Amor- you beat my nature
From your power I will not win
In the rocks, you’re hiding flowers
Blooming silently within
Son of Venus, blind my eyes
Show me the sea, the grass , the wind
Break my heart I will not cry
For the flowers’ still within
Sometimes, when we introduce Nuria Maria to our visitors, they often ask us if she is Spanish. Both names, Nuria and Maria, are very common names in our country so, although we always correct them and explain that she is, in fact, Dutch, we do not deny that their confusion is well founded.
When the artist decided to name her most recent exhibition at Alzueta Gallery, her connection to Spain was not hidden, on the contrary, she made use of Catalan to name it. To satisfy the curious, Nuria Maria writes about the inspiration behind her new series, her love for the landscapes of Catalonia and reflects on time, love and nature.
Left: Detail shoot of Letter In Green and Beige, 2022. Acrylic on wood. 70 x 60 cm. Right: The artists in her studio.
‘Sòl Sec’ – ‘Dry Ground’ is an ode to the Catalan landscape.
Spending time painting at the Costa Brava last year led to a new colour palette in my work: The faded, eroded colours around the coastline effected my paintings deeply. I fell in love with the sun-stained and salt-faded colours of the area, and became deeply fascinated with the idea of how time is shown so beautifully by this given; the sea-salt eroding the colours of the area over the years. Showing how everything is intertwined in nature. The salt showing a savoury line between origin and bloom.
For this show I wanted to continue on this new palette. But being back in The Netherlands the line also took another direction. Where the approach in Catalunya was more directly from nature to canvas, now the approach had become more personal. Working from my memory, specific moments from Catalunya were being filtered out in my head. And sitting in my white atelier, especially one moment kept crossing my mind.
Sailing along the coastline. The deep blue sea and the wind. On a little boat we are passing by the big granite rocks. These mighty high rocks. The lines in the stone. The fossils that must be hidden in there. The history they carry and the fresh sea water splashing against the shore. Bright sunlight shining on the warm sandy surface of the granite, cool on the inside. They stand tall, high and dry.
The red granite became a leading image for making this show.
Taking the Catalan nature as a base idea for the paintings, one element was building a significant foundation: under every image there it was: the dry ground. High rocks. warm sand. Dry rye fields and bright field flowers. Dust on the road. Succulents on stones.
Shadows under the pine trees that grow from the dry soil nourishing the plants. White oleanders and their roots growing in the dry rocky ground. Warm stones in the sand, big cliffs along the coastline and the rock
bottom of the sea, carrying the clear water. Where the sea salt erodes colours and shows the passing of the time, the rocks and ground for me stand more for the keepers of the time. The layer under all things. The dry foundation of this rich nature.
Sól Sec. The base ground for the colours of the area and the solid carrier for everything that grows from it.
Detail shoot of White Blue, 2022. Acrylic on linen. 160 x 130 cm.