Six questions for
Angyvir Padilla

Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Angyvir Padilla.

Artist Angyvir Padilla
Lives in Brussels, Belgium

How do you describe your own art practice?

My artistic journey has been profoundly shaped by my personal experience of leaving my native Venezuela already 12 years ago. This departure marked a significant turning point in my creative journey, one that not only reshaped my life but also became a wellspring of inspiration for my artistic practice. It introduced me to the profound impact of diasporas on one’s identity and the perpetual and disorienting nature of displacement that often accompanies such a trip.

My work delves into the question of what it means to have a “home,” to lose it, to seek it, to yearn for it, and to rediscover it. Whether it’s through the materials I choose to work with, an enveloping soundscape, the immersive environments I create, or performance, my work invites to explore the gaps between identity, memory, and the emotions they evoke.

With it, I aspire to spark introspection, and create connections that transcend language and cultural boundaries, offering viewers a glimpse of my own story. Each installation or work I present forms a unique constellation of meanings.

Which question or theme is central in your work?

The central theme in my work is the exploration of the concept of “Home” and its various facets, such as displacement, belonging, memory, and the passage of time. I investigate how these themes manifest in our relationship with intimate spaces, personal objects, and our connection to life and memory. The feeling of longing for a lost home, whether due to diaspora, the fast pace of modern life, or our disconnection from nature, which nowadays might be represented as a lost home due to its current deterioration, is a recurring motif within my work.

At the heart of my artistic journey lies also a continuous fascination with the passage of time and the indelible imprints it leaves on our lives. I express this fascination through a diverse range of materials and media, including clay, wax, plaster, ceramics, photography, sound, video, and performance. These materials and medias are not merely tools but vital components of my creative process, each chosen with intention for its ability to convey the transformation of matter and the memory of different states.

I often blend various medias and materials, for they bear the weight of history and memory. These materials often interact somehow with the spaces they inhabit or in the way they’re presented, each molding and being molded by the actions I perform within them.

What was your first experience with art?

As a kid, I had this tiny vintage plastic kitchen set; it was mostly orange, with bits of red, yellow, and blue. Instead of using it for its intended purpose, which I suppose was to pretend cooking fake meals, I turned it into my own experimental art studio.

I would mix crayons, gouache, plasticine, and whatever other materials I could find that were fun to use, creating sometimes peculiar results. The excitement of seeing how these elements interacted and transformed into something new was incredibly thrilling for me, even if I got some super ugly results, lol.

Looking back, I sometimes have flashbacks of this memory and realize that the same sense of wonder and joy I felt in my fake kitchen studio somehow still drives me today when I work with materials in my studio.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

While I greatly value having time alone for reflection as a source of inspiration, I also find that traveling, walking, taking notes, taking pictures, engaging in discussions with strangers, visiting unfamiliar places, and simply wondering about things all serve as catalysts for my thoughts and creative projects.

Later, when I return to my studio, I review all that I gathered from these experiences or documented in photos, and it undoubtedly transforms into something meaningful to me later. I combine these experiences with reading in the studio, sketching ideas and other creative activities. I also draw significant inspiration from music, bits of texts, poetry or dreams.

What do you need in order to create your work?

I love diving into multiple subjects and often experimenting with various media all at once at the beginning of my creative process. Honestly, if I stick to just one thing in that phase for too long, I get a bit bored and most probably want to switch to something else.

My creative process kicks off with writing down ideas, reading, collecting visual references, taking photos, and sketching. Material research helps me identify which media and materials align better with my ideas and reflections, and then I conduct material experiments in my studio. After that, it’s all about making things happen and working towards the result. I tend to be, and often I NEED to be, all over the place when I’m creating work, lol.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

Last year, during a residency program in Paris where we shared studio space, I had the pleasure of discovering the work of the Chilean artist Rosario Aninat, currently based in Frankfurt.

Her practice stems from the observation of different sculptural qualities and the material transformations of mass-produced materials. Although the themes in her work are quite different from mine, I find her adept use of materials for her creations, her use of space in their presentation, and above all, the atmosphere she manages to create, truly admirable and accurate. This atmosphere is consistently strange, unique, and somewhat poetic, always existing on the border between sculpture, installation and place.

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