Q&A with Catherine Pester
Ana Carolina Rodrigues is a talented contemporary artist and sculptor. With two solo shows of her work in London in 2016, and a recent residency at the Charlie Whinney studio, Rodrigues is an artist to watch.
First meeting at the installation of her work at the Cumbrian Artist of the Year award, I had the honour of working with Ana Carolina’s beautifully spindley sculptures. More like suspending a line drawn in golden ink through the air than a steam bent sculpture, Rodrigues’ work has a fluid, beautiful minimalism. Her forms are at once from the natural world and manipulated; man-made and organic. Having exhibited in angular urban settings, such as Clifford Chance law firm where the skyline of London formed a backdrop to her work, Carolina fuses the minimal textures and colours of the modern world with the natural imperfections of her medium – wood. Her work has been described by Art Consultants as bringing ‘an organic, corporeal feel’ to industrial spaces, which beautifully captures the earthly presence of Carolina’s work which is still sinuous with urban environments.
Rodrigues’ sculptures have their own unique rhythm and posture, being so light to hold yet curled into shapes that unbalance its javelin-like movement. Raising ‘interlctal’ was like lifting a ballerina as the artist twisted her pieces into a tension point, with their steam-bent points swooping from the flooded natural light above to just touching the ground, like a dancer curling a fingertip to the stage.
Left to right: From the series ‘Interlctal’ at Rheged Gallery, 2016, Right ‘Carolina and Interlctal’ ink drawing by Catherine Pester
After installing her piece, the artist herself came and sat with us on the gallery floor around her work – we were mesmerised by the gently spoken words of the artist’s life, sitting in a meditative circle in the chaos of an exhibition installation. As she told us of her time working at Charlie Whinney’s studio in the Lake District, and her belief in Lisbon as the rising city for artists, I drew Ana Carolina in lines as minimal as her swooping sculpture. Rodrigues’ meditative presence and aura of calm is imbued in the fibre of her art, with each curve a pure form of tapering simplicity.
Working from her space in Maxilla Studios, London, Rodrigues is open to large scale commissions and projects, from public spaces to private collections.
An interior body sculpture from UAL Sculpture Award at Clifford Chance, by Ana Carolina Rodrigues, 2016
Q&A with Ana Carolina Rodrigues
- When did you first realise that you were an artist?
I really cannot say a date. When I was little I was always drawing and painting. My family was very supportive for me to create. My father was always buying materials. I remember me very little with the best watercolour crayons with all the different chromatic shades. And then the soft pastels and the oils.
The house is full of my stuff. My mom would frame my drawings and paintings and I remember that times to times we would change them to different rooms.
I suppose one thing leads to the other, and when the time to decide which course I would choose I had no doubt that would be Fine Art.
- How would you describe your work in five words?
To be honest my aim is to not have words to describe the work.
Trunk’, by Ana Carolina Rodrigues exhibited in Oerias, Lisbon
• What are you exhibiting at your new show ‘Re-Con-Figure’ at Maxilla Studios?
I am exhibiting two pieces, both made of wood. One is carved and covered with gold leaf. And the other is an installation of small bent pieces which the titled is “We are destined to live forever”.
What advice would you give to young artists?
Well, the only thing I know or I can say is that I need to spend time with my practice, making, reflecting… this is my way of doing things, but I am a young artist so I will tell you again in 20 years.
• What project would you like to do in the future?
I would like to carve a big tree, an Oak.
Left to right: With Ana Carolina at Cumbrian Artist of the Year private view, Rheged Gallery; ‘Matter and Convulsion’, wood and indigo pigment, 320 x 5 x 5cm
To see more of Ana Carolina’s work and find upcoming exhibitions visit – http://www.anacarolinarodrigues.co.uk