COLOURED WOOL FOR A TERRESTRIAL OCEAN

Today we want to focus on artistic proposals that use atypical techniques for their compositions. The ability to surprise in contemporary creation has come in recent times with technology. The incorporation of artificial intelligence, the use of sound and visual algorithms, virtual reality... propose a hybridisation between the artistic and the technological with unpredictable results. But at the same time, many authors choose a return to more crafted and accessible methodologies that require a considerable investment of time but offer a more intimate and respectful connection with the natural environment. In fact, in some of these initiatives, nature becomes the preferred leitmotif in many of these works.

Mulyana, installation “A man, a monster and the sea”, photo by Tarys Hys, 2019.

Among the authors who openly embrace this alternative, Mulyana's work has caught our attention. This Indonesian artist has chosen an alias to identify his work: “The Mogus,” a word formed from Monster and Gurita, the name given to one of his most famous characters: an octopus. This denomination is a clear allusion to the places that it reconstructs in its pieces, typical of the seabed. Indeed, Mulyana has appropriated wool as the main raw material of his work and has dedicated herself to weaving huge marine scenes with endless details and colours. His installations invite us to walk through space as if we were in an oceanographic museum, and we could identify and recognise the multitude of species that live in the depths.

Mulyana, installation “A man, a monster and the sea” in Orange County Museum of Art, 2019.

The Mogus wants to represent through coral reefs the help of the other and the generation of tolerance spaces in a society full of prejudices. These structures are home to many beings that live in harmony and symbiosis under the shelter of these natural constructions. This demonstrates the ability of species to interact in confined environments with respect and harmony. In addition to this, the artist is an octopus lover, whom he always includes in his works, because they represent the human capacity to help others and always lend a hand if necessary. Precisely for that reason, the artist has carried out social integration projects that involve the trans community and domestic workers to provide them with tools and resources that they apply in their day-to-day life.

Mulyana currently has an exhibition at the Orange County Museum of Art, in Santa Ana, California, with a proposal entirely in white that breaks the usual work trend of this creator: "A man, a monster and the sea".

Vanessa Barragão, “Botanical Tapestry”, 2019.

Vanessa Barragão is another artist focused on the representation of the marine environment through the use of knitted yarns and wool. Their pieces are sometimes arranged as water mats that the visitor must travel, or they are posed as hanging elements, to emulate the suspension within the water. The concern of this creator for the care of nature and the fight against some of the most polluting industries on the planet, such as textiles, lead her to reuse all the materials she incorporates into her work. On the other hand, she has chosen themes that serve to denounce the irresponsibility of the sector.

Vanessa Barragão, “Coral Reef”, 2018.

Seeking that society becomes aware of the impact that our daily activity generates in the world, Vanessa has focused on the oceans, which absorb 90% of the total global pollution. In addition to her creative activity, she also directs a textile design studio that strictly follows ecological and sustainable processes in its production.

 

If visual arts arouse emotions in the viewer, and also gastronomy, at its finest, can cause a similar effect, the relationship between both "disciplines" is more than demonstrated.

Cheese is a fundamental piece in gastronomy, its diversity allows it to be part of gastronomy different moments, from starters to desserts, and that is why Art Madrid includes it in this year’s edition of the Fair from an ambitious place. Cheese is given this way a closest view to the creation of a work of art, both from the point of view of the time spent in its execution process and the almost personalized study dedicated to each piece during its elaboration.

Like a plastic artist, the Cheese Master Affineur executes a series of actions making each piece an exclusive and individualized element. This is what Madrid cheese factory QAVA de Quesos and its Master Afinador José Luis Martín achieve.

QAVA & MARTÍN AFINADOR is a new store concept: a unique space designed to taste, learn, promote and buy cheese in Madrid, in the heart of Retiro district."

José Luis Martín is a key piece in the QAVA cheese factory. He has been working in the cheese world for more than 30 years, providing training throughout the world, visiting cheese shops, consulting and advising on the design and implementation of one of the most emblematic cheese shops in Spain. The fact of knowing the producers personally, and even advising them on the manufacture and design of their products, allows him to select specific batches, at different stages of maturation, to complete the cheese ripening and then convert each piece into a unique product, different and with its own distinct character, the signature of the Cheese Master.

In the profile of the Master Martín Afinador experience and pure knowledge merge. Martín Afinador is an advisor and consultant for artisanal cheese factories and product design, and for the best-specialised stores in the country, director of Gourmetquesos, director and coordinator of the Championship of the Best Cheeses in Spain during nine editions, technical director and jury in national and international cheese competitions and tastings, collaborator of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Spanish Gastronomy, director and coordinator of the cheese section of the Repsol Guide to the Best Foods in Spain and trainer for hospitality schools and food centres teaching, among other activities.

Cheese ripening is a complex process that requires time and dedication, in addition to a developed use of the senses. The Cheese Master Affineur, as a specialist in the field, works in all cheese stages (varied and complex), controls all stages of raw material transformation, supervises the evolution and development of cheeses according to the characteristics of each one of them, verifies the quality and the state when the cheeses arrive at their cellars, checks their care and conservation, and; finally, he controls its packaging and the type of wrapping suitable for its best preservation.

In Qava de Quesos they have two Cheese Refining Cellars. In these "tuning caves" or refrigerated chambers designed in constant conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation, "we take great care of the cheeses until they reach their optimum point of consumption". The work of refining involves placing the cheeses on wooden shelves, turning them over daily and/or washing them frequently, brushing them periodically, as well as other regular handlings.

Among the services offered by Qava de Quesos, we can find specific courses and workshops, events for groups and companies, and advice on shop design and ripening rooms.