Opening:07 Jul, 2021
Professional visitors:07 Jul, 2021
Opening to public:09 Jul, 2021
Sandstorms convert dust into oxygen.
Sandstorms originate in deserts when the wind lifts layers of dust and blows them into the atmosphere. The dust can then travel thousands of miles until it falls on the Amazon forest or into the sea. The artist Carla Cascales Alimbau (1989) uses this natural sediment as a pigment, thus turning the powder into raw material for her paintings. The artist was born and currently works in Barcelona. Her work consists of drawings, paintings, and sculptures that evoke minimalist aesthetics with influences of architectural movements such as Brutalism. Likewise, her fascination for the Japanese aesthetics of the “Wabi Sabi” confers her work an idea of beauty based on the concepts of irregularity and impermanence.
In her solo exhibition at ARCO 2021, Carla Cascales highlights that everything in nature is cyclical, in the way that sandstorms are an important source of minerals for the Amazon forest and at the same time influence the growth of plankton. Plankton, apart from being the main food source of marine species, also absorbs large quantities of carbon dioxide and contributes almost 50% of the planet’s oxygen to the atmosphere. In this way, dust from sandstorms is the oxygen we breathe.
Currently, she is calling for a change in mentality and sensitivity, pushing for a vision of the world understood as an ecosystem in which all species of the planet coexist, united by symbiotic and interdependent relationships. As Donna Haraway argues, “in nature there are no autonomous organisms, rather we are all part of ecosystems integrated into each other”. The series Sandstorms is part of a movement that seeks to restore ecosystems by stopping and reversing the damage we have caused, intending to preserve nature rather than exploit it.
Her technique also involves some alchemy. Through various sedimentation processes, dust forms the stones from which the artist extracts the pigment, grinding them manually. Thus, the strength of natural pigments is evidenced, when mixed with water they are not dissolved but remain dispersed or suspended in the paint, just as dust from sandstorms does on the sea. The compositional possibilities are infinite, obtaining an almost unlimited range of colors and shades ranging from oxide red to the color of warm soil.