View Isabel Hurley´s page in facebook View Isabel Hurley´s tweets View Isabel Hurley LinkedIn page

DEDICATORIAS november 29, 2007 - january 19, 2008
  • Memoria y amapolas (detail)

    Memoria y amapolas (detail), 2006

    Photography, silicone, methacrilate and aluminium. 125 x 125 cm. Ed.7 + AP

  • Memoria y amapolas (detail)

    Memoria y amapolas (detail), 2006

    Photography, silicone, methacrylate and aluminium. 125 x 125 cm. Ed.7 + AP

  • De Bunganvillas, fucsia

    De Bunganvillas, fucsia, 2005

    Photography, 125 x 125 cm. Ed.7

  • Pensamientos

    Pensamientos, 2005

    Photography, 125 x 125 cm. Ed.5

  • Orquídea

    Orquídea, 2007

    Photography, 60 x 60 cm. Ed.7

  • La flor del faraón

    La flor del faraón, 2005


    Photography, silicone, methacrilate and aluminium. 60 x 60 cm. Ed.7 + AP

  • Cadmio de forsythia. En el bosque

    Cadmio de forsythia. En el bosque, 2005

    Installation. Photography, fishing tools, steel rods.  250 x 80 x 20 cm. (variable) Ed.7

  • Cantos rodados

    Cantos rodados, 2004

    Sculpture. Photography, fishing tools, iron.  330 x 180 x 55 cm. (variable) Ed.6

  • Cantos rodados, de los sueños

    Cantos rodados, de los sueños, 2004

    Photography. Silicone, methacrylate, aluminium. Ed.7

  • Mar de plata

    Mar de plata, 1987

    Video projection.

  • Canto rodado. El bany

    Canto rodado. El bany, 1987


    Video sculpture. Boulders, steel rod. 15 x 17 x 14 cm.

  • Cuna de agua. La perla

    Cuna de agua. La perla, 1987

    Video projection on a shell. 3 x 13 x 11 cm.

  • Jardín de la melancolía

    Jardín de la melancolía, 2006

    Methacrylate tubes, photography, light.

  • Orquídeas blancas

    Orquídeas blancas, 2007


    Photography, silicone, methacrilate and aluminium. 110 x 180 cm. Ed.5 + AP

  • Ariel

    Ariel, 2004

    Photography, 60 x 60 cm. Ed.7

  • Isola delle femine II

    Isola delle femine II, 2007


    Collage. Paper, ink, pencil, watercolor, glue. 23 x 23 x 1 cm.

  • Primavera. A li ch'ing Chao

    Primavera. A li ch'ing Chao, 2011


    Collage. Paper, print, ink, pencil, glue. 27 x 27 x 2 cm.

  • Lotos de oro. Pastel de arroz I

    Lotos de oro. Pastel de arroz I, 2007

    Collage. Paper lace, cellophane paper, ink, pencil, glue. 14 x 14 x 0,5 cm.

  • Lotos de oro. Pastel de arroz II

    Lotos de oro. Pastel de arroz II, 2007


    Collage. Paper lace, cellophane paper, ink, pencil, glue. 14 x 14 x 0,5 cm.

  • Fragmentos de mariposa. Mujeres de solaz

    Fragmentos de mariposa. Mujeres de solaz , 2007


    Duraclear photography, paper, print, watercolor, pencil, silicone. 22,5 x 22 x 2 cm.

  • Pétalos

    Pétalos, 2007

    Collage. Cloth petals, silk paper, wax, pencil, ink.  23 x 23 cm.

  • Coagula

    Coagula, 2007


    Collage. Cloth petals, silk paper, wax, pencil, ink.  23 x 23 cm.

  • Dibujos sobre la arena en luna menguante

    Dibujos sobre la arena en luna menguante, 2006


    Collage. Cellophane paper, ink, watercolor, glue. 22 x 21 x 2 cm.

  • Carta de octubre

    Carta de octubre, 2007

    Collage. Photography, paper, pencil, watercolor, silicone. 26 x 22 cm.

  • Azalea. Flor del Himalaya

    Azalea. Flor del Himalaya, 2007


    Collage. Paper, cloth flower, wax, pencil. 13,5 x 13,5 x 1,5 cm.

  • Reconstrucción III

    Reconstrucción III, 2007

    Collage. Paper, photography, plastified wire, pencil, silicone. 18,5 x 12 x 2 cm.


