Monday, 1 September 2014

Views of Spain - The Art of Arlé Corte

© Arle Corte

Different views of Spain
People tend to have a stereotypical view of Spain - it's always hot and sunny and people spend all their time listening to flamenco and dancing Sevillanas. Nothing could be further from the truth. Spain is actually an astonishingly varied country made up of different regions all with their own languages, dialects, customs and cultures.

And northern Asturias is not like the south of Spain at all. If you go to Asturias expecting the stereotypical Andalucian / Mediterranean culture of bulls, flamenco and sun you will be surprised to find the historical and cultural influences there are Celtic, people drink cider and there is almost as much rain as there is sun. With its history of coal mining, heavy industry and shipbuilding Asturias also has a lot in common with Wales or the north of England.

The landscapes in Asturias are also different to the Spanish stereotype. The wet climate makes it very green and it’s actually one of the most mountainous regions in Europe - people go skiing in the Picos de Europa mountains in the winter.

The changeable weather and light seem to give a sense of movement to the Asturian landscape - the hills, mountains, cliffs, the sea almost have a kind of musicality to them.

Atardecer © Arle Corte

Arlé Corte
One of the Asturian artists who reflects that musicality is Arlé Corte. Although she says she is more interested in the warmer climes and dazzling deserts of Southern Spain, I think it is sill seen through the prism of Arle’s Asturian background.
What interests me is the musicality in her work and as you look at these pictures I’m sure you will, as she says, “see the trace of a dance in the movements of the brush”.

Jazz © Arle Corte

Influences and inspiration
In the following text Arlé comments on her work, her influences and what inspires her
(translated from Spanish - original at the bottom of this post).

You can contact or follow Arlé on her facebook page here

"Although I was born in a country with so many variations of green it's difficult to count them all, I really love the ochre, red and orange hues so redolent of deserts and hotter lands. Those are the shades usually found in my work".

"In some way painting is a way of travelling from within to an unknown place".

© Arle Corte

"Like everyone I've had phases and explored variations on different themes: Imaginary deserts, recreations of evocative Pre-Roman Asturian Art, the masculine nude seen from a woman's point of view, the coal mines that were so close to my life as a miner's daughter and grand-daughter... "

© Arle Corte

Guerrero © Arle Corte

Despertar De Xanes © Arle Corte

"In some ways I reinterpret the world and from time to time I go back to being a young girl playing with collages, where everything is possible." 

Collage © Arle Corte

Gijon © Arle Corte

"Inspiration is everywhere, opening my eyes, I don't touch it, I feel it. When that magic moment of creation arrives, "the good accident" as Kandinsky said, in which the canvas itself seems to guide the senses through the brushes, pencils or whatever is to hand, there is always a song in the background. Music forms part of that creative moment, as important as any other tool, guides the hand as well as the body. Yes you can dance and paint at the same time, You can shout in jubilation, or in frustration when you want to cover the whole canvas in black because nothing is working out as you want, just like anything else in life. So a note can escape from the frame like a wink of thanks. Sometimes it's even easy to see the trace of a dance in the movements of the brush."

Ola © Arle Corte

To Itaca © Arle Corte

San Lorenzo © Arle Corte

"Aunque nací en una tierra con tantas variaciones de verde que resulta tarea difícil intentar contarlos, desde hace ya un tiempo tengo verdadera devoción por los ocres, rojizos y anaranjados, esas tonalidades tan identificables con los desiertos y tierras cálidas. Esos son los colores que habitualmente se encuentran en mis trabajos. De alguna manera pintar es una forma de viajar desde dentro hacia un lugar inconcreto.

Como todos he tenido épocas y variaciones sobre diferentes temáticas: Desiertos imaginarios; recreaciones del sugerente Arte Prerrománico Asturiano; el desnudo masculino visto por ojos de mujer; la mina tan cercana a mi vida como hija y nieta de mineros…De alguna manera reinterpreto mi propio mundo y de vez en cuando vuelvo a jugar a ser niña con los collages, donde todo es posible.

La inspiración está alrededor, abriendo los ojos, no se palpa, se siente. Cuando llega ese instante mágico de creación,”the good accident” decía Kandinsky, en la que el propio lienzo parece guiar los sentidos a través de los pinceles, los lápices o lo que pueda tener entre las manos, siempre hay una canción que suena detrás. La música forma parte de ese momento creativo, tan importante como cualquier otro material de trabajo, guía los movimientos de la mano y del propio cuerpo. Si, se puede danzar y pintar. Se puede gritar en el momento de júbilo o en el de frustración cuando quisieras cubrir todo de negro porque nada es como se desea, al igual que en muchos momentos de la vida. Así alguna nota se escapa dentro del cuadro como un guiño de agradecimiento. Incluso, a veces, es fácil ver que en los movimientos del pincel hay el rastro de una danza." 

- Arlé Corte, 2014

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