Soul connections: Artwalk
By Marcia Wolff
What shape waits in the seed of you to grow
and spread its branches against a future sky?
In nature there are many universal symbols such as the triangle, the square, the cross, the spiral and the circle. And if you observe flowers you will find these shapes everywhere from a bougainvillea to a rose, from a bird of paradise flower to the spiral swirl at the center of a gardenia as it unfurls its petals. The spiral, when stretched out, reaches back to the past, carries us into the Now and points to the future. The circle relates to completion and wholeness as well as community. Coming full circle we complete a process that brings us back to where we began but hopefully with more awareness, wholeness and integration.
William Fares’ exhibition “Getting to Nothing” at the Skot Foreman Galería at Fábrica La Aurora emphasizes several geometric shapes encased inside strong brushed metal frames. Circles are cut and some are removed from thin handmade papers from Amsterdam. Once cut and folded, triangles and squares also emerge. Some painted from behind the shape allow a shadow of color to rest on the paper. Each circle offers a unique expression whether it is in the fold of the paper, the cut out portion, the subtle color or its shadow.
At the end the gallery, Ojos de Dios, the eyes of God, announce themselves. A very large painting of a gray circle is painted with texture around and within the circle using automobile enamel paint. Depending on where the observer stands, the color shifts from green to red. Fares spent five years settling in to his new surroundings here in San Miguel de Allende. He created this painting to express his feeling of Mexico from his experience and from the seed that guides him.
“Getting to Nothing,” or perhaps getting to no-thing, is like a birth, the birth of the truth of what the symbol of a circle represents: this spacious emptiness where a unique seed grows to “spread its branches across a future sky.” Fares has spent 40 years painting the circle.
Artist Jean Saade Palombo at Galería OMO is also fascinated with the circle. He paints in oils exquisite faces of archetypal queens. What is the archetypal energy of a queen? I am someone, take notice. I have dignity, presence and, most of all, power. These larger- than-life collages on canvases, using tissue papers painted passionate red, or gold leaf for the Queen Elizabeth and Saade Polombo’s great freedom of expression, is archetypal in itself. Looking closely there is still more; the piercing eyes in each of these depictions draw the observer in. This portal connects not to the ego, but to the soul of each queen, their beauty, their suffering, their individuality and their similarities.
Artist Margarita Mancera’s large abstract studies in white leading to black are shown in Galería Manuel Chacón. One is drawn toward the shadow. Or the mystery, as observing artist Kathleen Cammarata suggests. What does the shadow hide? It is important to know this as it could be gifts not yet opened or things that drive us to distraction until we turn and face it. Shapes of circles, heads of bones or a drumstick that beats, a heartbeat may be announcing something or just asking us to wonder. Allow yourself to stand in front of these paintings. Enter the portal and expand your sense of mystery, of the unknown, a quiet but deep feeling. Her colored abstract paintings are a totally different experience.
Upon leaving the Fábrica La Aurora stop and look at the large circular macetas of roses floating in water, an offering of peace, beauty and wellbeing as we come full circle.
Marcia Wolff, MA, is a writer, painter and author of Friction Becoming Pearl: a Slow Awakening. She offers classes in writing and collage-making. Information at firstname.lastname@example.org.