Toi Art Gallery interview with Sonia Alins: The visual poetry of emotions

Toi Art Gallery interview with Sonia Alins: The visual poetry of emotions

August 06, 2020

 sonia alins toi art gallery prints

photo copyright Susana Martínez

1. When did you start drawing?

I started drawing at a very young age, it is something that is present in many of my childhood memories. Actually, drawing was one of my favorite activities and I spent a lot of time doing it. Besides, my family, my teachers and classmates valued my drawings very positively, so I grew up believing that I had a special ability and I kept doing it.

  1. How is your work routine? Where do you work?

I spend many hours working in my studio. I start working early in the morning and I usually finish during the afternoon, so I can spend as much time as possible with my family. However, sometimes I keep working until night, when I am very focused on a project which is important to me.

Regarding my workspace, my studio is a large space with a lot of light, with a big table, beautiful shelves full of inspiring books and a big closet full of a lot of different materials. So, it is perfect for me.

sonia alins toi art gallery

photo copyright Susana Martínez

  1. Where is home?

Always where my family is. I love my husband and our daughters and I can’t imagine my home without them.

  1. What/Who influences your work? Are there any women that are especially important?

I have realized that my artistic influences are halfway between Surrealism and Romanticism. In the same way, my interest in painting women connects with the feminine iconography of the Romantic era, like Ingres’ odalisques or John Everett Millais’ Ophelia, the Art Déco movement (Tamara de Lempicka) or Gustav Klimt.

On the other hand, I love the aesthetic of Yves Klein’s blue sponges: I feel a hypnotic attraction to the spiritual depth that Klein’s artworks suggest.  Joseph Cornell’s box-shaped collages were also fundamental and really inspiring to me: I feel totally connected to his dreamlike, surreal, vision of reality, and the poetry in his works, and that’s the reason why Dones d’aigua are tridimensional collages. There are other influences: Miquel Barceló and his references to the sea and Jaume Plensa’s poetic sculptures.

toi art gallery Joseph Cornell

Joseph Cornell

toi art gallery Ives Klein

Ives Klein

 

Miguel Barcelo Toi Art Gallery

Miguel Barcelo

Apart from painting, I also value the influence of dance, cinema, books, music, poetry or nature. I even find a very special inspiration in my dreams. Perhaps that is why my works have a certain dreamlike feel.

Regarding women who inspire me, I mentioned before Tamara de Lempicka but there are many more: Frida Kalho, for her surrealism and the need to communicate her life, her desires and her love; Japanese artist Yakoi Kusama; Remedios Varo; or Francesca Woodman, an amazing referent in photography.

yakoi kusama toi art gallery

Yakoi Kusama

remedios varo toi art gallery

Remedios Varo

As for contemporary artists, I love the poetry of Anna Marin’s art. Last but not least, I would like to mention two artists whom I know personally: Aurembiaix Sabaté and Judith Farr.

judith Farr Toi Art Gallery

Judith Farr

  1. Why women in water?

 I look for expressiveness in my artworks and I realized that placing my female characters in water and make them interact with it caused that their feelings became even more powerful, passionate and expressive. For me, the aquatic medium of my artworks acts as a transmitter or amplifier of emotions.

Besides, the fact of being born and growing up very close to the Mediterranean Sea makes me feel a special link with the sea, it attracts me sensorially and I love the idea of making it a protagonist in my work.

The Swimmers 

 

  1. It seems to me that the women in your work are often drowning or struggling to get on float, is this a representation of the vulnerability of women?

 Yes, of course. They are sensations and emotions that I want to share and I want them to come out of me. Women have been, and are still nowadays, limited in different cultures and in many situations. As a woman, this is a situation that I need to explain.

In the same way, there are many other artworks in which the subject is totally positive, in which I want to celebrate the fact of being a woman, the joy and pride of it.

 

Japanese Swimmer

 

  1. You said in your bio that womanhood and feminism are subjects of your work, could you elaborate on these?

My art feeds on my experience, on my personal life, on what I am and what I feel. As a woman I am concerned about the vulnerability that many women suffer in the world, it is impossible to avoid this subject in my art. Actually, it makes me feel happy if I can contribute, in some way, to raise awareness about it.

Water Woman

 

  1. What are you reading right now?

I am re-reading Isabel Allende’s novel “The House of the Spirits” right now. I am enjoying it very much, as much as the first time I read it. The female magic that she describes is full of creativity, love and surrealism, and fills with color the grey reality. This is a novel with which I feel specially identified.

What are your future projects?

I am working on a couple of exciting projects right now. One of them is an international project, but I am not allowed to give more details by now. Actually, I am very excited about them and I am waiting for their release, in order to share them with the people interested in my art.

sonial alins toi art gallery

photo copyright Susana Martínez

Interview: Karina Miller



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