I’m excited to unpack Barcelona in a Bag in a new blog space. Transferring from an artist’s page on FaceBook is an action imbued with mixed emotions. I’ve loved every minute of gathering a community of friends around my project through the comment facility on FaceBook and hope that this spirit will travel. Of course I’ll be linking up the two blogs but the heart of my artistic practice will reside here at a-n. My dream would be for project friends to gather here too and continue to cheer Abuela and I on as before. I left the FaceBook blog last week with a tear stained hankie in my hand.
Rather than run all my old FaceBook blog posts here – although I will dig into the archive at times and my next post will focus on the project’s beginnings with my grandmother’s (Abuela’s) handbag – I’m planning a new phase for the project and hope that those who would like to catch the back catalogue will browse through the FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/BarcelonaInABag .
So for those who don’t know me, who am I and what do I do? I’m Sonia Boué – an artist whose practice has developed through professional training in both Art History and Art Therapy. I began as an abstract painter but recently developed a practice based on working with objects as containers of memory and an unfolding narrative in relation to a family history that is steeped in the Spanish Civil War.
I work with objects to create assemblage pieces and installations, and have latterly begun to develop a performative side to my work. The photograph for my first blog is a new element in an installation made for Magdalen Road Studios Open Door Open Studios this coming weekend 13th-14 September.
The installation has many diverse pieces which reflect different aspects of my practice. This one harks back to my Hell in the Sand series from February 2014, inspired by the photographs of Robert Capa taken in Argelès sue Mer internment camp in March of 1939 during the Retirada – the retreat from Spain by defeated republicans. This new piece calls on Russian television footage of the aftermath of a much later ‘natural’ disaster – the 2004 Tsunami of Thailand. Here rather than transpose individual domestic items to an anonymous sandy location I imagine the sand penetrating a home and upending the calm of a domestic interior. It’s an idea I’m developing to try to say something about the continuing effects of dislocation and exile.
New readers, of which I hope there will be many, will soon discover that I seem to thrive on making connections with all manner of knowledge fragments and visual inputs gathered in a non-linear fashion. My challenge is always to make a coherent and visually satisfying piece from all the disparate elements I tend to garner up along my way in any project.
That’s probably all for now, but watch this space for news of a new film called Without You I Would Not Exist, a collaboration with the multi-talented Jonathan Moss, more of which very soon. AND please check in for the origins of my overarching project, Barcelona in a Bag, in my next blog.
Wow, did I just finish my first blog on a-n? I think I did.