|Artwork created during residency|
|Artwork create prior to residency|
Residency: October-November 2016
Flint Spark is inspired by the central and surrounding regions of Utica where big city industry and the extensive valleys of the main rivers converge. The project consists of two related artworks and have been created with the elements that I found and collected along the railway and river banks.
The Mohawk and Hudson Rivers are the axes that guide the railroad which is used to access the different points of the state, as well as to transport building materials to the big city. The importance of the railroad lies in connecting the city with the mountain and has been the means of transportation for goods and for new migrants attracted by the riches of the valley. Its route is comprised of green areas where different natural resources are found, and has been used by tribes from this region since ancient times. One of these resources is the Flint stone, a unique element in the territory, whose physical characteristics served the Mohawk for barter trade with other communities for making sharp and resistant tools. Also, this stone was used by the colonials to light the fire spark for their guns, which they used to attack the Mohawk who had supplied them with this resource.
The Mohawks, a native tribe mostly settled in the Mohawk Valley of New York State but whom extended to Ontario and Quebec (Canada), are one of the few native communities that have survived through history and its oppressions, from colonial times to the violence of capitalism. The Mohawks contact with extensive rocky mountains not only allowed them to scale unusual heights and overcome vertigo, but also to serve for more than a century in the construction teams for the most important skyscrapers of New York City.
The first artwork is a totem made up of pieces that came from the train line, which pays homage to the river as a sacred element. A rectangular wooden block that has deteriorated over the years supports itself, accompanied by a metal piece bent in a U form supported by big nail extensions made from the same material. The U-shape of the train line contains rural grass which travels from the ground (earth) to the ethereal (sky), bordering the wooden structure. Thus, industry and nature converge in a new river.
Confronting the totem is a set of river stones (slate type) pierced, stacked and bolted together. These are grouped, fitting one onto the other, and suspended with fishing threads.
It is a topographic map that seeks to contrast construction techniques between organic materials and those produced by industry.
In this way, Flint Spark seeks to establish a dialogue between the past and the present, as well as between nature and industry, which are always in tension.
About the Artist:
Born in Lima, Peru, Marinés attended the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru where she graduated a Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in Sculpture.
In her recent body of work she have been developing a series of volumetric installations that study the act of living in between changing layers of cultural baggage. These installations are made from materials obtained in situ. Remains of historic houses being torn down or in a few cases restored in her hometown, Lima. Recycled clay, sun-dried bricks and old window frames are all part of her exploration.
Site-specific sculptures, which rescue the organic components, found and pay homage to traditional building techniques back when civilizations coexisted with nature.
She has attended to art residencies at R.A.T. in Mexico City followed by Budandon’s Trust residency in the forests of NSW, Australia.
She has installed two public sculptures that interact with the observer; the first one is located at a business area park in the city and the other in a regional university.
Her work is part of important collections such as Luciano Benetton – Italy, Fundacion Villacero – Mexico, George Gruenberg, Hochschild Mining and Banco Continental in Lima.