Paula Förstner is an artist based in Madrid, working within the field of visual arts. She will be staying in Raizvanguarda for two weeks working on a project called “Seas of Fire” inspired by the quote “I am drowning, my dear, in seas of fire” by Virginia Woolfe.
This sentence of the feminist Virginia Wolfe is a metaphor of the way many women felt and feel today, caged in traditional roles both in family and society even political ties. It illuminates how many women live in society but don’t play an active role in it, which is exactly what Förstner is attempting to illustrate as well with her work.
Förstner has acquired materials such as pictures taken for a local seamstress from private donations as well as from the local abandoned paper factory. Her work focuses on the transparency of the materials and the way the paper works with natural light. There is an ongoing theme of womanhood and passion and how these themes have developed over time in her works. As Förstner gathered materials, she felt inspiration from the tiles that ornate the Portuguese houses in the villages surrounding Raizvanguarda, and she uses it as a format in many of her works.
Förstner states: “I started developing an artwork trying to bring forward their dreams, suffering, and lives reflected in old pictures taken usually once in their lives as a sort of proof of existence”.
As Förstner works, she thinks a lot about the women in the pictures, which are dated all the way back to before the 1920’s. She reflects on how their lives must’ve been and how they felt about the roles they were expected to fill. The pictures, as well as the other materials, are very precious to her and she works with it with remarkable consideration. For Förstner, the way she alters the pictures and other materials, it’s a way of commemorating the women, to pay an homage to their memory and to raise awareness of their situation.
On the 26th of August 2017 at 8 pm, Paula Förstner will have an exhibition at Raizvanguarda where she will exhibit her works in collaboration with the artist and photographer, Beatriz M. Barrio.
If you want to see more of Paula’s work, go visit her web page.