Pull The Metal
Conversation with Pepo Mareno, 2010
“WHEN I WAS VERY YOUNG I HAD SYNAESTHETIC DREAMS. I DREAMT OF WHITE SPACES IN WHICH THERE WERE THESE SIMPLE, BRIGHT GEOMETRIC FORMS MOVING ROUND A CENTRE POINT THAT DISSOLVED INTO A DARK CHAOS”. REBECCA PARTRIDGE’S (YORKSHIRE, 1976), PAINTS INFINITE, NEVER ENDING, BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPES. INSPIRED BY GEOMETRY AND COLOR, SHE CREATED A PERSONAL CHAOS THEORY ABOUT EXISTENCE THROUGH HER PAINTINGS. LAST WEEK WE COULD TALK WITH HER IN BERLIN, AFTER THE OPENING OF HER LAST EXHIBITION IN THE CENTRE OF ENDLESS PROGRESS: BILDERKOSMOS. HERE IS THE RESULT.
Can you describe your work in few words?
Painting, some oils on board and other works on paper
Who are your main references in art creation?
Well of course I am always looking at what is going on now, but really the main references trace all the way back from cave art, religious architecture and later traditions of the sublime and geometric abstraction. Im always looking for the deeper thread.
Your last exhibition, Bilderkosmos, was inaugurated last week in The Center of Endless Progress in Berlin. How was the reaction?
It has been great actually, its a very fresh body of work for me so I was a little apprehensive but I have had some really nice responses about how the work feels alive and I couldn’t ask for more than that.
If we take a look to your artwork, it’s easy to identify a clear evolution. Taking the colors and the geometry as inspiration, you are know mixing this concepts with pantheistic landscapes. We can say there’s something divine floating in your paintings. Am I right?
Its a difficult subject, but essentially yes. There has been so many problems since the sixties talking about mystical notions in relation to something as reduced as geometric abstraction, but I think the baby was thrown out with bathwater as they say. Im very interested in neuroaesthestic research and how this sheds new light on how we experience the world aesthetically, and the connections I make between abstraction and landscape reflect this. Id dare to say there are certain aesthetic archetypes, but these are still very abstract notions. Ultimately I want to make something light and expansive, I want to challenge the notion that its not possible to be both intelligent and optimistic…
You are living in between Berlin and London. What has Berlin that London doesn´t and the other way around?
I don’t know if I can really pin down how the art scene is different, it just has a very different energy. You really have to fight to make it in London, but when you get there there its a very exciting place.
I’ve read how colors are influencing you all the time. According to this moment of your life, what color do you feel?
There is so much curiosity around this currently, but its a very matter of fact thing. There is no real emotional relationship, its more that I automatically connect colors with numbers, days of the week and letters. Its a neurological blip I think! But also not uncommon. Its wednesday now, so yes I have a beige color in the back of my mind. It has definitely given me a thirst for color though, I can get a real hit from it.
If you weren´t an artist, what would you want to be?
I have been teaching recently and I love that. Something with people, this is a very solitary job.
Any other exhibition soon? Are you working in new projects?
Im showing some older work in the Biennale of Light Art in Austria in September, then heading to Iceland for a residency, followed by a show in Yorkshire (out in the moors which is very exciting, Its where I come from so Im taking it back to the source!). Next year Im showing in Sweden in february then working at CCA Mallorca in Spring, so yes its busy right now.