Ermita de San Sebastián de Cervera del Maestre, Calle Doctor Ballester 21
The 'Annual Contemporary Art Exhibition' will feature amongst others works of JSonia Domenech. Kesin.
Sporting Club Russafa, Carrer de Sevilla, Valencia, Spain
Gallery Sporting Club Russafa is the destination of this cultural journey that brings artists of Spanish, German, French and British nationality to the artistic hotspot of Russafa in Valencia. Sonia Domenech will exhibit a selection of her latest works.
De Souza Gallery is pleased to present Reflections, a solo exhibition and online presentation of paintings by Sonia Domenech.The collection previously formed part of a European wide exhibition of works with the title “Love in civil wars”.
Within the framework of the theme “Love in civil wars”, a collection of works by different artists of the European network EL-DRAC was presented in various disciplines (drawing, painting, photography, installations, sculpture..).
As part of the concept of the original exhibition, since 2011 some works have been shown in various European cities and in different combinations.
Reflections gives us an opportunity to revisit Sonia’s works with a more detailed and personal insight into the research, artistic process and family accounts relating to the Spanish civil war and war in general which influenced these works.
Sonia: ”Love in Times of War’ was a special commission, and it was quite a challenge to create this series of works.’
Sonia’s process started with a lot of research, and she started collecting images that were closest to her idea of love in wartime. Amongst others she found some relevant and iconic photographs by the famous war photographer and photojournalist Robert Capa, who also covered the Spanish civil war.
She decided to use the images that moved her the most for her works, in a way similar to Andy Warhol in his pop art.
At that time she was reading the book ‘Psychomagic: The Sacred Trap’ by Alejandro Jodorowsky. His idea of Psychomagic is based on the belief that the unconscious can be healed from trauma by performing specific acts.
According to Sonia her act of framing all her works with a heart in one way or another can be interpreted as an attempt to heal the pain that war has left in all of us.
Like in most Spanish families there were personal experiences and feelings involved that revolve around the topic of the Spanish civil war.
Sonia: ‘Personally I felt quite affected and confused with my father’s family having a military background and my mother’s family being Republicans. It caused me deep pain to feel a personal connection to so many deaths caused.’
This was one of the reasons why she started with a black heart encapsulating the figures of the ranks of the military returning home.
Carrying on with her research and seeing documentaries about the Second World War, and families from both sides hugging and forgiving each other, the heart took an even more significant part in these paintings.
The paintings tell us about a part of the historical memory of humanity. We all have relatives who have directly lived through the experience of a war, through the fear and pain. The barbarism of war has left its mark on everyone.
Sonia’s work is trying to help open a way of liberation from these experiences of the past, through and with the heart. The images represent often dangerous situations where love always intervenes in one way or another, big or small.
Sonia: ‘We should give the heart the opportunity to heal the pain that we carry from our past and step into a better future.’
Almost ten years after the paintings were exhibited for the first time they are as relevant as ever. In Spain some progress has been made in the historical coming to terms with the civil war. But divisions remain and are a reminder of the amount of time needed for healing and reconciliation.
The paintings can also be regarded as more universal, bridging the gap between past and present. Sonia’s paintings ask us to look at the consequences of all conflict, to not repeat past mistakes and to keep an open mind and heart, not to condemn ‘the other’, but to try to see and understand.
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