ABOUT THE EXHIBITION "ROMANAS" by Irina Larios
BAELO CLAUDIA Tarifa (Cadiz)
The creative capacity of Irina Larios is surprising in this new proposal that she presents in the museum next to the Roman ruins of Baelo.
The author immerses us in a "sculptural installation" that has its origin in the discovery of the first tomb dedicated to a woman in Hispania (Junia Rufina). Irina not only does an impeccable work based on ceramics, she presents us with a "tableau" where tradition, creativity and intelligence come together.
It seemed that the stars were hidden and that the names of women and their identity had disappeared in a kind of black hole of ignorance. Irina rediscovers the light in these stars of beautiful Roman names, giving them recognition and personality through identifiable forms, liveliness of expression and movement.
Irina Larios' proposal excites, the place where they are exhibited so close to the archaeological discovery, too. A universal but very intimate exhibition, where each name and its image appear in that immense and solitary firmament. I am not sure if they resemble the saints in a church altarpiece or rather a starry sky and perhaps happy to have regained their brightness and humanity.
Antonio S. Alarcón
Dr. Bellas Artes
There is no better understanding that the one stablished between a work of art and it's viewer. The poem, the painting, or the music. All of these take us by the hand and transport us into their world; and for that we feel specially alive and present, when we give up to that interchange, when we contemplate something that´s been created. ¿How does a work of art permeate our lives and what promises will it deliver?
Some works remain hidden, some talk to our senses because the miraculous gaze of the artist captures and liberates only the essentials. Irina has chosen a theme that has an external skin of feathers whose mystery cannot be shown. She talks from that place in life, different for each of us, that we hope to fill with the experience of art, and transports us to the vast landscape that surrounds her life.
To conceptualize her personal life as a work of art is the main trait precisely describe Irina's preferences.
From he daily experience She projects a shiny reflection on her sculptures, where the threads of daily life weave her poems. Sometimes the language is casual, and familiar.
Sometimes is detached and foreign to us. There is a certain aesthetics in repetition; much like a poem does with different verses or a melody with different notes form is also the growth of a living organism from a set of premises which the creator artist has chosen from.
And as light forms shadow, and the root holds the poppy flower straight, or the surface ripples announce an abysmal depth, Irina rescues poetry from her surroundings.
Soledad Sevilla 2010
TIME AND SPACE
Descartes separated space from time; we can return to a place again and again, like the birds, but we cannot find the now.
An artist creation returns past to present, recovers an instant already defeated, he perpetuates the moment and forces time and space to be an inseparable couple.
Irina's last works have captured the ambiguity of these concepts and show with intuition and simplicity the crossroads.
Space, as natural milieu for birds and the mysterious migratory returns.
Time, webbed by the threads of opposing directions.
Irina's gaze confronts us to that mystery not easily explainable with words, and at once moves us deeply.
Galería Nando Argüelles, Agosto 2012
IRINA LARIOS: A MARVELLOUS SENSE OF INVENTION
It is rare to find a potter like Irina Larios who in every work has the capacity to surprise. Too often potters offer us predictable shapes, no matter how well crafted, and confine their color and glaze to a narrow range. In contrast Lariospossesses a marvellous sense of invention combined with exquisite refinement in a constantly evolving style, resulting in sculptural forms that are both visually pleasing and challenging.
Like all good artists, her visión is truly individual. She presents us with nothing facile and manages to convey the sensation that each object is the product of careful thought, of testing the possibilities of a particular shape until perfection is reached. Whether it is her series of perched birds, her leaf-pod shapes or great roundels, one feels these are produced in monastic silence as her ideas work through the poetry of her hands. The result is an immensely confident artistic statement that opens new horizons in modern ceramics.
Her creations not only enjoy their own special space but invite one to touch, lift them or run fingers over their surface. This is not merely because of their beauty and harmony. They also manage to retain a link wuth the clay from wich they have been born. The natural world, in the broadest sense, is buried within them. Thus even when the shapes are deliberately distanced from nature, Larios´ inspiration from natur enhances their naturalness.
The success of her sculptural forms is completed by a scrupulous attention to the colouring and glaze. Here she is at ease with different techniques and displays an unerring sense of color and its contrasts. Her colouring is never crude, always subtle. These are ceramics, wherever placed inside or outside, that give us constant pleasure and hold their own against sculpture in bronze, wood or marble.
