Nearby landscapes
Texto: Luis Revenga

"A photograph is the total expression of what one feels" Ansel Adams

“A photograph is the total expression of what one feels”, Ansel Adams Pilar Pequeño is the author of numerous photographic suites and symphonies whose dazzling surfaces – of astonishing beauty and incredible precision – are the faithful reflection of the two great passions of the artist – Nature and photography. Photographs that express feeling, music, sensibility and science. In this current exposition, Nearby landscapes, Pilar Pequeño recreates images of her thoughts and memory. As these locations - landscape, trees, rivers, water, and stones, treated with the upmost control- form part of her habitat; places in her surroundings that she knows very well and that she walks amongst alone or accompanied by her dogs. She knows these locations well and the precise moments that the light changes and transforms.

paisajes-cercanos-jarama-enero 18:13hpaisajes-cercanos-jarama-enero 18:21h

- Jarama, January 6:17pm / Jarama, January 6:21pm (colour) -. This is how she captures the scene in the precise instant when it emotes or stirs her -Jarama, Winter Lagoon (colour). Or simply, that she likes or is humoured by what she has before her: one of her dog’s running through the Collado de la Quesera (b&w).

paisajes-cercanos-jarama-laguna-inviernoeuphorbia (2000)

All the surfaces of Pilar Pequeño are the result of a specific place at a specific time. This is how she takes each shot from what she sees, her thoughts, her dreams… “The Anaga is a dream-like forest for me. That’s why I thought to include them, Anaga forest and Anaga trail, in the Nearby landscapes series”.

paisajes-cercanos-anaga-bosquepaisajes-cercanos-anaga-camino

I go often to Tenerife Islands. I like to follow its paths calmly and in a silence that is only broken by the sound of the wind, drops of rain or the songs of birds. It’s a luminous forest despite the fog that frequently sifts the sunlight. The whole exposition, both b&w and colour, is full of the love of the nature nearest the artist; the landscapes where she lives that captivates her.

The work that we have before us is all about that closeness, a very specific scope, which requires skill in the technique, ancestral intuition, and vast knowledge about botany and nature. It is sufficient to merely glimpse Pilar Pequeño´s biography to realise the depth and soundness of her training from the start: asan artist drawing or painting with pastels; composing and taking meticulous care of the contrasts…. Her interest in clarity and precision drew her, as would be expected, to photography; a medium that transcribed directly her vision about nature onto the negatives and copies.

By means of various photographic projects that constitute authentic combinations of nature and technique, controlled by the artist from start to finish, she has created a solid and prestigious work of art.

euphorbia (2000)

And if we look even further into her biography, we’d know that Pilar Pequeño has always been attentive to the latest and most enriching of experiences: She even got into other ventures such as documentary photography with the magnificent sample of her works in the US. Some of these show her intimate photography - an interior shot with a Howard Hopper poster, when she submerges herself indirectly into a landscape, or a simple and humble flower more or less encaged in a window box... Her work has always been distinct and very personal. From the start, it was a vocation, no matter how pure or if she was using the latest technique (digital since 2008). She has been considered as one of the great professionals of photography.

The grand and the humble. Forests, rivers. The reflection of the wooded hillsides in the waters of a lake or river.A flower, a rock…. The light, its reflexions….illuminated branches…. She captures and chooses… she then prints in b&w or colour those she selects: reinventing textures (already experimented by her: infinite gradients of light and shade; possibilities), which she puts through a precise musician-like control.

In this current exhibition, we can appreciate all that has been described above: feeling, poem, thought, photographic technique, and perfection. If we observe attentively the relentless changes of light that mark the seasons and the hours: spring, summer, fall and winter: Green, wind, hues of green, sun, rain, ice: Pilar Pequeño proves that she treats and transmits through her gaze the sensitivity that possesses her. As Ansel Adams remarked, “A photograph is not taken; it is made.”

Her walks, the path, the nearby landscapes. Her inquisitiveness, her search: fragments of the verses of Fray Luis de Leon:

And, as though swift it strove To see and to increase that loveliness, From the clear ridge above A stream pure, weariness Hurrying to reach that ground doth onward press; And straightaway in repose Its course it winds there tree and tree between, And ever as it goes The earth decks with new green And with gay wealth of flowers spreads the scene. As Ansel Adams would say:

"The technique is the instrument to communicate the emotion.” The emotion behind these Nearly landscapes, Pilar Pequeño’s landscapes – trees, plants, rocks… memories….

 

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