ArtAttack is proud to present our latest ‘Artist of the Week’, Ana Carolina Rodrigues. Artists of the week are selected by the ArtAttack team from the diverse and eclectic group of artist users on our app.
ArtAttack visited Portuguese artist Ana Carolina Rodrigues in her west London studio, to discover more about her enigmatic, captivating sculptures and hear how artists and footballers may not be so different after all!
I first discovered your work at the Chelsea College of Arts Masters’ show last year. How did you find the experience of studying in London?
When I started my masters I really wanted to rethink my practice and work with new materials. From October until May I faced a very difficult period – I was feeling completely distant from my work and there was a lack of understanding, I didn’t feel anything. Terrible! I kept trying different materials, and noticed a particular affinity with organic materials. I found this wood – very long, very thin – and it interested me, so I started working with it. I just began by simply sanding the piece and getting these extremely thin shapes. From that point I began enjoying and getting a better understanding of my work.
Tell us more about your creative process?
Well during this period, my colleagues wanted to know what I was doing and where I was going. For me understanding the material is central – getting a feeling for the wood and how it works. But at the same time, it is really important just to let it go, enjoy the process of your work. And trust is such an important thing – you just have to say “well lets see what happens.”
Following this experiment, I made a suspended piece in Ultramarine blue, very thin very light so I could invisibly suspend it so that it looks almost like a wound in space.
How do ideas interact with this very physical process?
I am not sure that they do! What is the point of illustrating an idea? I am trying to discover new things, if I have an idea already in my mind there is no point!
I don’t really ever start anything new, I just continue to work. With my following wood sculptures, I just started to pick up a slightly bigger piece and carving inside, like an injury.
Art is not different from a football – you just need to practice! Do it again and again and again, so I did another and another and another. Especially in my work there are just subtle differences that I progress. When I come to the studio it gives me the space to just work then think, then work some more. Chelsea was great for this, the discipline of being in the studio every day, having the opportunity to talk to my fellow students. I think I was lucky, they were lucky, we all pushed hard together and were very honest with each other.
Sometimes you don’t know what you are doing – but this should not be an excuse not to do, not to experiment. Sometimes art is not about simply what one can see or understand: I think you need a certain blindness to get on. It is in creation that you begin to see and understand, where you can discover new feelings and new meanings.
How did you find the shift out of art school?
Coming out of university a group of ten of us organised ourselves and found a studio, so here it we are. It is more or less the second year of a Masters without the tutors, its great! It really is amazing, we can still discuss our work together. The ideas and that process of discussion is very important. We moved here last December and have all been here since, although it was a little painful as there was no heating. It is very beautiful all this glass [in the studio] but it was also hard, the thermometer was 2c in the studio!
What is next?
I am doing a residency at the Charlie Whinney Studio in the Lake District. Working with wood is like learning a new language for me, so it is very exciting!
To see more of Ana’s work, visit his profile on ArtAttack App as well his exclusive Curated Collection on the ‘Curated Art’ page! GB link below or just search ‘ArtAttack – Share Sell Network’ on App Store:
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