Journalist and Critic of the Financial Times
The worlds Irina Larios investigates are many and varied. From her work in ceramics emerge gigantic seeds, fragments of rain, blue diabolos, circular hills, black holes.... Countless adventures always advancing, like their maker, with delicate deliberation towards that which belongs to another world.
More often than not, their materialization contains a certain quiet musicality. Occasionally they incorporate birds whose presence give scale – or scales – to such musical landscapes. However, sometimes these very birds fly away to then either alone or in groups perch on cables, poles or rooves. On these occasions, where they form the focal point of the sculpture, they take on the magical duties of the traditional work of art.
It is said that in the 5th century BC, Greece was renowned for the contest to decide who was the greater painter between Zeuxis and Parrasios. When Zeuxis drew back the curtain covering his painting, the birds flocked to peck the grapes painted there. Then he asked Parrasios to pull back the curtain covering his, but Parrasios replied that he couldn’t as it was painted on the canvas. “I have managed to take in the birds, but Parrasios has managed to flummox me”, Zeuxis commented nobly.
In the middle of the 20th century, upon analyzing this legend, Jacques Lacan noticed something that differentiates humans from all other animals: whilst they concentrate on the appearance of things, we are attracted to what inhabits the interior.
And something like this occurs with Irina’s birds. It is true that their artistic quality is undeniable, as also the careful selection of clays and metals, the subtle depth of the varnish, the slightly cracked varnish of the feathers or the happy harmony of the colors. All of these are blatantly obvious, they are things which spring to mind or are palpable to the touch for those of us who dare to possess them. But furthermore, in the silent recesses of the soul, to touch them is sometimes to evoke an effect similar to that of Aladdin’s Lamp. Those birds somehow are able to describe oriental evenings for us or they can transport you to places you may have dreamed of, or maybe remind you of near-forgotten stories. I am not exaggerating: Once upon a time a bird came to die at my home. It perched on my finger, on my head, on my camera and fluttered happily around me. After a very few minutes, we were so fond of each other, it was as if we had known each other for years. When I prepared food, it came with me but would eat nothing.
Later on, a little less full of zest, it accompanied me for my siesta and perched near my hand. When I awoke, it was lying cold and stiff on the blanket beside me.
This short and very minor episode (perhaps too personal) happened about 15 years ago and didn’t last more than three hours or so. If I am telling you about it here it is because a long time afterwards, in the same house and in the same room, I was given one of Irina’s birds thus bringing back memories of a past friendship. It was one of those minor art miracles... It was like a powerful flashback which brought home to me all that was extraordinary in that humble story. The poetic experience of the past reappeared as I was given that present.
The living and the dead, the past and the present, the great and the small were delicately combined, as if detached from time.
Conjuring up the legend of Chuang Tzu and the butterfly, that fleeting meeting could have announced the creation of this ceramic piece or maybe it had come into being in order to shelter in its interior – unforgettably – the memory of that little bird. When I look at it now as the morning light shines on its skin, I feel a huge sense of gratitude and believe both meanings must be true. Felt, of course, from the deep and indemonstrable certitude by which art allows us to sense what lies beyond our reach.
CERAMIC ASSOCIATION OF CATALONIA
The works shown by Irina Larios at the Ceramic Association of Catalonia go beyond one single horizon. Irina has made spheres of air, of water and fire; she has also made flying saucers that want to take of.
At the far end of the gallery lays the clay body of the potter, his empty siluette is filled with broken found pieces of roman pots, his body has an aura thats invites dreaming in to a timeless space.
There is a particular turquoise blue sphere with algae, an ocean of water, weed tickles the fish on the surface. Further on there is a sky blue sphere with sparrows flying on its surface, another like a volcano,chinese red, but the fire is cool, it wont burn.
In this daydreaming I met old friends; their names are Crome, Iron, Copper..., faithful in the periodic table of elements. However ancient they may be, they look young under the magic spell of Irina¨s craft.
Vulcano the fire, Eolus the wind. and where is she?,Artemissia the witch, where is she hiding? what arts does she use? that turn the old metals , iron, cobalt, manganese into young lads.
The magic resides in the nearby music of the sea, the golden sunset, the silver moon. all thees are the secret recipes, don't look further, its all here , just let yourself be carried away and wake up enjoying Irina´s pieces.