Seeking correspondence between landscape and myth, Castañeda Arbeláez’s artistic journey poetically captures the organic cycle of nature and its transformations through the passage of time. This time in Ho Chi Minh City, Natalia Castañeda Arbeláez shares her ever-evolving travel diary, planted in the rite and movement of the city’s water flow.
“My work has focused on the landscape through painting and drawing, expanding its boundaries into space, narrative and time. This has allowed me to address the notion of the territory from different instances; where cartography has been the tool to draw free paths from affection, memory and the mystical journey towards a respectful admiration to the environment that seeks to restore the essential and spiritual relationship with nature.”
In Castaneda Arbelaez’s two works, a sketch book documented her observations of the liquid scenery and mapped its flow in urban mechanism, and a video was an audiovisual essay threading the physical landscape and its symbolic and mythical ancestor. Sinuous shapes appear in dreamlike sequence, narrating tales of beings fluidly thriving among the river stream.
Natalia Castañeda Arbeláez (b. 1982, Colombia)’s practice expands the limits of drawing and painting, bringing them closer to sculpture, creating topographies that reveal themselves through their interaction with the observer. The atmospheric patterns and gestural impulses retain the poetic approach of craftsmanship in order to get immersed into the landscape through unexpected encounters. She works the territory from cartography for free ranging, departing from emotion, memory, the journey and mysticism, and seeking a respectful sight of the environment to restore the essential and spiritual connection with nature.
Castañeda’s 4-week residency belongs to a collaborative effort between the ‘National Incentives Program’ of the Colombian Ministry of Culture and ‘San Art Laboratory’. This program understand that to enable artistic exchange via the creation of new work, there must be stimulated dialog between cultures and producers to expand the horizon of critical thinking. Two Colombian contemporary artists have been chosen from a national call across Colombia, to spend at one month in Ho Chi Minh City in 2015 and 2016 to produce new artworks in collaboration with local artists.