Interview: Elena Gastón Nicolás
Luca Curci talks with Elena Gastón Nicolás during ALCHEMIC BODY at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space, and during THE BODY LANGUAGE 2020 at Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi and at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space, and during THE EXTENDED BODY 2020 at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space.
Guardian of the planet. Multidimensional artist, soul ambassadress. I grew up next to the mountains. That gives me a special sensitivity towards nature. I have always been involved in the study, protection and conservation of natural biotopes. I belong to an intellectual family culturally, socially and politically committed. This has given me true love, solid foundations, empathic perspective, social conscience and a holistic sense of reality. My grandfather was a Greek professor. I love ancient Greece, Renaissance, literature and encyclopaedic thinking. I have an inner fortress and emotional self-sufficiency. Travels across Europe have broadened my horizons. My stay in Sweden and Paris enriched my vision of art and education. I studied Fine Arts in the ’80s (sculpture speciality). I am classic, oneiric, immediate and emotional. My 80’s Eleneusinos sketches, culminated with Astrakt Art Orderation in 2004. I work conscientiously. Although multiform, my work is genuine, consistent and authentic. I’ve always been true to myself. I have worked in arts organizations and theatre groups. Currently, I am dedicated to education where I try to integrate my artistic work wholeheartedly. I think the world needs a paradigm shift a return to nature to find itself again.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Elena Gastón Nicolás – Semilore, one of my students said: “Art is Everything, Art is you. The whole world is Art cause it. It’s like an invention, it was made. Anything made is Art. Art is all around you”. I believe children, mystics, poets and enlightened people are closer to true inspiration and the secret essence of the world. Art is a sublime way of Universal Communication connected with the Divine Source.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
EGN – I drank in the sources of Surrealism, Informalism, Abstract expressionism and later Transvanguardia, Land Art, Fluxus & Performance, I love Impressionism, Fauvism, Expressionism and Metaphysical Art. Some of my favourites: Michelangelo, Goya, Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Joan Pons, El Bosco, Gaudí, Klee, Malevitch. I went to Italy with my high school students in 2014 – it was a journey that had been pending since 1984. Before this voyage, I painted out of necessity to express myself but I felt a lot of suffering. In Florence, I experienced a catharsis and felt a real rebirth. After that experience, I have been able to resume my old self with joy and full confidence.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
EGN – Being an artist is something that has not changed. An artist is born with the need to express his or her self through images and words. A true artist is consistent, has authenticity and reflects it in the artwork. An artist is in contact with the primary source and devotes life to work. An artist is a philosopher and activist who collaborate in the transformation of humanity towards high values. The supports have changed. The aesthetics, the fundamentals and the objectives have changed as well. We live in a multimedia and cybernetic world where it seems that art has been devalued and popularized because it is much more accessible – I consider that an advantage. Society, and individuals in particular, must consider the service of art and artists. Earth and humanity need revision. I am idealistic and I dream of a world without borders and with sustainable biodiversity.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
EGN – I have learned that everything I need to know is in Nature.
LC – What is your creative process like?
EGN – My great passion is sculpture, although the medium I use most is the paintwork. I also edit videos and work collectively with my students and other artists. I have conviction, chromatic sense, feeling and continuity in my spelling, both in the stain and in the graphic gesture (stroke), have sufficient value. What matters the least is the cataloguing of style. I articulate my work around The Three Ways of Spiritual Knowledge: the Alchemical Way, the Priestly Way and the Way of the Warrior. My Ashrams (Artists Books) are the support on which I organize myself. In the Series Goodness, Truth and Beauty (Healing the Roots) I try to seek elementals beings: gnomes, sylphs, undines and salamanders.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?
EGN – In 2015 I contacted Marianela and her “Footprints of Light”. I asked for a photo session for my artistic dossier. Cristina PellaFranco, designer and stylist, helped me with the look. The happy confluence of three creators gave us and provided the cooperative magic to deepen the feminine universe contemplating the physical, emotional and spiritual dimension. Through and beyond the dress and the skin, what was intended was to portray the essence, character and personality. Marianela’s “Traces of Light” are landscapes of the soul. The styling of Cristina PellaFranco was the icing on the work. I usually articulate my work in trilogies. I had just exhibited in London with you in The ALCHEMIC BODY exhibit. When I saw THE BODY LANGUAGE proposal I felt it was time for Marianela’s photos to see the light. I edited the video for the event. The frames per second give it a fun and dynamic character similar to the silent movies of the ’20s. I found the right emotional and melodic music: M.M. Ponce’s “Estrellita” (i.e. little star). It helps to synchronize the respiratory rhythm.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?
EGN – The body as a vehicle of expression. Freshness, vitality, self-knowledge, process and dance in a photoshoot where there is symbiosis between three artists. “Portrait of an Artist: The Woman’s Essence” and the inner person. The exploration of our mental and perceptual potential, also delving into spirituality.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us?
EGN – Each artist has his own way and finds his representatives according to his life project, vital moment, and the opportunities that are presented. Artists need to make themself known. It’s important that galleries and curators help them to exhibit their work.