Longing – Not Belonging

Painting is the main medium of expression for our new artist Mara Sola. However, in recent years, making installations and small sculptures has been a growing part of her practice.

Sola takes an interest in nature and how it reflects the human psyche. To date, her work has been influenced by the notion of alienation and the feeling of not belonging to any place in particular. New locations and the personal response-awareness to new surroundings have challenged her with questions on qualities and different levels of consciousness and the construction of self, leading to contemplate transpersonal psychology as developed by Carl. G. Jung and others. With a shy and melancholic mood of alienation, silent adaptation and understanding of the inner worlds the paintings convey “dream-scapes” where the borders between real and surreal become ambiguous.

In later years Sola has extended her practice to small sculptures, made of quills, dry flowers or seeds, animal fur and wool. The objects resemble small animals that looks both vulnerable and aggressive at the same time, made of soft and hard, spiky materials as they are. The size of the objects creates an intimate, near-sighted world, where animals’ parables for human conditions.

Sola calls her sculptures “Porcupine’s Dilemma”, a reference to the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer who uses the hedgehog as a metaphor for the human condition. Hedgehogs curl up in winter to keep warm; they need each other’s body heat. At the same time, they can also easily hurt each other with their spikes. It resembles people’s search for closeness and security, as they strive to protect “a room of their own”.

It is an intimate closeness as well as a sharp rejection within the frame of one body.

Mara Sola was born in Spain, in 1975, and moved to Norway in 2012 after finishing her B.An Honours Degree at G.M.I.T University Ireland, specialising in painting. Since her graduation Sola has exhibited her works in different countries in Europe and USA. Her work is purchased by private and public collections, among them Visual Artist Ireland, Office of Public works-Ireland, Hå Municipality and Stavanger Municipality.

Sola have had her studio practice at Tou Atelierhus since 2016. She was awarded an Emerging Artist by Visual Arts Ireland (2010) and is a member of NBK and BKFR, Norwegian union organizations for artists.