Artist in Focus - An Interview with Fatima Conesa

Approaching the ‘concept of darkness’, artist Fatima Conesa depicts space as a conductive field in which light travels on it’s endless journey. The physical scale of these pieces add to the sense of immense emptiness that they are working to convey. This week we are talking with artist Fatima Conesa about her art, her inspiration, and how she has been affected by the lockdown period.



Your work often layers different concepts and narratives, what inspires you to create in this way?

The unknown past and memory are one of the best ways to create and to enter into the intangible, into the symbolic and into the sensitive, because we can imagine how it would have been what we have not lived and, at the same time, mix it with our past and contemporary experiences; like a jumble, like the stars.



Has art been a part of your life from a young age? What are the earliest experiences of it?

As a child, a box of coloured pencils was the best that my parents could give me, but from that I have fond memories of myself always drawing. But my most powerful experience with painting was when my parents first took me to the Prado Museum. Valazquez's Meninas and Goya's black paintings really brought a passion out in me that made my heart beat faster.



Has any one particular collector made an impression on you?

I've had many lovely clients, I couldn't say there's one more important than another. It's true that there are people you can connect with more and it makes you happy that they enjoy your work every day in their favourite place. Each client is special for choosing a unique piece of work, with which they have connected and with which they will establish a lasting relationship



Does your art take influence from any current trends?

My references always take me back to the past. It's true that we must know what is being done today, what can work more in today's tastes, but I think that the history of painting has offered us artists from whom we can continue to learn all our lives and even more would be lacking. Goya, Motherwell, Kiefer, Agnes Martin and Olafur Eliasson could be some of my references at this moment.



How have recent events affected your creative process? have you been adversely affected by the lockdown period?

The ‘Lockdown’ has been a very interesting time to stop and reflect; not only on the work but on where we are going and what has led us to this situation. When routines are lost, other ways of working appear and in creation it is always important to break those routines; what we have overcome is no longer useful, we must evolve. Reading and movies have helped me a lot in the long confinement



Do you feel that social media plays an important role in the creative world? particularly in light of the current pandemic.

It is clear that the internet and social platforms help us to connect with the outside world, although it always seems to me that in a rather superficial, not real, way. We can't deny how important it is to keep informed but how real is that information we have access to?


Can you share with us what you are working on at the moment?

I just opened an exhibition at El Castillo de Santa Catalina. It's a very visited historical site in Cadiz.There you can see my work done in the last two years: painting, printmaking and drawing. The exhibition will run until September 27th.

I have some collective exhibitions programmed such as the International Printmaking Fair in Bilbao, but due to the situation everything is in the air. After an exhibition I am looking forward to working again, to leave behind old habits. It's like a necessary revision that gives you a new impulse to continue in the search of the work.



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