Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons
Works on Paper
November 8, 2009 – January 27, 2010
“I worked on Blue Refuge during the creation of the series of work that constitutes the exhibition The Other Side /La otra Orilla. During that period, I was invited to deliver a paper at Harvard University in a Symposium about “New Geographies”. I was also invited for two different talks at Clark Institute: one on the subject of The Black Atlantic and the other one investigating Diaspora.
“Every one of the subjects mentioned above are important departing points of reflection in the construction of this body of work and particularly Blue Refuge: the question of location, migration, adaptability and furthermore the emotional components that informs these human experiences. It is in this later issue: geography, newness and idiosyncratic understanding of a place, that Blue Refuge finds a place, what I call The SENTIMENT of locality, the SENTIMENT of a site.
“I had found it rather challenging to express my understanding of the geography, topography and the feeling of the site of my adopted home; living in New England for almost 20 years leaves me with this double construction of belonging and longing. Wrapping the small body of a black woman in a sun drenched orange shell, she is suspended in a precarious structure surrounded by ice. Ice is water in a frozen stage, so in making the piece, the props are reversed–what is fluid water in one side is frozen ice in the other. It is a comment on my longing for sunlight and my engagement with the stillness of New England winter. There is silence in the piece, a majestic space of delicate intimated nuances of the silence of the perfect blizzard, the figure set in a fetal position in a cocooning protective self. Now she is here. Finally she has found comfort in this strange new land and there is tremendous beauty in the juxtaposition.”
Artist’s Gallery Talk: Wednesday, November 18, 7:00pm, President’s Dining Room. Reception in the Hess Gallery following talk.