How to paint eternity
The work of Mara Sola by Noel Kelly.
“Our lives are not as limited as we think they are; the world is a wonderfully weird place; consensual reality is significantly flawed; no institution can be trusted, but love does work; all things are possible; and we all could be happy and fulfilled if we only had the guts to be truly free and the wisdom to shrink our egos and quit taking ourselves so damn seriously.
'Gracie goes to schooner school' - Tom Robbins, P-I Writer in Residence Thursday, May 24, 2007.
Sola’s is a world of startled, confused, and alienated reality. A world of a nomadic life with cycles of transience reflected in the impermanence of time and place. Natural order has been removed, and in its place the often-solitary subject is left to disquiet, questioning, and inevitability. Sola penetrates right to the core of what it is to be filled with the beauty of bare solitude.
Her connectedness with the natural world and exploration of how this world inter- relates with itself become a ground of encompassing unity. There is no promise of a better world. Instead Sola provides a reality that imbues her subjects with a fragile strength and dignity that stem from the direct address of otherwise negative elements of separation, loss, and implied tragedy. It is clear that, in a Jungian manner, Sola looks outside of dreams and wakens that which is inside.
Sola’s sparsely coloured figurative canvases take their points of departure in the gaps between the observation of vulnerability and frozen split seconds of action. Sola’s subjects find themselves stripped down with minimal signifiers that act as a form of secondary, introspective narrative. Subjects sit suspended; past and future are implied with an overarching intensity that displays the fragility of life lived in the present. It is left to the viewers’ awareness of this passage of time, or the illusion of time, to produce an anxiety that permeates Sola’s works. This is not an easy world.
In fact, some may see it as a tortured vision of being different. Subjects display unique perspectives.
Animals may stand alone in empty space but we soon understand that each is imbued with their own personal quality of looking deeply which leads them to understanding much about their implied existence. This is what others miss. The animals become like visionaries in a captured state of “being”.
This work is sensitive, often introverted, with a hugely imaginative tilt at what is real and what is merely a manmade construct. Her sense of unreality and isolation rebel against any given role, and follow the heart. Emotion is intense and a gateway to the world of the romantic visionary. Sola’s work shows that it comes from an inner demand for self-expression with a hidden scream of
“I am here, come find me” clothed in a sensitivity and unique perception in which lie endless realms of what is possible when constraints are removed, and the perpetual outsider is given rein.
Director of Visual Artist Ireland.
Dublin, May 2012