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2007: Lucila Rolón -'El juego de la vida' Magazine Aerolineas Argentinas

The game of life

Aged ten she knew art was for her and she went straight after it. Over four decades later, the Argentine Silvia Brewda shows she was no mistaken. Her output covers paintings, works on paper, objects, gemes, artist’s books, games and murals. 'I’m passionate, never satisfied and always seek more', she says. That is certainly true. Intelligently and subtly, the artista given life to the widest variety of works, always inter-related, all supported by many hours devoted to research. She first set off on the adventure of retrieving history poking around in the remains of the Hellenic 5th Century. At the hand of Pandora she tackled the role of women and every day life in ancient Greece. Then she connected with the games, their origins, football, cars and specific message: 'Humans have the chance to preserve forever that creative part with wich the child placed. Far from being the heritage of childhood, games may apear throughout life in all sociological behavior'. This is her proposal. Atempting invitation to shake everyday monotony. A wink at freedom
They say your works are the result of your interpretation of the human condition. What do you think?
It’s true I never did landscapes or still life. Although my work is almost abstract, like the last i worked on, people are always present. I’m interested to see their behavior, i always make descriptions of their lifestyle, reality, feelings. I seek it through history, and that is what connects my series.
What gives rise to the need to investigate before tackling your works?
I don’t really know where it comes from. It’s always been that way, a need to think about the concept i want to work on, to then begin to get inside the idea, investigate it, find a clear meaning for me to then think how I’m going to work it out. I think the work has to have an idea behind it, good technique isn’t enough.
Nevertheless, many great artits were recognized chiefly for their skill.
Yes, because that was the academic mandate. When i began studying, over 40 years ago, work started out from the technique, it arose from taking hold ofthe brush, the oil and playing with colors. A good artista was one who had ability, a good hand, a good drawing, ideas weren’t so important. Luckily, over the years and with experience, I was abel to put into my work all that interested me and i was learning within and outside Fine Art.
The creative process isn’t always pleasurable. How was it for you in a jolly subject like the series of games?
It was very happy. It sold, I won prizes, and i’m very fond of it, because when people stand in front of its pieces they immediately soften and smile.
It’s a subject that marked you out both personally and professionally.
I was investigating from the historical aspect and that led me to the games. Before that i had dealt with the myth of Babel, the link between destruction and construction. While i was documenting it all, i found other very intresting things. I investigated crypts, saracophagi and amphorae of the Helenic 5th Century, pieces depicting aspects of their life in their decorative bands: they tell of dances, their make up and how they played. For example, I saw that the most of the games were between children and mothers, never fathers. This was new to me and I used it to put together the project “Sinfín” (endless) and the series “Piedra Libre” (free stone), so that the game never stops. This is her Desire, tangible in the three phases of her work on games. The first is documentary in nature, with information based on the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. The second is base don the more social aspect, like board games and random luck not skill And the third is almost autobiographical. 'It was born as a toy but it marked the aesthetic of craziness for the body', she explains. At the same time, she worked on wooden perinolas, an ancient toy as opposed to the figure of a doll. 'Barbie represents the sophisticated 20th Century; and the perinola is pure simplicity, effective fun throughout the ages'.
You talk with much affection of this work. How was exhibiting it and selling it?
When the works are in the studio that’s one thing, but when they go out into the gallery that’s something else. It’s hard, one becomes fond of them because behind each object there’s a lot of work, time and dedication. It’s like mourning, a parting. But it’s also very positive and it has to be done.
How do you think about the spectator?
It’s very important. At the exhibitions i usually set aside times for meeting with the public so we can be in contact, relaxed. On the other hand, sometimes i do works in wich they can particpate. I have some 35x35 cm frames, triptychs or in groups of five or seven, so that whoever takes them can hang them up however they like: as a cross, perimeter, parallel.
What do you feel when you look back over your artistic journey?
Nostalgia, but also satisfaction. Looking back i find some of my works cold, because i did them in periods of searching and today i don’t identify myself with the result. But i also see others as warmer, more intense, they even surprise me. I love this career, it’s never been a hobby, for me it’s a job, i give it that character.