14 de septiembre – 14 de octubre
Images in Lucia Tello’s work may reveal more than meets the eye, as “everyday objects” transform into extraordinary visions.
Passing through the rose-hued, semi-opaque curtains into the gallery, visitors step into a realm of melodic, romantic, and melancholic reverie. aguabolero opens on a blue and green triptych, where four transparent jellies emerge, as a magical motif in the artist’s work. Neither fully solid nor liquid, these strange bodies take center stage, and seem to have climbed on top of each other as if to reach the sky — blurring the lines between reality and imagination.
Intriguingly, her pastel drawings present pearl oysters opening to reveal what seems to be a rock landscape or a citrus fruit; while her clay sculptures unveil mysterious worlds beneath the waves, where house chimneys smoke underwater.
Ingeniously employing a play between big and small formats, and scenery inside scenery, the artist draws viewers into the intricate details of microcosms while simultaneously immersing them in the grandeur of macrocosmic landscapes. Each artwork encapsulates hidden worlds within, inviting one to look deeper into the heart of their creation, and demonstrating that even the tiniest pieces can offer vast experiences.
Drawing inspiration from childhood, heart shape houses make subtle appearances, evoking nostalgia and the wonderment of youth. These toys from the 90s allowed kids to build worlds of their own, using small and detailed objects and furniture. By integrating some elements of these microcosms or using them as reference in her pieces, the artist adds an element of playfulness, and invites visitors of all ages to rediscover the power of imagination.
Ribbons gracefully adorn the edges of some pieces, symbolizing unity and the ability to hold things together. Ribbons also represent the essence of feminine energy, which weaves connections and nurtures bonds, creates and preserves life, and keeps things intact. Nestled within pink textile pouches, some clay sculptures invoke a sense of affectionate sentimentality, and the idea of safeguarding cherished memories.
However, behind this graceful surface lies a realm of darker themes. Exploring the delicate balance between strength and fragility, unity and disintegration, the haunting image of a butterfly trapped in a basket evokes the contemplation of the transience of life and the frailty of existence. The presence of dry flowers, presented as offerings and placed next to the wall, further delves into the inevitability of decay and the nature of remembrance.
The theme of flowers repeats in the space, as the viewer encounters a small garden adorned with Japanese flower napkins.
By letting the napkins float almost freely, guided by the whims of the wind, the artist works with nature as a co-creator. Delicate Forget-Me-Not flowers — symbols of everlasting bonds transcending time and distance — also appear on postcards. These postcards become a medium for bridging geographical divides, and just like the flowers they bear; they carry with them the essence of lasting affection and emotional ties.
Moving onward, visitors are invited to continue walking towards a turquoise room, evoking a sense of the boundless sea. A veil
falling from the ceiling embodies the enigmatic allure of a jellyfish, and some paintings present a unique texture, as they are mixed with sand. In Lucia Tello’s latest works, the interplay of textures has orchestrated a melody of contrasts. The unexpected mingling of these
smooth and rough components elicits a multisensory experience that invites the visitor to close their eyes, imagine their hands grazing the canvas, and be reminded that our sense of touch is more than just physical: it is a means to connect with our imagination and our innermost memories.
In the last room, a red and purple painting presents the two parts of one soul reuniting in front of a sunset; and a window to a seascape surrounded by theatre curtains reads, “We are the same soul in two perfect bodies”. Other pieces present unreadable texts, as a cryptic representation of having access to a secret beyond full understanding; circling back to the idea that, in Lucia Tello’s work, the most unassuming of objects hold secrets waiting to be unravelled.
Louise des Places, August 2023