I took out on the maple,
where a few leaves have turned yellow.
Begin here. It is raining. I look out on the maple, where a few leaves have turned yellow, and listen to Punch, the parrot, talking to himself and to the rain ticking gently against the windows. I am here alone for the first time in weeks, to take up my “real” life again at last. That is what is strange—that friends, even passionate love, are not my real life unless there is time alone in which to explore and to discover what is happening or has happened.
May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1972-1973)
This exhibition speaks about spiritual healing and sought-after solitude. It is an encounter between Felipe Ortega Regalado and Consuegra Romero through their most personal artworks. The title of the exhibition is based on a phrase from May Sarton’s journals and sets the contemplative mood that this encounter requires. Felipe and Consuegra share an expansive concept of the artistic practice. Far from pursuing the manufacture of artifacts and striving to belong to the art system and its dictates, their practices dispense with individualistic exaltation and build bridges between creation, community, and daily life. Their practices are creation without an agenda or predefined objectives, flowing with the calm rhythm of their circumstances and opening up to fusing with others. In this exhibit, we find works elaborately executed, with no time spared, in months of dedication. The vegetation, the private flowers, and the garden, real or imaginary, are present. In this meeting, we hope to generate an enriching exchange of cuttings, saplings, and seeds. Here these two artists enter the forest of consciousness to talk to us about the forms of love and the secret symbolism of flowers. The Healing Powers of Art There is a long history of artistic experiences connected to a spiritual path. Much of the abstract art of the 20th century was constructed in the form of a dialogue with esoteric theories. The first mediumistic drawings were not just beautiful objects; they were symbolic sermons. The two great figures of pictorial abstraction: Hilma af Klint and Kandinsky, entered into theosophical territories and spoke of their “inner need” to define the pictorial impulse. I place the work of Felipe and Consuegra within this tradition. Throughout the centuries, it has been customary to use art for its healing properties. A book or a painting could be medicine. The Egyptians knew this, referring to libraries as “houses of life” containing “remedies for the soul”. And it is known that in ancient times the reading of sacred texts was practiced during medical operations. In my opinion, Felipe Ortega Regalado’s work possesses a magnetic oracular quality that is evident in the process, in the way the drawings sprout from the artist (automatically and with a minimum mediation of the abstract mind). It is also visible in the combinatory quality of constellations of parts, of archaeological vestiges, and of small organs… that, randomly arranged, reveal the mysteries of the universe. Although he is an artist well known for his draftsmanship, we have selected rarely seen projects (pictorial and videographic) for this exhibit. This allows us to get to know the variety of registers of this enormous creator. Consuegra Romero has been drawing feverishly with blue ink for years. Her use of the ballpoint pen reminds us of the “wildest and most frayed” of Outsider Art, and the processual drawing of adolescents. At the same time, her works drink from symbolist and visionary movement referents, resonating with Odilon Redon, Gustave Moreau, Evelyn De Morgan… and other artists-mediums. She conceives emotional landscapes that ooze desire, rage, beauty, consolation. Her ink ritual is both reward and punishment. Drawing is a matter of life and death. Sometimes she throws the glove at me, and I always pick it up, even if she doesn’t always come at dawn for the duel… this way no one dies. The Experience Will be Revealed/Constructed During the Exhibition. This exhibition is not based on a preconceived thesis because everything that will arise in this encounter is still unknown to us. I would like to thank Tonia Trujillo, director of 13ESPACIOarte, for allowing us to enter into this experiment. We are talking about works with mysterious qualities, and we, the visitors, will be the ones to receive the impregnating energy during our interaction with them. That is why I will write the curatorial text throughout the exhibition, gathering my impressions along with those of the audience through their comments in the visitors’ book. I will tell you in advance that I work from intuition. The artworks of the two artists always felt familiar and “old” to me in their contemporaneity. Some strokes, gestures, and traces feel close to me… The incisive and delicate precision of Felipe’s strokes reveal scenes of my own mythology. Pilar’s nervous, tangled, and urgent pen unleashes my fears. On the first floor of 13ESPACIOarte, each artist has an individual area that functions as a brief retrospective. On the upper floor, there is a meeting space with selected works by both artists. They are located in a sort of chapel or meditation room. Simple talismans, small objects, and natural plants complete the installation. “Drawing spits all of its silence in our faces, like a guru when asked about reality.” Felipe Ortega Regalado “I paint from any place and organ of the body, sometimes from all of them at the same time. Everything influences the artistic practice: breathing in the moment, the tingling of a sleeping foot, a pain in the stomach…” Consuegra Romero Susana Blas, 2022