“The Emotional Fields, maps of the unconscious came from the desire to create a visual realisation of an invisible spiritual state.”
Carolina is a designer and a visual artist, her practice involves textile manipulation, printing, painting, photography, video and performance.
Her creative process explores symbols, techniques and forms, leaving the traces of her exploration – a broken thread, an unfinished line, an incomplete grid – visible for the viewer to the ponder.
She is inspired by psychoanalysis, intuition, cognition, human behaviour and emotional development. In her recent series “Emotional Fields”, presented as a solo show at Tristan Hoare Gallery in September 2019, she portrays the materialisation of elusive states of mind like “Love”, “Hesitation” and “Awe”.
These ideas are manifested as woven emotional maps, guiding the viewer through abstract states which are described in cotton, silk and wool thread embroidered onto an un-primed linen with her distinctive herringbone stitch technique. In each map there is a sense of intimacy as the artist has physically interacted with the fabrics over many hundreds of hours. The resulting maps are reminiscent of mandalas where love, hesitation, loss, grief and struggle are described in personal and universal language, suggesting a deeper human pattern.
Her work was included in some relevant group shows: “Emotional Fields-Love” showed during “Subversive Stitch” at TJ Boulting, London in February 2019. “Isis” showed at Palazzo Zaguri, Venice, in May 2019 during Venice Art Biennale 2019. “Dark Blooms” (Triptych) as part of RA250 Summer Show 2019, at Royal Academy of Arts.
Carolina lives and works in London.
Please find below small video footage about the artist.
SOLÈNE wants the viewer to explore and understand the world of each artist by entering their studio life, their daily exploration or even a show, a project that has marked them but more generally SOLÈNE’s vision is for the viewers to see what inspire them, their artistic process and what they wish to share and transmit.
Your latest show with Tristan Hoare Gallery, whom is collaborating with Solène, Emotional fields in 2019, explore the desire to create a visual realization of an invisible spiritual state. Would you describe your physical art, your embroidery is there to reflect a much deeper message and meaning?
When I first started drawing and making the first tapestries, I call them the archetypes series, those iconic figures they were so large scale and so detailed like a shell exoskeleton, they looked like the iconographic art of churches wearing an embroidered suit. This pattern reminded me of the diagram of psychology that we find in Field theory which I was studying then, which examines patterns of interaction between the individual and the total field, or environment.
There just by looking at these patterns or diagram I made, I started wondering what would it look like if I extracted a feeling, an emotion from these archetypal icons, how that would look as drawing on canvas . Therefore I started to create the maps of the unconscious. Also, what was interesting to me is it could be an infinite declinations of love or awe or hesitation. We different individuals and we can experience love in different ways depending in what circumstance and for who.
Yes, the emotional fields are highly symbolic maps but in an abstract way so you can read what applies to you as any art should be.
Would you say that your work is very much inspired by the meditative state of mind?
I think I am generally inspired by the silent conversation and the unsaid. Can be the meditative state or religious / spiritual. We all name this differently depending on personal beliefs...
Your work is a mixed of medium of cotton, silk, wool thread embroidered onto un-primed linen, how long on average it takes to realise one unique and original work?
I also dye my unprimed linens and draw and paint on them before the embroidery. They usually spend 6/7 months in the process of the prison due to the security procedure, the prep of the yearns then 3 months in studio for the finishing.
I think 9 months is usually an average time the works take from start to end.
You express feelings or even mandalas of love, hesitation, struggle and so…in your work, if there was one to pick, which one is for you the most important mandala in our universe? and why?
Mandalas become sacred spaces, they enclose the universe or what in that moment the universe is or mean. The making of these maps allows me to enclose and treasure a memory or a state. In terms of real Mandalas, I think in our contemporary world the sand mandalas are fundamentally important to understand like the zen garden.
They signify the law of impermanence – that nothing lasts forever, and everything is in constant change and we really need to reconsider that back in our life.
I was very touched to hear you use charity to help creating your work… can you tell us a bit more about those two please and why you chose to help them through your creative work?
I mainly use Fine Cell Work, I can say that they are part of my studio now. We help each other, they train prisoners to become master stitchers, the level of craftsmanship is sublime, the prisoners on the other hand is creatively stimulated and enriched by becoming better at its crafts and spiritually having an engaged mind means not letting the mind engaging in other negative circles that can affect and disorient even more.
When you are confined in grey walls for so many years, this work specially the one they do in collaboration with important artists such as Ai Wei Wei, Cornelia Parker, Idris Khan allows them to self-medicate in a positive way.
They can be immersed in colours in challenging manufacturing levels...seeing a finished work is crucial for them to improve the self-esteem for themselves.
Carolina, as you know, I am extremely spiritual which is why I started this whole vision and idea and I believe you are too…have you got a spiritual message you would like to share with us?
Without going too psychological, too spiritual...early philosophers believed the body to have a rational, inner nature that helped guide our thoughts and bodies.
This intuitive force, our soul, was viewed as having supreme control over our entire being. L’anima. Maybe going back to that intelligence of listening on a deeper level would help many wrong ‘steering’s’.