Interview: Elena Gastón Nicolás
Luca Curci talks with Elena Gastón Nicolás during CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2021 – 9TH EDITION, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space and at Misericordia Archives.
“Guardian of the planet. Multidimensional Artist and Soul ambassadress. I follow a lightly spiritual life. My work articulates around The Three Ways of Spiritual Knowledge: The Alchemical Way, the Priestly Way and the Way of the Warrior – Goodness, Truth and Beauty (Healing the Roots). I have learned that in Nature, all that is to know is there. I have always been concerned about the future of the planet, and involved in the study, protection and conservation of Natural Biotopes; trying to instil optimism and gratitude in my teaching task. When I had my son, I attended natural childbirth. Creativity is self-fertilizing for the woman. Creation par excellence is to give birth. I directed my steps toward teaching. Although away from the commercial circuits, I have never been able to stop creating. I believe in and love, empathy and a holistic sense of reality. My artwork preserves the Divine Magic, which dwells in all beings. I was born to embrace the Earth that gives us inconceivable things, and to create heartfully”.
Luca Curci – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
Elena Gastón Nicolás – I was born 4 years later the May ’68, the beginning of political freedoms, and all this woke up my social conscience. At my parents’ house were used to come colorful people: artists, poets, philosophers, athletes and socially committed people. My sister died when I was 13. This, and my family dissolution a few years later, gave me an inner fortress and emotional self-sufficiency. I was a shy girl. Although I was clumsy at drawing and painting, I found in the universal language a way to communicate with myself and with the outside world. I also expressed myself through surrealist poetry. My family was creative and encouraged our creativity. I graduated in Fine Arts in Barcelona. Travels across Europe broadened my horizons; I lived in Sweden and Paris. I have always been true to myself. My leitmotiv and passion is art. I have worked in theatre scenography, performance and music.
LC – What are you currently working on?
EGN – My studio is everywhere. I am nomadic. I work with what I have and when I can. I call myself ‘Multidimensional’. I specialized in sculpture and, although I like marble and wood, I prefer Land Art and Arte Povera with recycled materials. Working as a teacher allows me to perform and carry out collective projects. I need to create without demands or pressure. I usually have commissions pending. I paint with my fingers, hands and feet. I like textures and material painting. I usually work on several pieces at the same time and let them rest until I have time for them again. I like extra-large projects: murals, scenography and collective sculptures. My Ashrams (Artists Books) are the support on which I organize myself. I am working on two big pictures for an Urbanization & Health exhibit and a project about Art around the world with my students.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
EGN – I like to bring to life the secret essence of things. Everything you see is susceptible to drop it to the canvas or to be a work of art. Creation in capital letters is the Great Masterpiece in which we all dwell.
LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
EGN – I always have a pencil in my ear and paper with me, even when I sleep. I write and draw my dreams. The unconscious is another huge images bank. I experiment with texture and matter, mixed media and colour painting. I like to make three-dimensional works. I used to work with clay in my youth. What I mostly sell are Natural Motifs and Watercolors. In them, I seek elemental beings: gnomes, sylphs, undines and salamanders. I learn with my students. By teaching art, I cultivate my work.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
EGN – The work itself speaks and tells you when it is finished, sometimes you find it again and you continue working on it. My art is in constant progression. It continues and never ends. I retrace my steps and re-trace (the courage to see) repeatedly. I like to insist on truth and self-knowledge.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art? In which way the video presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
EGN – What the water gave me matches with MIXING IDENTITIES and FUTURE LANDSCAPES because the original picture was created for SOOSOS (Save our Oceans Save Our Seas) 2020 Art Exhibit. It was COVID-19 pandemic time when the dolphins arrived in Venice, I have made this video for the showcase. It represents an iridescent seabed with Santa Maria Della Salute and the Grand Canal in the background. Also implied is Frida’s painting of the same name. The toes emerging from the bathwater. The immobility and the universe of fantasy in the liquid element. The seven colors dancing on the piece give it an insinuating and reflective narrative for introspective reflection. It represents the human impact on nature. The “Psalm 23” music is a hopeful call to faith and unconditional love to remind us that we are part of creation and we are at the same time the creators of our destiny as a species and of the destiny of other species. It is somehow breathtaking, colorful, dazzling, numinous and Divine.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP? Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
EGN – I am grateful to everything and everyone who has helped me to get here: to be who I am as I am. ITSLIQUID GROUP has somehow given me the opportunity to show my art in “La Bella Italia”, the cradle of my inspiration. My journey to Italy in 2014 changed my artistic paradigm and I experienced a Renaissance.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
EGN – I believe that luck is a sum of preparation and opportunity. Each artist finds his or her own way in the vast world of the art market. ITSLIQUID connects with my watery and intuitive side. To me, it seems to be a good door to let yourself be seen. Thank you for this opportunity and for all the opportunities to grow in the constant progression towards Divine essence.