietly.

What about the supports and materials for your creations: do you choose them depending on your ideas? Do you have preferences? I experiment with drawing, installations, textile art and painting. I even stuck my nose in (pun intended) olfactory art and odors in general. I’m curious and I like to experiment. Now I stick more to painting, because every day I discover new things, but I often play with rare paintings. I go to the giant art store I have close to home, and when I see something I do not know how to use, I try it out. It’s very pleasant to work with no expectations; it allows me to remain open to the characteristics of each material. If someone dominating a lot of media and additives saw how I work, they would be astonished at the time, because I have no idea. I simply add materials and watch. I like playing with elements that are not pigmented; right now I’m obsessed with iron oxide. I also play with interference and metallic paints, surfaces playing with light. I work a lot on paper because it has no grandeur, it’s not intimidating and the artwork does not take up too much space.

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I am rooted, but I flow

AGATHES 110 x 73 cm 750â‚Ź (VAT included)

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I flow with the moment, the shapes, the happy accidents - it keeps me a beginner and promotes that ‘blurry’ vision that makes me curious.

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I am rooted, but I flow

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I am rooted, but I flow

AGATHES 110 x 73 cm 750â‚Ź (VAT included)

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I am rooted, but I flow

32 x 41cm 450â‚Ź (VAT included)

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I am rooted, but I flow

32 x 41cm 450â‚Ź (VAT included)

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I am rooted, but I flow

What message would you like to convey to the viewer through the works? In an ideal world, I would like to bring the viewer to the idea of detachment, which sounds fatal and bad for a mother, but I mean the idea of loosing yourself with the thoughts, feelings and desires we all have. It is understood that all those feelings and expressions are transitory, stepping, fluid. We sit at the edge of them and we see what happens. It costs a lot, but we’re not judging something, labeling it as “good” or “ bad”, we just letting it be. I wish someone could see my work and stop, empty their head and feel the artwork; let that feeling go, like a pause, as a moment to simply be. That is nothing.

If you had to describe the exhibition/project room, in a nutshell, what would it be? Minimalist, experimental, experiential, emotional, meditative. As we say in Spain, as if I didn’t have a Grandma (meaning someone with high self-esteem).

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I am rooted, but I flow

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I am rooted, but I flow

Sometimes, seeing things from afar, a bit blurry, fires up one’s imagination.

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I am rooted, but I flow

AGATHES 110 x 73 cm 750â‚Ź (VAT included)

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I am rooted, but I flow

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INNARDS 32 x 42 cm 425€ (VAT included)

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I am rooted, but I flow

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I am rooted, but I flow

32 x 42 cm 425â‚Ź (VAT included)

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I am rooted, but I flow

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I am rooted, but I flow

32 x 42 cm 425â‚Ź (VAT included)

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32 x 42 cm 425â‚Ź (VAT included)

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I am rooted, but I flow

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I am rooted, but I flow

32 x 42 cm 425â‚Ź (VAT included)

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I am rooted, but I flow

32 x 42 cm 425â‚Ź (VAT included)

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I am rooted, but I flow

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Think of the pieces as individual voices, or as aspects of one.

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I am rooted, but I flow

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I am rooted, but I flow

32 x 41 cm | 450â‚Ź (VAT included diptych)

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I am rooted, but I flow

This exhibition includes 10 chairs and a bench uniquely designed for contemplation. Designed and created by the team of CONALMA Design with 100% recycled materials.

Stone chair 125€ (VAT included) Wood chair 100€ (VAT included) Wood stool 100€ (VAT included) Bench Wood 425€ (VAT included)

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Maria Gil Ulldemolins - I Am Rooted But I Flow (English)  

English version of Maria Gil Ulldemolins' I am Rooted But I Flow created by ABA ART LAB

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