Muralist Sonia Bermúdez Rossell - Marta Comes Santamaria July 2020
It all started after one of our neverending family lunches at the Cala with the Mediterranean Sea as a backdrop.
Sonia Bermúdez, a guest of Lluís Camós, was working on one of her pieces, creating with steamy silks and coloured pearls. She took advantage of the sun to dry her textile work.
I approached her, recommended by a family member. “Marta, go and see what she's doing, I'm sure you'll like it.”
Sonia was preparing her Andorran project “Maps and Migrations” vintage maps, paper, words, letters, places, cities.
Andorra… this word embraces so many memories for my family.
And our conversation ....
A friend told me that there is a lady who crochets daisies and starfish to cover the beach stones.
Yes, my mother.
Do you think she would like to collaborate with my exhibition?
Yes, for sure.
And my mother came and got excited about Sonia’s proposal, this Lima-Barcelona woman adopted by the Baix Empordà. And she asked her to go down to the beach to pick up the 11 stones. They agreed on the colours, the shapes, the design.
The result: poetry made by two women; crocheted white and sky blue meshes adorned with starfish, daisies, flowers, wrapped the Cala stones. Tensors for Sonia's creations. This makeshift tandem fascinates me. It’s like a tribute to mom’s work, Antonia Santamaria Roura. Finally, after so many hours inside her own world with a crochet in her hands everything makes sense. Looking at those blues and whites, those golden moons and fantastic universes, those maps, I envision my mother's allegory.
A percentage of the profits from the exhibition goes to social work, the artistic training projects of the program “Art has no limits” by Sonia and the Anglo Peruvian Society of London which for some years has been raising money by auctioning works of art and Experiences in different cities in Peru and Europe. Sonia, her Andorran gallerist, Aminda Saludes, and Chef Cedric Dubois were the “hosts” of 4 days of art and culture in the Principality of Andorra. In this case, the efforts were aimed at the Methodology training project of Vania Masias, also from Lima, Perú.
Vania Masias is the founding dancer and choreographer of the D1 Dance Company dedicated to training young people at risk of social exclusion. In 14 years, she has taken about 8,000 people off the streets, mostly vulnerable teenagers, and turned them into dancers.
I felt an immediate connection with Sonia. While she was working, I watched her closely and we talked about art, philosophy, books, yoga, her murals in Casa Batlló. She recommended to me “Dictionary of Emotions” by the Toledo philosopher Jose Antonio Marina. He coined the term SMART CITIES, which later led to “talented cities”.
Sonia allowed me to enter virtually in her work in progress as a muralist through videos and photographs in Casa Batlló and La Pedrera where she had lived with the father of her children, the renowned photographer Manel Armengol Cervera. My incessant questions during those long conversations took her to the past: to her “memorandum, recordando”
And I discovered Nina and Marta Bernat; Martha Woodmann, a renowned photographer from Lima; Kristina Mitac Pariona, a Peruvian who works at Casa Batlló.
And she told me a thousand anecdotes from Gaudí's works of which I am a great enthusiast. Casa Batlló is my home by definition, my place. La Pedrera, La Sagrada Família… I declare myself Gaudinian.
I interviewed her: what painting meant to her, what she feels when she sees her murals on the walls of so many modernist buildings like Gaudí's or Puig i Cadafalch's... In the windows of Casa Batlló from Barcelona… How she was inspired, what style she used. As a result of her answers, I asked her to talk to me about freehand painting, art deco and modernism.
Sonia believes that “freehand painting allows you to improvise a lot. You may have an established idea, a study, but free style lets you decide and change a composition-sketch stuff until the last minute.
The preliminary idea evolves more naturally in the course of the creative moment, of the realization or materialization.
The composition is very mathematical.
The figure is an excuse, an argument, that can change at the last minute.
If it is occupying a similar space, you can exchange a flower for a dolphin.
You have full freedom to act.
Then came her “Smooth Loving (In) Tension” her impressive multi-disciplinary textile mural combined with neons and paint for the Andorran restaurant MOOD.
She is the creator of the concept “Art has no limits” which defines her holistic way of looking at art. A very ambitious project that started 5 years ago with its proposal for “Chic Gastro Corners” called KIMONO to get the funding that all types of artists need. And now, more than ever. The Kimono idea has been a sophisticated and complex teaching with which Sonia has learned a lot. She has been in contact with great Michelin chefs. Thanks to the experience gained during these 5 years, ChiCKeBav has been born: 9 types of Kebab fused with products from all over the world in the “Limeño-Andean” style. With ChiCButic and its brand new, Apolitical Artist App with its “inoquo” social statements -a defined and clear proposal with the same tools of any App, to neutralize the sale of crude date- and the love for Artistic and creative Training of all existing disciplines, which has to allow present and future artists to be maintained with dignity with their work and not left unprotected as they always have been and are today.
For Sonia, every project is like a visible tree. This tree has underground roots that support it.
I talk about the tree of life philosophically in Klimt, The Kiss and the Tree of Life (one of my writings). One of the phrases I found on es-over-blog.com: “The tree of life captures the life trajectory of the human being as a complex path with multiple intersections, a succession of desires, which are sometimes fulfilled and they define the direction it takes”.
As a declared art addict that I am, being able to dive into Sonia's creative fantasies is a privilege. It never ceases to amaze me. She is a powerful woman, determined, pure passion, sweeping, socially committed. With a very interesting family history.
She tells me to optimize our energies. We inspire each other. It is a fascinating journey. Sonia and I switch from one language to another without any problems. English, I love her Californian accent from Los Angeles and her Parisian French, her Italian from Scuola Italiana Antonio Raimondi in Lima, her reminiscent Peruvian Spanish and her Catalan from Barcelona.
Lima, Paris, Barcelona, Los Angeles among her favourite cities. A cosmopolitan woman. She is currently working in Sofia, Bulgaria, on her latest project.
A vital summary of an artist who wants to make a profound change in society through an all-encompassing business.
20% of the profits will go to training projects for very different artistic expressions. From dance to painting to the art of gastronomy, music, film, sculpture, street art, and more.
The Covid-19 has made the globalization model make more sense than before. Sonia had a grandfather who did not go to Cuba, but to Lima. Now the most important Premium gastronomic capital in the world. It has surpassed the touristic France in terms of gastronomic experiences.
Peru was presented at the Arco 2020 Fair in Madrid as a guest country and for the first time showed food as an art.
Finally, another literary recommendation by the multidisciplinary artist Sonia Bermúdez Rosell: “Lectura para minutos” by Hermann Hesse.
Marta Comes Santamaria, pen name Babalú, July 2020
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