Tag Archives: portugal art

The Colonel and the Muse Part II

7 Dec

It had been 3 days now since things had gone south with Muse Leira—she wanted Lala Drona out, out of that room as soon as possible.  Never had she ever met an artist so enveloped by her own work, so committed to her own style and message, an artist with vision alright…with tunnel vision. 

Muse Leira tried, time and time again, to inspire Lala Drona to continue her and Colonel Morgado’s work with battle strategies. She tried to influence Lala to wage art war on the Art Guild: the legislation which passed all art-related laws.   When that didn’t work, She tried to influence the artist to strategise against those who did not believe in art.  She tried to convince Lala of the destructive force that she possessed when she put paintbrush to canvas.  Muse Leira’s work with Colonel Morgado had been left unfinished, and she wanted Lala, more than any other artist to have entered that room before, to implement the battle strategies that Leira and the Colonel had started, into her paintings.

Lala Drona refused to accept the muse’s battle inspiration, and arrogantly explained to Muse Leira how this creative collaboration would unfold.  Lala had already decided on a concept, and merely needed the muse to help her develop the images for it.   The concept for the triptych of paintings would examine the development of online relationships/friendships, from the digital to the real.   It would unfold over three parts on three canvases:

Canvas 1:  “We Find Our Match in the Digital Masses”

Canvas 2: “We Give Each Other Space to Grow”

Canvas 3: “Together, We Make Each Other Human”

“Together we make each other human?  What’s so great about being human anyway?” Leira said.

Lala explained. “I meant for “human” to be taken metaphorically…like coming together in real life is what helps us maintain our humanity— or our compassion—empathy…”

“You are insinuating that “humanity” only expresses a compassionate side—while today more than ever we are witnessing humanity’s “inhumanity”. Not to mention, that idea is corny.  It would be a disservice to the entire triptych.  I’ll sign off on the first two ideas, but the third has got to go.”

Lala laughed, “I don’t think you really understand your role here.”

“Role?  You will suffer if you chose to stay in this room and not implement my inspiration.”

Lala scoffed and ignored the muse.  She threw herself into the work, but her ideas did not flow; she felt creatively blocked.  Sketching the third idea was like trying to manoeuvre a paintbrush with her toes.  The images would not translate onto paper.  But Lala kept drawing, too committed to her method.

Through the night, Lala persisted with her work but not without rebellion from Muse Leira.  Over the next few nights, Leira appeared to the dog outside Lala’s room.  At first, the barking only distracted Lala slightly, as she told herself that she would get used to it, just as she got used to the other sounds of the town.

Hours upon hours, the dog barked outside of her window, a rhythmic barking that ricocheted off the walls of the colonel’s room—every burst of canine scream was a wack over Lala’s ears. Muse Leira appeared over Lala as she drew, willing her own inspiration into the artist’s mind.  The more Lala resisted, the more Leira’s inspiration would change shape and become stronger.  With every wave of inspiration, Lala’s drawing began to warp and transform as well, into circles and lines, a battle strategy that she could not decipher.

The church bells clanged, the roosters cooed and every dog in that town barked simultaneously in the same rhythmic pattern. Lala covered her ears and screamed as an image of Muse Leira and Colonel Morgado emerged from a white fog with their troops behind them.  Flashes of bloodshed, of flesh in the air, a mix or white and red coalesced into a pink cloud.  They marched on through the pink fog…then, as quickly as it came, the image went dark again.  A new image came into Lala’s mind.  The artist, followed by her drones and muses, sitting atop a globe, sitting atop with someone she had never met before…working together towards a common goal. 

Lala began drawing the new image, and as she drew, the cacophony outside dulled; it subsided. Muse Leira appeared at her side with a hesitant smile.  Lala finished the drawing, but just as her pencil left the paper, the noise started up again.

Lala covered her ears and Muse Leira peered closer at the new concept for the third painting.  She read the title below:

Canvas 3: “Together, We Conquer the World.”

Muse Leira couldn’t have been happier with the results of their collaboration—she thought of Colonel Morgado, their late nights together planning their battle strategies, side by side like in Lala’s drawing.  Before the Colonel’s death, Muse Leira thought that they would one day conquer the world, and now through Lala Drona’s piece, in some way, they had. 

