Christina M. Branson interview Yana Clark.
1. How has your upbringing on an environmental preservation affected your art?
The environmental preservation is located on high altitude mountains covered by the Brazilian rainforest. We could see two big waterfalls from any of the house rooms. The awareness of nature's beauty becomes part of you, where changing colors, light, the dance of elements are constant. The stars are brighter. The country lifestyle and distance to cities made our value system different. There was no stores, television, telephone or computers. As a consequence, we would appreciate every resource, recycle materials, and be creative to compensate limitations.
The community was very artistic, and I was exposed to many craftsmanship techniques and medias: stained glass, ceramics, embroidery, weaving, crystals and wood, recycled paper, and others. My mothers' story telling, passion for art and culture, and artistic family background, fostered my natural talents. My father's stainless crystal glass prisms hung on the balcony, reflecting an explosion of rainbows though the house. Like magic, there were colors everywhere interacting with us, passing on our faces, eyes, food, and lots of children were often running around literally chasing rainbows. My house hosted musicians from every corner of the globe, composing, playing, and recording on portable studios set up in my parents bedroom.
My overall education was embedded on the body-mind-spirit holistic view.Today, when I look at my background I can see how all of these elements are present in my art: the appreciation of nature and the resources available, the properties of the light and sound, the interaction with people and the holistic perception of the body. ------
2. Your interactive art is extremely aesthetic - can you tell me about its evolution?
It’s a result of my life time. My mother tells me I always had innate attention to detail. Nurture contributed, as being raised appreciating nature's beauty, surrounded by arts and music. As an adult, I attended Arts college, pursuing the Sculpture degree. I think all these factors contributed to the final aesthetic aspect of the Self RefleXion and my clear choice of approaching my art (at least at this moment) with the intent to inspire, uplift and create beauty. ----
3. Self RefleXion sounds brilliant and touching, how did you come up with it/thought process behind?
I always had a fascination for interactive art. Most of my sculptures and installations integrate this concept. The Self RefleXion also evolved as a result of my spiritual and philosophical searches, while going through Kundalini Yoga training and meditation. I had questions regarding to this work and answers came to me while I was asleep, through my dreams. I had a strong feeling that the reflexive body in my dream was me in a complete state of contemplation/presence.
The whole process resulted on a live installation representing the plenitude when we create a state of contemplation where we feel integrated with everything, and a reflective body literally and figuratively reflecting our existence as fragmented perceptions and experiences. A person looking at the Self RefleXion will see her own image in a new way. The boundaries between me and you can be possibly be broken, and existential and philosophical issues can be raised, "I see myself in you...who are you? Who am I? A reflection of the world? Is the world my reflection?..."
The androgynous image of Self RefleXion also intrigues and stimulate others' creativity in many different ways; some people see an extraterrestrial image, others a surreal futuristic human being. ----
4. I understand that your great grandmother will be featured at MoMA next year. How has her work and legacy personally impacted you?
Lygia Clark's legacy is monumental, difficult to describe shortly. She made her mark in history, personally and professionally by breaking boundaries, in every phase and media chosen. Lygia opened my eyes showing her freedom to create art while integrating diverse disciplines such as painting, sculptures, architecture, interactive performances, psychology, art, philosophy and therapy. The notion of separation of disciplines is man made. Art is the overall means to live life to its fullest potential.
Ultimately Lygia's goal was for art to be accessible to all, interactive, on the streets. Her art brought out the innate creative essence of others, inviting to interact with her art pieces in a playful manner. Her exhibits' signs said "please touch" instead of "do not touch". I see all these factors of her legacy influencing me personally and professionally today.
Thanks to Christina M. Branson.