Galeria Fonseca e Macedo


Group Show with Renata Correia Botelho and Cataraiba Castelo Branco | Ponta Delgada, Azores | took place from 15 November to 22 December 2009


Challenging an artist to enter a plastic dialogue with another artist is always a way of stimulating different visions of their own work. These are singularities that may lead to a combination of strengths.

In this exhibition Catarina Castelo Branco (1974), Renata Botelho (1977) and Sofia Medeiros (1975) show their will to cross creative paths, but still withholding the individuality necessary for an advantageous dialogue. The themes revealed are peculiarly feminine: allusions to the portable dimension of miniatures (‘Os Amantes Portáteis’ [Portable Lovers] by Sofia; Pieces of Me, by Catarina; and the contention of words by Renata); the notion of memory (all the works mirror personal experiences); the intimacy of secrets a box carries (in the case of Sofia, explicit reference to Pandora’s box); the importance of detail (present in fragmentation); and, finally, the poetic symbolism of Nature connected to the place where they were born and now live, the eternal and breathtaking magnificence of the volcanoes of the Azores, present in allusions to the weather and, in Catarina’s work, to jam made from the fruit physalis, and above all in Renata’s poetry, which reminds us of the timeless haiku[1] poetry form, created as if it were water running, the mind’s flow of energy and emotion. Simplicity of life that is mirrored in Sofia’s depurated sculpting work.

These are some of the points in common of this dialogue, which can be joined, torn apart and rejoined. But this shall be, just that and that is how it should be, a point of view of the harmonious ensemble of these works. The title of the exhibition suggests another: friction. Yet, in spite of the word’s abruptness and of what it evokes in terms of conflict, let’s remember that conflict many times leads to the birth of new worlds or to a different understanding of the existing ones. It is always a meeting process, take or leave a spark or two…

Group exhibitions always have this immense advantage of giving the beholder vision of worlds that can be parallel worlds and that establish invisible dialogues between them and in the mind of the beholder. Coexistence between people has the same characteristics: our life and our experience are many times transformed by the Other, or the others. It is a process truly magical, alchemical, and from which many true lessons can be learned.

Carla Utra Mendes

[1] Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry and was made popular by Bashô Matsuo (1644–1694). Its main characteristic is the capture of the instant, by registering, framing, evoking and thrilling. It’s the reader’s task to make the semantic connection. It’s a form of poetry of brevity, depuration, beauty, simplicity and fluency, which comes forth as a minimal reaction to the human growing experience of chaos. It predicates a relation between what is specific and what is general, between what is more individually perceived and the cosmic rhythm of Nature, between what is ephemeral in the senses and the echo that the latter may awaken in sensitivity and memory. In the East, the concept of unity between Man and Nature is different from the West: Man is also Nature.