Breathing Waves

Breathing Waves was Paola Idrontino’s first solo show curated by Laura Cornejo. It showcases textile sculptures and photographic work related to the beauty of our world’s oceans and the devastating effects of climate change on coral reefs. The show was open to the public from Nov 8th to Dec 27th 2019, at Les Bernardes Art Exhibition Centre, Girona (Catalonia, Spain)

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In Breathing Waves, Paola Idrontino – a.k.a. “Papayapie”– shows her fascination produced by the sea. At the same time, the artist tries to understand the strange way in which humans relate to this extremely powerful entity on our planet, which breathes life, and that literature has described as a metaphor of life. British author Philip Hoare reminds us: “The sea, like the imagination of the writer or the artist, carries all kinds of obsessions, stories and ambitions.” Paola Idrontino’s photographs and textile sculptures also express affection for tales and myths, with references to a feminine world that professes to be the protective deity of underwater creatures. To honour the physical dimension of the oceans, the artist chooses to represent its beauty – exuberant and chromatic – assuming it as a metaphysical context that defines and connects us. However, the majestic anthropomorphic creations sewn by Idrontino’s hand, also magnify with their preciousness the other side of the mask and what is hidden under the disguise: a condition of fragility and climatic urgency – like the whitening of coral reefs – that instigates the participation, interpretation and awareness of the viewer. Submerging oneself in art has a lot to do with submerging oneself, without knowing what will happen when you delve into its waters, and facing Paola Idrontino’s work we penetrate an extraordinary abyss, simultaneously perceptible and hidden, that sensitizes us with each wave. (by Laura Cornejo Brugués, exhibition curator)