Maru Oriol

What could it be that drives a person to get involved in such a material, mental and spiritual entanglement?

The impulse is neither conscious nor rational. If I had thought twice about it, I probably would not have continued in the direction I was going. For me, it all began when I was 15 years old: an impulse that gets you out of bed and forces you to embark upon a creative process over which you have only a certain amount of control.

Those processes have continued, in succession, giving my life meaning without which I could not have survived. The spaces of time between stages are only fictitious interludes, since silence does not exist in the mind. It is as though the creative force takes control of me and I am helpless but to follow its orders.

In my case, it appears that the material has, to a large extent, determined the formal part of my work. Throughout history, man has attempted to subdue material. When faced with the hardness of stone, man has tried to free it from its apparent rigidity. That is my battlefield, where I fight to bring flexibility to rigidity.

But this persistent intention is transformed when I discover the material that contains the physical quality I am looking for. Glass is a malleable stone by nature. Heat causes it to move in surprising ways, creating capricious shapes that remain true to its chaotic principles. This yields to formal guidelines, allowing its nature to manifest itself as the star of the show. The battle is over. Confusion is clarity.

Life is a battle, as is art. We can fight it, pretending to win, but the option of relaxing, observing and letting life happen may be the best strategy for survival. Putting a piece of glass in the kiln to be transformed by the power of the heat is my obsession at this time. Abandoning the obduracy of the fight against the rigidity of the stone has the same effect on me as waking up in the morning from a sweet dream and discovering that the work is done.

I do not invent anything. I merely discover that my experience is parallel to the history that has been made by other artists. As part of the Dada movement of the early 20th century, Jean Arp believed it was important for the artist to lose as much control as possible so that the work of art he or she created would be faithful to the randomness of nature and would reject the dangerous tendency to impose order so characteristic of humans. Marcel Duchamp took the idea further than anyone when he transformed a urinal into a fountain in his readymade sculpture without even bothering to change the physical appearance. Until then, art had been something that was created by man with primarily aesthetic qualities. He decided that the artist should be the one to decide what art was. It’s not about describing the history of contemporary art, but I do feel the need to discover the roots of what springs forth from me. Clearly, it is a compendium of history and that surprises me because it was something I hadn’t considered.


© Maru Oriol 2015 / Content and structure design: Rocío Bolívar / Graphic design and development: R. García San Martín