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es bon lloc

March 25 - April 23, 2022

That pleasant feeling of being in the right place...

By Rafa Ruiz

"I soaked myself in the forest. I entered into dialogue with the trees". From there, from the retreat he longed for in the middle of the forest and that finally became a reality last summer, comes 'Es bon lloc' ('the good place', in Mallorcan).

Atauri (Madrid, 1965) returns to the space of Las Letras to bring the passion and the territory that have inhabited her since she was a child, since she planted her first one, an almond tree, in Mallorca when she was eight years old: trees, their smell and their silence; and Mallorca, her beloved island, where she takes refuge when she finds disorder inside, to calm down, recreate and create... To create art, the simple, essential kind, the kind that gives us flight and energy and knowledge... knowledge of ourselves.

Like Thoreau or Mahler, who retired to huts to find themselves lost, Atauri (María Ángeles) stayed with herself and her greyhound -Punto- in a hut hidden in a forest of olive trees and ullastres (wild olive trees, wild olive trees, wild olive trees) hundreds of years old, Mediterranean pines and carob trees. Sheltered by the Serra de Tramuntana. And I talked to them, listened to their daytime whispers, their nighttime rustling and the imposing silence of the August dawn. "They are characters", she tells me with her eyes wide as a child, with that amazement and desire to experiment that make her continue to grow and grow as an artist, since 15 years ago I met her in her bubbles.

And indeed, these characters that she now transfers in ink and graphite to Tila Barrena's new exhibition, “ON Art Space”, speak to us. And perhaps -surely- they tell us about the dialogue that we humans, in our egolatry, have interrupted with nature, which is, after all, ourselves; it is not that we do not listen to nature, it is that we do not listen to ourselves, nor to the other, nor to ourselves.

The trees of Atauri are above all - they have been so for many years - trunks, twisted trunks, like the folds of a brain. Vegetable intelligence, as Stefano Mancuso would say, although lately I observe in them more and more leaves and also -and Atauri makes me see it again with the illusion of a child showing her drawings- some bird. Some blackbird. "I want a blackbird in my garden". And I tell her that it will be the blackbird that wants her garden. And she looks at me puzzled, determined to get blackbirds on paper.

There they are, trunks and blackbirds in ON Art Space, in a setting with aromas of Mediterranean forest, its dry leaves, Aleppo pine bark, pine cones -because Atauri, like herman de vries, like Georgia O'Keeffe, walks through the countryside collecting samples and inspiration for samples-; and there is her artist's soul, simple, open and collected at the same time, natural, excited, without artist's posturing.

Atauri, what tree would you like to be? "Without a doubt, one of those Mediterranean pines that overhang the cliffs".

Trees that the master Cézanne also loved. Trunk and blackbird. It is bon lloc. The feeling, so difficult to achieve, so reassuring when you reach it and enter it and it fills us, that you are in the right place.

© ON Art Space by Tila Barrena

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