Everything and All at Once
Leiminspace, Los Angeles CA
A small girl holding the gut of an abalone, iridescent green, a wet and soft balloon around partially digested kelp. Feeling for a pearl, the swish of liquid like a tiny sea in her hands, is there something hard inside or infinite softness?
Vanesa’s sculptures are built through a series of gentle restraints, wrapped and bowed through tension. The structure of warp and weft, of a braid, a twine, the creak of a bent branch, the mucous bind of abaca fibers, finding these points of material tension is like reaching for the edge of a stretch - a space of sensation. Through slow and unforgiving processes, Vanesa finds the limits of her materials and work against them. Braiding reeds and bending wood, lines are determined in part by the tactile strength of the materials - listening to them, or to the internal logic of a weave split into smaller braids, is a kind of thinking beyond verbalization that privileges tactility and a receptivity to the material, sensorial world.
Suspended knots, mobiles, and holes with their skeletal armatures and paper skins act as implacable bodies, neither human nor animal, living nor dead, rife with holes, membranes shifting and opening. They suggest our own bodies, yet it is unclear what orifice, whether inside or outside, human form or alien cocoon. In her work, Vanesa seeks something that feels true in the continuum between masculine and feminine, light and dark, plant, insect, human, and animal - not as dualities, but often equivalencies, everything and all at once.