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Flux and flow in the studio. Impending jury service means I’m in a hurry and so I’m putting the hours in whenever I can, and it’s so good to be making work again.

Through all the surprising landscape work that’s been emerging I’ve come to a point of clarity – and this gives my work a vital hook back into the ongoing postmemory project with which I began this blog.

I find my practice is never as disjointed as it feels at times. There is always a thread.

My last post was about the politics of painting as action and resistance. There’s more to be drawn out of this as a source of resilience in the face of a wannabe autocrat like Trump. Such figures live in our minds if we let them and I have been consumed by the MSM and SM storm surrounding his presidency.

But having worked (or maybe walked – it is landscape after all) through the storm last week, this week I hit on a clearing. Or if we take the walking metaphor further – this was a circular path after all (ha! the scenic route!) – which took me back to base. Though perhaps I can now see things from a different angle.

These works – two of which are shown above – hark back to my earlier love of collage but are related to my Anglo Spanish childhood unknowingly lived in the shadow of the Spanish dictator Franco.

I had begun collecting materials earlier this year (from secondary school Spanish language materials from the 1970s) and arrived at a title; Buenos Dias Dictador.

And here are the works – just catching up with their title. They are still in progress but taking shape.


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Last post I wrote about Painting Without a Rudder. This post I’m happy to report that I’m finding my way.

It’s still all somewhat unexpected (in terms of my practice) but at least now the internal logic of what I’m doing is becoming clearer.

Mine is a politically engaged practice, albeit focused on a historical example of fascism (the Spanish Civil War). Yet increasingly I find contemporary events to be redolent of those past and my work must veer a little to encompass this.

And so the phenomenon of creating work I don’t quite recognise occurs – and that’s the point.

I’m creating landscapes that feel new and not like me – and this is precisely because I no longer recognise my world. We’re presently living through a time of political crisis and these strange paintings (strangers to me at least) have been conjured as a direct response.

I truly believe that painting can be a political act in itself. I need to be brave about these works (my impulse is to paint over them and create something more me!) and go with what’s emerging.

And in trying to arrive at a greater understanding I’ve turned to another form…

So I drib and dab
at scraps of linen
stretched on
solid wooden frames
in my studio.

I go at it
and stand back.

I squint and squint
turn lights on and off.

This is my body politics
because…

I need action.

To make is to shake off
I say!

What?

Stupid I know
but I squint and squint
because this is my job.

I imagine spaces
not real…

And spaces impossible
where you
do not exist.

Because painting
in dribs and dabs
is not not real.

In the moment of action
I am painting.

© Sonia Boué 2017


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