Interview: Vanessa Mac-auliffe
Luca Curci talks with Vanessa Mac-auliffe, winner of the Honorable Mention of the ITSLIQUID CONTEST 10TH EDITION 2021.
Vanessa Mac-auliffe is a very promising artist of Chilean origin but was born in the USA. Her taste and interest in the art world started very early and led her to embark on a bold and creative artistic career. Her taste for juxtaposing colours, shapes and lines that create spatiality but at the same time is equally distributed in space, denote a strong taste for design and decoration. Vanessa is an artist who likes to experiment and explore the most diverse areas of art. In her artworks, there are different artistic influences from design, ceramics and a strong aesthetic taste. In her artwork ‘Tsunami’, the spirit of the artist and her original and energetic concept come out gingerly. Energy is released from the work, thanks to the combination of colours, the use of a vivid and deep lapis lazuli blue. Against a dark background, there are a few simple flashes of light that allow the surface not to be flat but dynamic and three-dimensional. Games of contrasts, lights and shadows, solids and voids are outlined on the canvas. The protagonist, however, is the zigzag wave, which is presented in the foreground. What catches the viewer’s attention above all is the bright and overwhelming colour. The colour blue symbolises creativity and artistic flair. It makes us more extroverted and inclined to communicate. It is also a colour that symbolises research that leads to reflection and internalisation. This research process is at the heart of the artist’s work, which is always changing and renewing. The technique used, that of oil painting, allows the colour to blend perfectly in a soft and gradual way, as happens with the wave that contains several darker shades that give it three-dimensionality and dynamism.
The brushstrokes are freer and more gestural in the foreground and more rational and controlled in the background as if to signify a tsunami of energy that arrives and involves everything, breaking the mould of everyday life and monotony. A tsunami of emotions, strong and unstoppable, that strikes the viewer and leads him to reflect on the balance of the universe in relation to its soul full of contrasts. Nature becomes man’s accomplice, becomes a physical metaphor for human emotions and transposes feelings into metaphysical manifestations. This concept, which unites the vibrations of the universe with the intrinsic human nature, Vanessa translates on canvas through the juxtaposition of shapes and colors that create harmony but at the same time disarray. Emotions need to be expressed with strength, vigour. We must not be afraid to express them, to tell them. Emotions overwhelm us like a tsunami, they are not rational and are often the basis of any artistic process. The message the artist wants to convey comes through loud and strong to the ears and eyes of the viewer: let yourself be overwhelmed. An invitation not to hide our feelings, to express them, to shout them out. We must live each day with energy, without hiding our true being, our true soul. We have to come out of the closet, to be every day a tsunami of energy and vitality that breaks the patterns of monotony. Vanessa is very good at communicating messages through the colours of her canvases. Her gestural expressiveness is unique, free from any scheme, instinctive. She puts her feelings into her artworks and at the same time makes them universal concepts in which everyone can mirror themselves.
LUCA CURCI – What are you currently working on?
VANESSA MAC-AULIFFE – At this moment I seek to capture in my work the energy of the elements of nature and our environment, such as water falling from rocks, mist, volcanic explosions. This energy that creates the movements of the sand, the water, the wind has been with us since the beginning of the human being and shapes the planet that gives us a place to live and that we must care for and value, connecting with it inspires and strengthens me for my artistic expression.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artwork?
VM – It usually begins with a deep struggle to clean my mind of preconceptions, cleaning myself of all existing information. From there, once I have not only a clean canvas but also a clean mind, I begin to connect the pieces of understanding. What I want is to get out of the established paradigms of what is expected, to get out of the way of comfort, but in my own way, being authentic and being able to express my freedom through art has been a great challenge, but at the same time, it has given me a sense of living and personal fulfillment.
LC – What is your creative process like?
VM – Nowadays my creative process starts from the connection with what surrounds me, what is visible to us and what is not, but we can feel, I use myself as a conduct of the information around and observe, take in and later internalize what’s coming to me from all the senses. I believe that the inspiration and information that we can obtain from nature is endless, nothing is static, everything flows and is shown in different ways and colours, all this is part of my creative process.
LC – Is your artwork focused on a specific theme?
VM – Still nature and emotions are my main worries, but my inspiration is about the energetic language of which all living beings are part of, and that is in constant transformation and change, and I try to conduct a conversation with them without forgetting that I am a part of them. ¨Geologica¨ was my latest body of work, a true concern for what it’s been done to the planet and to us.