Thursday, December 15, 2011

interview with Cristina Palacios

Pre-fab install 011
Cristina's work in Pre-Fab


Pre-fab install 013
A close up of the lids that form the installation by Cristina.


We asked Cristina Palacios some of the 'hard questions' regarding her large installation as part of Pre-Fab.  It took her close to 8 hours to install the hundreds of plastic lids and containers to create this work.

Cristina's discussions about her work are always fascinating, so enjoy this short interview!
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF! WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and migrated to Australia in 1987. In my teens I lived in New York for six years and had also travelled extensively throughout Europe, Latin America and Asia.

My interest in materials, colour and patterns comes from my previous profession as a fashion designer. My research attempts to combine a wide range of different materials, processes, and influences. This reflects the diverse cultural and personal experiences throughout my life. It has been important to try and incorporate these prior histories within my art practice.



HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK? WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU WORK IN?
This project investigates my personal, cultural and spiritual beliefs. The circle is explored as spiritual motif, as well as notions of energy, cyclical repetition, and transformation.

My approach is interdisciplinary; however I am inspired by the hidden potential of unconventional materials, and the spontaneity of drawing practices, particularly within an installation context.

The circle throughout history has come to symbolize unity, infinity and wholeness. I believe that all life starts as a dot in the universe, a single cell or atom that transforms into matter, energy and sometimes humanity.
The circle, the spiral form, organic shapes and nature’s fractal geometry are part of my ongoing investigation.
The circle and the spiral form, represents the Universe, evolution and the spiritual growth throughout our lives. The spiral reaches out beyond the circle, and continually transforms.

Intuitive processes are employed throughout my research, particularly in relation to drawing.

My dreams are an important source material and I propose that mystical subject matter can be accessed through drawing these experiences.

‘TESTOYMIRANDO’ (IAMWATCHINGYOU) is an investigation using the body as a metaphor to convey Eastern philosophies of the ‘Mind’s Eye’. The continuous use of the circle in my work alludes to creation, life and body organs like the eye. The motif of the eye refers to photographic processes such as camera aperture, the eye as a virtual studio, the gaze, subjectivity and the void.

The Latin American sensibility of my work comes from my Argentinean heritage, and my interest in sacred forms that ritualize spirituality and mythology.

This work refers to the ‘mind’s eye’ or the ‘third eye’, which is a metaphysical and esoteric concept in Eastern and Western spiritual traditions like Buddhism and Hinduism. In New Age spirituality, the third eye may also symbolize a state of enlightenment or the evocation of subconscious images that have deeply personal spiritual or psychological significance. The third eye is also associated with visions, clairvoyance, precognition, and out of body experiences. These concepts interest me, and repetition within my work is used to create an optical field, or an experience of immersion.


TELL US WHY/HOW YOUR WORKS FITS IN TO THE PRE-FAB IDEA?
The ready-made and found materials are important in my practice. I have collected discarded objects on a daily basis for many years, and incorporated these materials into artworks. I am interested in creating new potential for these waste materials, and this reflects my concerns about the superficiality of consumer culture, and our insensitivity towards nature.

Intuition, spontaneity and chance occur through the use of unconventional materials that allude to packaging and the environment, using plastic materials to play with the idea of immateriality, temporality and impermanence

‘TEESTOYMIRANDO’ is a floor-based installation made from plastic lids that I have collected for the last five years. I have ambiguous feelings about plastic as a material. On the one hand I feel extremely concerned about the proliferation of plastic in our environment and on the other I love the activity of recycling, and also the purity of the colours


IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ANOTHER ARTIST, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? WHO INSPIRES YOU?
Louise Bourgeois and Yayoi Kusama. Unfortunately Louise Bourgeois passed away last year.

I visited Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition titled “Mirrored Years’ at the MCA in Sydney. Yayoi has had an enormous influence in my practice, so the opportunity was there and I took it with open arms. My response to her exhibition was ‘WOW, AWESOME KUSAMA’; to see her work live was an unforgettable experience. Her versatility and her commitment to art were inspiring. Being 80 years young she still works every day in her studio in Tokyo. My dream is to meet this incredible artist one day soon.


WHAT'S YOUR WORK PRACTICE LIKE? DO YOU WORK IN A STUDIO/HOME? WHAT GETS YOU IN THE MOOD TO CREATE?
I’m always working, I was very lucky to have a studio in the city for a period of 7 years while I was studying. That did not stop me to also work at home.  I believe my virtual- studio or brain- studio it’s always at work especially when I’m sleeping. I get into the mood by the smallest things, Nature offer’s me constant inspiration.

IS THERE A SOUNDTRACK TO YOUR CREATIVITY? DO YOU HAVE MUSIC OR SILENCE?
My taste in music is very eclectic; I listen to classical music, Opera, Jazz, Pink Floyd, Gotan Project, Tango, Hotel Costes…etc…etc…. . Sometimes only silence will do….depends on my mood. There is no perfect ‘FORMULA’

WHAT DO YOU THINK PEOPLE WILL TAKE AWAY WITH THEM FROM SEEING YOUR WORK?
Like John Lennon I ‘Imagine’ a world with no frontiers, a world with more compassion and accountability...

I am intrigued by how humans defile the natural environment which they so revere. This enquiry into human defilement of nature inspires me to use unconventional materials; the discarded and those considered as waste, and the social meaning these materials intrinsically carry. I explore the irony that humans need to save the natural environment whilst destroy it though excessive consumerism.

My works reveals a Latin American sensibility, with strong links to both traditional art and the Neo-concrete movements in Brazil. I am also influenced by traditional Japanese art and my art combines an eclectic range of influences.

This openness is an important aspect of my practice, which aims to communicate notions of energy, transformation and potential across cultures

My goal is to build a cultural bridge without the boundaries of place, race or colour. I wish to unite and enrich myself and others. That is my commitment.



WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE IN 10 YEARS TIME? WHAT'S YOUR DREAM?
I just want to be me, at peace, content, happy and being one of the most expensive Female artists of the century.

You may ask why? I’m not a commercial artist, just because dreaming it’s free, and I can dream as big as I possibly can. It doesn’t’ cost me anything… so I dream very big….

I have a dream…. And my dream is to be able to support with my ‘expensive art’ as many self-sufficient farms I can have around the world. These farms will provide love, shelter, education and support to about ‘20 Kids’ that live in the street.

Every time Christie’s or any other auction house sells any of my work a substantial percentage of the money auctioned will go to support these ‘Farms.

That it’s my dream……

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