Elena del Rivero
Mended Flying Letters, typewriter, silk thread and ink on collaged hand made abaca paper (82 x 82 inches), 2011
For the last twenty years, I have explored, in my work, the visual poetry of what is at hand and seldom unappreciated, the poetics of everyday life, the routine of repetitive work. I have paid attention to chaos, and to the wounds life inflicts on us and have tried to visually suture and mend those wounds. My intuition has helped me to capture the elusive nuances of life and I have tried to visually name them in a space where questions are raised without having, necessarily, to find answers.
I like materials that relate to home and enjoy manipulating them to achieve my goals. I started to use paper because it was inexpensive and throughout the years I have developed my own way to produce different thicknesses, surfaces and finishes. I mainly use abaca that resembles skin and suits my purposes to reflect upon how art and life collide in my work. I use thread as a metaphor and gold leaf to speak of transformation. This symbolic language incorporates mythology, traditional women chores, mending, stitching, geometry and correspondence. But I have continued to paint and use photography whenever the script allowed or required that medium. I am not afraid of crossing boundaries and in fact it gives me great pleasure.
This series of works Flying Letters deal with the “creative flight’ (Deleuze), impossibility of communication and the passage of time. I have used large sheets (60 x 40 and 40 x 40 inches) of hand-made abaca paper glued together to conform pieces 120 by 80 inches and 80 x 80 inches. These works were subsequently destroyed and the fragments of paper were then typewritten with red, black and blue ribbon cartridges with different typewriters I have been collecting throughout the years. Hebrew characters can be seen intermingling with cursive fonts in these tapestry-palimpsests. The words, if any, convey nothing: syllables and consonants layered on top of each other become an ocean of dark patterns where the message is impossible to decipher. The fragments of paper were finally sutured with silk thread in three different hues, blue, grey and black. To create this index of communication I have used very few materials: ink markings on abaca paper and silk.
Elena del Rivero
Courtesy of the artist and Elvira González Gallery, Madrid