Natural Magic. A New VR Group Exhibition

In this virtual group exhibition, produced in co-operation with leading contemporary art galleries from Spain, we investigate contemporary presentations of nature, the ambiguity of mans’ conflicted relationship to it and his place within it. Titled Natural Magic, the central premise of the exhibition is to look at explicit and implied representations of magic and the mystical, the supernatural and the sublime in mans’ perception of and role within his powerful and omnipotent surrounding environment. Some of the works in the show explore how man has sought to impose himself on these environments, whilst others highlight the futility of this pursuit, showing how nature always triumphs in its power to overcome the best of mans’ efforts.

Featuring works by Eva Diez, Cristina Ferrandez, Santi Lara, Alejandro Pasquale and Christian Voigt, and with special thanks to Victor Lope Art Contemporáneo, Lucía Mendoza Galería de Arte, PUXAGALLERY and Espacio Líquido La Gran for their co-operation.

Featured Artists:

Eva Diez (b.1982)

Eva Díez, Renacer 7, 2016, Pigment ink on Hahnemühle photo rag, 70 x 105cm, Ed.3. © Eva Díez, courtesy Espacio Líquido La Gran

Eva Díez is a young Spanish photographer whose work has been described as “photopoetic”, mostly because of the obviously lyrical narrative in her various series. In the exhibtion we include works from the Renacer (Reborn) and Those Who Inhabit groups of works. In both series, she plays with the symbolism of light, reflection and the aesthetics of ruin in differing ways. In the Renacer works, crumbling habitations are shown in near darkness. The structures appear uninhabitable, beyond salvation, and subject to reclamation by nature as overgrowth, weeds and the sheer passage of time overwhelms them, returning their very materiality entirely to nature. Mans’ occupation has been challenged by nature’s encroachment, yet the glow of a light remains visible, the last vestiges of habitation and the flickering flame of man’s continued presence. In the Those Who Inhabit works, we see the inverse; fragile human structures that have been colonised by birds and animals, and from whose presence and bearing we infer something more mystical than the simple representation of domesticated pets. In all her works the symbolism of unconscious memory and imagination is rife.
Eva Díez has exhibited in museums, fairs and contemporary art galleries in Spain, France, Portugal and Brazil and has received awards such as the ENAIRE Foundation Youth Photography Prize in 2020, the Galicia Contemporary Photography Prize 2015, the Art Photo Bcn 2015 Prize and the LUX ORO National Professional Photography Prize, also in 2015.

Cristina Ferrandez (b.1974)

Cristina Ferrández, La roca de Patmos, 2019, Photograph and drawing on Hahnemühle paper, 92 x 137cm. © Cristina Ferrández, courtesy PUXAGALLERY

The work of Cristina Ferrandez analyses the fragility of the landscape from an ecological point of view, investigated by an approach that mixes various media and techniques together, ensuring that the natural environments she depicts, as well as the the works themselves, are territories of encounter. With her photographs, audio-visual pieces, installations and three-dimensional structures, she develops illusory and hybridized natural spaces. She has been awarded with several prizes and residency fellowships in Europe, Africa and America in support of her interest in the entropic qualities of depressed areas and destruction of natural environments as a result of poor industrial practices. Her digital imprints are suggestive allegories of the environment as they are increasingly degraded by human insensitivity.

Santi Lara (b.1975)

Santi Lara, Entrada al inframundo, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 200 cm. © Santi Lara, courtesy PUXAGALLERY

Social consciousness, historical reflection and a resistance to social alienation are crucial in the work of Santi Lara whose metaphors about the human condition place his unique characters within a symbolic narrative scenography. Navigating between reality and fiction, and between apocalyptic visions of ritual spirits and mythological iconography, his figures levitate amongst primeval forests but also coexist with elements of contemporary culture, including monitors, computers and mobile phones. These are mental or psychological landscapes, depicting the irrational and the supernatural with expressionistic painterly gesture, distorted perspectives and the condensation of scale. Lara has been the recipient of several distinguished awards and scholarships.

Alejandro Pasquale (b.1983)

Alejandro Pasquale, El Despertar, 2020, oil on canvas, 115 x 150cm. © Alejandro Pasquale, courtesy Victor Lope Arte Contemporaneo

In his highly stylised fantasy world, described as an “imaginary iconographic labyrinth”, Alejandro Pasquale blends ambiguous lush narrative with the meticulous techniques of classiclal and mythological history painting. With magic as his central theme, and nature as the esential alchemical agent, Pasquale presents a pictorial realm where his protagonists are often masked, seemingly asked to commune with their surroundings as if through a sixth sense. As if a door has been opened to a secret dimension, the viewer is confronted with a hidden world of animals, plants and their various constellations. Echoing Renaissance religious painting, Pasquale’s protanists instead enact the rituals of an unknown arcane practice, communicating their unconscious to our own.

Christian Voigt (b.1961)

Christian Voigt, Dhakmar Monastery, 2017, Colour Photograph, 124 x 250cm. © Christian Voigt courtesy Lucía Mendoza Galerie de Arte

Internationally renowned photographer Christian Voigt, has travelled the world executing his large scale photography with his main areas of interest being landscape and architecture. The works shown here conflate both subjects, showing specatular constructed edifices within some of the world’s most stunning landscape environments. Existing for millennia, the structures Voigt captures vie for prominence with the natural world they inhabit, yet their man-made quality makes them, by their very nature, transient when set against nature’s endless power. Voigt works with large scale cameras, and with both analogue and digital techniques. How works are meticulous, precise, technical tour de forces, yet retain an Impressionist, painterly quality in their nuance. His work has been exhibited internationally for many years and his works can be found in many prestigious collections.