Barcelona-born artist, Maria Gasol, said she has been painting for as long as she can remember.
But Maria, who now makes west Donegal her home, also developed a love of collage about five years ago, when she began experimenting with the form. Since then, she has had an exhibition of collage pieces in her Barcelona hometown and another in Donegal.
This month, “When the Mind Wanders”, a collection of 21 of Maria’s framed collage pieces, will be on exhibition at Aunt Jane’s Cafe at the Workhouse in Dunfanaghy.
Maria uses the traditional cut-and-paste method in her collage work, sourcing materials from photographs, her own drawings and vintage and contemporary publications.
She explained it this way: “Sometimes I think of an idea or concept, and I go and find the images that I will need to execute that idea, and that’s a more intellectual, rational but still creative process.
”Other times it’s more accidental and spontaneous: I’ll see an image that for some reason appeals to me, and I imagine a story for it, or I look for ways of connecting it to other images and play around with visual games or metaphors,” she said.
One of her collage images has been used as the cover of a collection of short stories that an Irish writer published in the United States, and some of her collage work was selected to be shown virtually as part of the “Collage Special” group show at the Tate Modern in London.
While Maria said she does not set out to work on a specific theme, themes inevitably emerge. Some of the images she has touched on in her work include the idealisation of childhood, relationships, female issues and her new home of Donegal.
Maria, 38, lives in Gortahork with her husband and their two children. She works as a freelance translator and a Spanish teacher and artist, and also has a background in film and media.
Still, portraits are Maria’s main area, and she has taken portrait commissions. She did two years of fine arts in Barcelona and has taken art courses in Spain, London, Italy and Ireland.
She recently exhibited and sold some of her drawing work at the Glebe Gallery’s annual Easter exhibition.
Looking ahead, Maria is working on a large exhibition for May 2018 for An Gailearaí, the gallery in the Áislann Ghaoth Dobhair.
Maria said the Gaoth Dobhair exhibition will be based on portraits, text pieces and video to look at and celebrate the lives of a group of people living with demential. The exhibition is supported by Ealaín na Gaeltachta and the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny.
”When the Mind Wanders” by Maria Gasol is on at Aunt Jane’s Cafe at the Workhouse in Dunfanaghy through June 27th.