In front of my flashing knee
The hand you passed over your eyes
a tinkling brings certainty
to the circle I will make
around us
sometimes, however,
the sky dies
our shreds do

The memory ripped into shreds, like the body. Memories tinkling in seeds of ephemeral time, now forever infinitely inhabiting silence. Crystallised, the intuition of anticipated death that is destiny and freedom, giving birth to words poised on the fragile texture of a petal, on the lifeless flesh of the written stone. Suicide. Death.Flowers. Stone. Sea…Poetry
The sky dies in this blue which is always insinuation and desire, transformation, potency. The sky dies each day while the premonition of mourning is sketched in the soul. Every moment, every hour, every instant taking over its appearance, drawing itself as it fades away in a time that is now only an image.
Appearance overlapping experience, a double of life in the dream-world that was taken over by the hours and the days, Paloma Navares conjugates fragments of reality and poetry which, in her hands, possess the magic quality of making feelings visible. Like a necklace of “forget- me- nots or a cascade of prayers, her most recent works, dedicated to death, suicide or insanity, are so profound in their simplicity as complex in their unfolding beyond themselves. Conceived under the stimuli of someone else’s words, which, like fingerprints and marks pulled out of the air, emerge in constellations of invented signs, seen, felt; the artist’s work is at the point where imagery and poetic vision meet.
Maria Zambrano said “the poet’s thing is never the conceptual thing of thought but rather the thing itself, in all its complexity, the ghostly dreamed thing; that which is invented; that which was and that which will never be”. And this is the essence of the disperse reality materialized and poetically recreated by Navares, to transcend it, to carry it beyond its own limits in metaphoric images that relive the experience of this “writers’ art”, which, following up the parallelism with literature, makes us think of the logic of an equation that makes artist and receiver integral parts in a process of search and discovery.
Paloma was and is a passenger with a profound instantaneous vision, who has waded through centuries of images in search of these universal truths with which to continue analyzing the present. Through a head which is a replica and a double, a fragment of an identity while at the same time the supporting media, she carries us subtly towards the female voices whose stories she has made her own. She is capable of seeing the echo of all humanity in the voice of an injured soul like her own. Now, as in a former series in which she meditated on pictorial conventions and women’s identity through the Venuses and other female iconography, the artist knows that no image, even though it has been associated for thousands of years, can induce us to evoke that which is now extinct – it is a double emptiness, merely an oblivious copy, a shadow trapped in the textures of the material as in the case of the poet, each image elaborated in an art code - that is to say, conceived to generate consciousness – is the fruit of this profound individual restlessness, which, since the beginning of philosophy, continues to make sense out of life
Paloma Navares insists on this alchemistic ritual which can convert a simple object or matter in the formal equivalent of an abstract thought and follows the logia of the desire to be there, the aesthetic pulsation or ancestral impulse that encourages and makes sense out of all creation, producing art works of everyday objects like jars or curtains. With a touch of her hands she gives a form of its own to things that already have a conceptual entity in our spirit, being able to name, in matter, that which already exists in our mind, in our soul. Turning a simple seascape into the analogical vision of a suicide, that supreme dissolute act, the complex and real “thing” the artist faces. possessing life, experience, senses…and transforming it into a visual meditation, fogging the simple images of symbolic qualities in which to relive myths, ancient or recent (like the ones she now writes below her work) this is one of the constants in Paloma Navares’ art. She knows, even today, when artistic practice breaks into the conceptual fields of other disciplines , it is still worth rethinking the present, realizing that any cultural heritage must be transferred, recreated, invented in these new visual codes that art discovers in each new age, renewing and assimilating them.
Filled with her ambition to continue building on the bases of the immensely vast legacy made up of words and things that, paraphrasing Foucault, constitute our deepest cultural identity, the work of Paloma Navares manifests, without renouncing (much to the contrary) all the new technologies and methodologies that should supposedly “dehumanize” the creative act, taking it into the terrain of possible “no-authorship” – clearly a humanistic vocation, communicative and narrative that can be seen in all of her photographic images, sculptures, drawings, actions and sculptural assemblies, in her installations.. each of them mirroring what we call beauty. Because, as Stefano Zecchi demonstrated, through the spiritual qualities of matter resulting from harmony, and empathy with respect to appearance, works of art fulfil their mission as vehicles of a superior knowledge, making a different understanding of reality possible, as if, suddenly, we were illuminated by it.
Concise, never excessive, conjugating in the same aesthetic code different motifs and materials, almost always intimately related to her own biography, (usually using images of herself, parallel to her own life stages) the works of Paloma Navares move easily among the contemporary logia of fragmentation, but in no case do they need serial interrelating in order to spread their meaning. More than fragments understood as such, her sculptures- like these heads from which the falling tears are flowers or glass or the transparent hands that embrace pain and hope, taking them on as their her own - like the photographs and other works on different supporting media are complete analogous images, works of art closed in around themselves, complete. Works that go beyond the limits of their own temporality to trace an arch that takes in the before, the after and the now, unique and the same.
