“Each thread that pierces the fabric marks the passage of time and accepts the slow rate of maturation of the concepts that live in time:
patience, perseverance and elegance.”
Ana Catalina Vicuña
Ana Catalina Vicuña's artwork is anything but evident. The way thread is sewn to different textile surfaces, linen, and cotton fabrics, requires a watchful approach. In her last works displayed in this show, her stitches advance with patience –as customary in these crafts– to build up an abstract set of configurations. Sometimes they resemble an unseen landscape, sometimes it could be a topography, or else they could be understood as microscopic worlds that turn into a macrocosm. Interpretation of her work can be manifold and enriching.
Somehow, these works abdicate representation in favor of emotions. It is up to the viewer to decipher the encrypted code. Starting from a reduced-scale exercise, this handicraft later grows into a bigger format. Only when the stitching has been completed the fabric is attached to a stretcher and tightened, since Ana Catalina does not use the traditional embroidery frame.
Memory is an issue for Ana Catalina. Her past experiences, either distant or recent, bring back manifold suggestions. Embroidery and the use of needle and thread is a clear evidence of the recurrence to past reminiscences: in ancient days, embroidery operated as an ornament added to the home clothing or furniture in sheets and bedspreads, towels, tablecloths, cushions and curtains. Now, the artist has turned those former ornaments in a substantial part of her aesthetic proposal, her central message. Although the past is invoked, it shows an entirely new content.
As part of her work Ana Catalina keeps daily record of her thoughts, ideas and reflections in a notebook. Like a personal diary, but not quite. She was generous enough to let me read through. I want to pick a quote that says a lot about these new works. The entry is dated on March 16th 2014. It says: “Handmade geography is a quest of the invisible territory of present time. Each thread that pierces the fabric marks the passage of time and accepts the slow rate of maturation of the concepts that live in time: patience, perseverance and elegance.” (“Patience to attend the process of waiting, perseverance as the difficulty that holds the intention, and elegance as the concern about the surface.” Daniel Innerarity, 1959).
These condensed sentences offer some orientation about her artistic project, her methodology, her feelings. From this basis, the work arises with multiple stitches to form a number of abstract clusters of evocative and strange beauty.
María Elvira Iriarte