BLUE MY MIND Amalia Gil-Merino Germany/Spain

My name is Amalia. I am a Spanish artist, after my degree from the University of Berlin (UdK /FU) stayed here in Germany for almost an eternity now.

Forest Nymph
metamarphic stone, malachite, turquoise

In “Fühlinger Lake” next to my studio in Cologne (Germany) there are hardly any people and during this quarantine it has become a refuge and inspiration. It is neighbourhood to the Rhine River, where the Romans located the city and “The Nibelung Legend” arose.

The idea of excavating the past surrounds my art practice, especially my sculptures, which I located as part of the landscape; as if, during this lockdown the artworks themselves were part of this nature. The carved stones between bushes and flowers make me think about ancient civilizations and all the dreams we carry. As trained archaeologist eternity somehow matters, even just a part of an artwork has strong meaning. I wanted to transmit this, part of the whole but at the same time the whole as part in the nature.

It is strange to see nobody, as if we practically never existed. While preparing these artworks I was inspired by poems and folktales but along the lake and forest they have another voice. That is confusing, it blows the mind. The COVID-19 pandemic puts down our own existence.

Mother Earth’s kiss

It is said that “colour me blue” comes from “blue devils”-hallucinations and a sense of melancholy. Walking along the Rhine River and the lake, with sculptures and echoes of siren-myths and dragons…. colour me blue, blue my mind.

Tell me a story

Next sharing with you the process with metamorphic stone and pigments;
and the virtual walk along the river/ lake with those stories of sirens and dragons by site.

  1. Avatar photo
    Anastasia Patsey

    Hi, Amalia! And welcome to the virtual residency.
    This is a beautiful contribution, thank you. The objects look so natural, but yet so alienated in this surrounding. Also mysterious. I think it was a great idea to take them outside. I know an artist who works with landscape sculpture. She once said: “When I’m working on the piece in my studio it’s hard to imagine how it will look like outdoors. It will be put in a serious concurrence with the trees, the sky, the stones, and the grass around. And if it survives it and doesn’t get lost, I will know that I made a good work”.
    Well, I think your objects definitely “survived” in the nature. I like how they merged with the grass, the leafs and the trees, but still kept their “autonomy”.

    Was it the first time you took them outside?

    Also, could you tell a couple of words about your background and how the experience in archeology (if I understood it correct) influenced your art practice?

    1. Amalia Gil-Merino

      Hi Anastasia and everybody!
      Nice to meet you all too:)
      This is a very insightful thought about how artists feel and think. Thank you for sharing it here and make us connect to a deeper level.

      Actually the idea of taking the sculptures outside came very spontaneously while walking in the forest.. and now I think why I didn’t do it before? This lockdown is surreal and make us question our place, our dreams and hopes.

      I am Spanish, after my studies in Paris I went to Berlin to study at the University of Fine Arts. Before the academic year started I visited the Pergamon Museum and was so intrigued and fascinated with the Ishtar gate (Babylonian Goddess of love and war), that I asked my professors if I could combine my studies in the two universities (UdK and the department of Orient Archaeology)
      I was always surrender with fairytales and folklore, mythology and almost every culture on the planet. So even if I work mainly with painting and sculpture I did some other projects like in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania) that show my love too for fauna and nature. Oft I represent these anthropomorphic symbiosis (animal-human-nature)

      The making process of the sculptures is quite straightforward: the stone “tells you what is inside” so if you listen carefully you can visualize it by taking the material for the first time in your hands.
      I really like softer stones because they allow you to work faster and playfully. The last steps are amazing: I combine other minerals (like turquoise, malachite, jade..) and then the colour mysterously pop up. I can honestly say that the end work is always better that I imagined. Then you know you did a good job.
      In this project nature really help me:)… I was carrying the sculptures to the lake and because the surrounding area was empty I could concentrate as if even me wasn’t there.
      There were like flashbacks from when I was sculpting and by instint I was selecting the threes, brushes and flowers, that fit naturally or better said: the sculptures found their place as if they rested there forever.
      Next post I hope to transmit this making process.

  2. Avatar photo
    Cynthia Fusillo

    I love seeing Art in Nature if saying, “ I belong in the world.”..thank you

    1. Amalia Gil-Merino

      Thank you Cynthia. You are right we belong in the world, we belong here and everywhere. This is important to remember that we exist and belong during these times of isolation.

  3. Avatar photo
    Nazar Niazmetov

    I like your art, thank you for sharing!

    I have some associations with archaic half-ruined Egyptian sculptures of the Met. Curious to see differences in lips!

    Also, I think it will be interesting for you see objects of Russian artist Egor Kraft from CONTENT AWARE STUDIES project

    1. Amalia Gil-Merino

      Thank you Nazar!
      That is incredible: you point out the fragment of the Egyptian queen in yellow jasper I had in mind:)
      Years ago we prepared a project with the Louvre Paris-Pergamon Berlin, and regretted in New York’Met not having it.. then the project was already finished.
      This is the cover of a book about Queens of Egypt, powerful women so contemporary and timeless.

      Egor is quite interesting artist. I was talking to my brother about him and the Artificial intelligence programs to apply on art. Curiously he as astrophisic was more interested in stones and nature.

      1. Avatar photo
        Nazar Niazmetov

        Thank you for your reply, Amalia.
        I am happy that my thoughts were relevant to the art project!

  4. Ciana Fitzgerald

    This is beautiful! I was living in Germany for three years right before this lockdown started (Berlin & Leipzig) and actually just moved back to Ireland from Leipzig right before the borders closed (three days before !!) so I relate to the German parks being surreal in their absence of human presence. Everywhere was like an Edward Hopper painting.

    I think you would really love the work of Alina Szapocnikow if you don’t already know her, your work reminded me of her sculptures, she’s one of my favourite artists of this medium. Great work looking forward to seeing more!

    1. Ciana Fitzgerald

      sorry I left out a letter, *Szapocznikow

    2. Amalia Gil-Merino

      Hello Ciana, thank you!
      What a surprise, I didn’t know her but now I feel her delicate work is already familiar:)
      Actually your artwork was the first I discovered in this residency and felt directly very connected to you.
      How you described the U-Bahn station is real love and we love Berlin right? I lived there for 10 years and moved to Cologne, where these sculptures are hidden in the nature.

      Sometimes the nature is at the same time so brutal and beautiful that I just want to dance and let the videocamara capture the moment. So similar to your painting and video process: both part of the whole.

      When I finished the day with the sculptures at the lake I honestly asked myself if I found the sculptures already so, as if I dreamed I created them. It was almost an hallucination.

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