Just as with the works of a poet (also complete in each single verse) every one of Paloma Navares’ images can function as a new text (sometimes a whole paragraph, sometimes only a few lines…) an autonomous formation which influences and relates to the universal questions she ponders over once and again in her work. In this context it is easier to understand the recuperation and recycling Paloma Navares submits her own images to, in order to give them a new chance to express themselves in this cohesive and coherent narration which is all of her work. In this way we can explain her inclusion in the film of the artist floating upside down in the water, or how we should consider her using the resin heads just like the designer women from one of her other series. Hands, (the sensitive extremity “par excellence”), the bust (recipient of emotions), eyes, head…all of these iconographies so often explored by her intervene in this new staging.
Those bubble baths where Paloma herself slept her almost-death, are now also the curled foam of these waves we can imagine pulling the surrendered bodies of those who took the road to suicide into the dark immensity of the water. The necklace of (forget-me-nots) that hang from the transparent flesh of the mannequin, now shroud what was once an adornment, make-up, frivolity.
Always living within a visually apprehensible reality, they are now the echoes of the voices and the lives of those who brushed up to death, searched for it and maybe, died little by little in life, desiring it, feeling it come..the story line that Paloma Navares uses to enter a conceptual territory, death. Now we can see that it has always run parallel in her work.
Now, and again with materials emanating metaphoric qualities, like stone, glass and images of profound symbolism, like the sea( the “water cradle” that rocks us and calls to us with the seductive voice of its waves), the shell, the rock bed-path-via crucis, as well as with the colours of life, those of the flowers- Paloma Navares talks with those poets and writers who faced death, breakdowns, suicide or insanity. We are not, then, in this borderland where the limits between reality and fiction dissolve. We are in that other revealed, poetized reality in that other image dimension which is both a document and a creation.
Without dramatics, contained as is her personality, with the profound serenity that is always transcendental, the artist accepts pain as an experience that can be shared and understood, and she makes it tangible with her own lines, in her writing of the verses that have poised day after day in the symbolic pages which are flowers and stones. Stones and flowers, soul maps where the corporal experience of contact with the sea water and the pebbles that were first fun, intimacy, memory and have become this sort of incredible “library”. Like little notes piled one on top of the other, these pebbles sculpted by the water and time and the flowers whose tenderness can almost be felt, produce a strange new sensation when they invite us to decipher their messages and to guess who they belong to ( as if once they are written they don’t become forever ours) these words, so eloquent in their silence.
At sometime, one day we have all written our names in the special place which is a tree, a wall, a leaf, Paloma Navares turns this innocent, intimate, banal act of spontaneous writing on an aleatory surface into a powerful memory exercise in honour of those who were brave enough to share their deepest fears, their memories, their melancholy and even the words with which they signed their goodbye. Rewritten in an intimate anonymous performance, these same words that now flutter over stones and flowers, tracing the stations on this memorial journey guided by the words of Paul Celan, Alejandra Pizarnik, Ann Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Wolf Cesare Pavese, Charles Beaudelaire, Albert Camus, Horacio Quiroga, Franz Kafka and so many others. Taking over this polyphonic echo and carrying it to the same conceptual territory, Paloma Navares makes all of their lives, emotions and creeds seem like one single voice and a unique spiritual substance in these pebbles and in these flowers, in these simple fragments of nature that know no limits nor borders, nationalisms nor flags, races, sexes nor ideals, coming together thus, so simply and totally, in these inescapable experiences that are death or insanity, breaking down, suicide, desperation.
In these suggestive multicoloured tapestries formed by the petals written by Paloma Navares (that not only refer to the custom of honouring the dead with flowers, but are also a vital evocation of life, like when they recreate a blossom- filled landscape or serve as an attribute of feminine beauty) like these accumulations of pebbles (that also suggest, by extension, the idea of the tombstone and children’s games) or these photographs drawn and written on, in which the horizon is coloured with light and sentiment, in each and every one of the works in the series “the injured soul” we can find the same complementary duality that sees life and death as the same condition of existence.
In this way, from Paul Celan’s parents’ death in the concentration camps to the suicides of so many women who chose to leave this world prematurely or so many men and women who, after rubbing up against the limits of the bearable and not being able to stand it … got lost in insanity…all of those extreme situations, painful and heartrending that exemplify, illustrate and remind us of the verses of those contemporary myths which have whittled the polyhydric forms of our consciousness, humanised and made comprehensible, almost close, in the surprising ritual of symbolic renovation in which, with words of death like seeds of life and hope, Paloma Navares once again turns herself into a channel of privileged transmission capable of shaking our soul and making her own eyes ours.

Pilar Ribal I Simó


© 2011 Isabel Hurley