Muse Leira looked up from the sketch, and found Lala packing her bags.  The barking had stopped outside, but continued to pulsate through Lala’s mind. 

“The barking in my head won’t stop.” Lala said.  Lala held her head and threw her backpack over her shoulder.  She smiled.  “And I think our work here is done.”  She approached Muse Leira, who was standing in front of the door of the room.  Lala stood there, canvases under her arms, and looking Leira up and down.  She took a deep breath and then hugged her. “Thank you, Leira…for everything— I know I’m not easy to work with, and my inspiration extraction techniques are unconventional, but I knew you could do it all along.”  Lala patted Leira on the shoulder.  “Well done.”  Lala sighed, pushed through the doorway, and ventured into the night. 

Lala: The European Art Tour

25 Oct

BOAF european art tour

Since her return to Paris last May, Lala Drona doesn’t seem to be able to keep her feet on the ground!  From France, to Spain and now to Portugal, her European tour is causing a media art frenzy!

In June 2018, Lala began her European tour at an art residency in Seville, Spain.  She spoke with the local media before her exhibition there “The Power of the Click” to tell them that she had been staying at the residency with seven other women artists from around the world.  “I had already lived with seven women once in a favela in Brazil in 2010, so I had my reservations about living with so many women at once, however, I was surrounded by so many talented, warm-hearted and hard-working artists.  I felt fortunate to be part of such an incredible team.”

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“The Power of the Click” triptych by Lala Drona

She went on to explain that the ecosystem of feminine energy and experience intensified her feminist beliefs and contributed to the creation of her triptych “The Power of the Click”—a piece which examines how our digital actions on women’s bodies can have consequences in the real world.  She continues to have strong links with some of the artists, and says that these artists support and inspire each other everyday through voice message notes.

Lala returned to Paris in August, where she recharged and replenished her inspiration receptors.  It was during this time that she locked herself in to her workshop and broadened the scope through which she viewed her current area of artistic research.

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Title: Speak or Listen, Artist: Lala Drona, Acrylic on canvas 50cm x 60cm Paris France, 2018

She had been sensing the world changing due to the growth of social media, a positive change where everyone started to have an opinion and exercised their voice.  And at the same time, a rise in the tendency to not listen to people when recounting their experiences.  “It’s important to remember that every conversation is not an attack or a debate, but that sometimes we are just sharing stories.

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Title: Zoom in 1, Artist: Lala Drona, Acrylic on canvas 50cm x 60cm Paris France, 2018

We don’t always have to prepare a rebuttal.  I notice a lack of picking up on those conversational nuances, a lack of knowing when to listen, and when to speak.  That’s why I created this painting [Speak or Listen].”
Through September and October, Lala stayed in Paris to show her work in an exhibition in the Marais, and work in another art residency.  Here, she decided to create 3 different paintings on one canvas (each new painting covering the last).  This concept aimed to push the artist to experiment and develop her style without the pressure of “the end result” looming over.  “I took aspects from the first and second paintings that I liked, and integrated them into the third painting.

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Title: Presenteeism, Artist: Lala Drona, Acrylic on canvas 100cm x 100cm Paris France, 2018

This method also gave me the freedom to try out new concepts in the first two draft paintings to know if I liked them enough to try them again in future paintings.”  She finished with the piece “Presenteeism,” a painting which examines how social media contributes to the overwhelming pressure to be seen/present at all times.  Lala plans to continue developing the geometric style found in this painting and further research the topic of how our digital lives on social media and the internet affect us IRL.  

 

During the months of November and December, Lala will participate in another artist in residency program in Alentejo, Portugal.  Here, she will continue research on her topic and create 2-3 painting to be shown in an exhibition in Portugal in December.  “I’m going into my project in Portugal with an open mind.  I’m waiting to be inspired by the moment.  I will definitely continue researching the same topic, but I have no images in mind yet.”

As far as the rest of the year goes, Lala has plenty of projects lined up.  We’ve heard rumours of Norway and New York, and have confirmed that she’ll have an exhibition in Lithuania this summer, and another in Finland in the fall. Get ready to see a lot of Lala Drona in 2019.

Jeff Southers, Columbus Ohio Journal of the Creative Arts

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