May 27th 2022 by Leila Antakly
The upcoming Wellbeing Summit in Bilbao highlights the integral role of art in developing a new language for wellbeing and social change
The arts play an integral role in the development of a new language for wellbeing and can provide a greater understanding and expression of the human experience. During the summit coming up on June 1st. visitors will encounter different artistic experiences through a selection of exhibits, artworks and a vibrant performing arts program. Involving more than 85 artists including Grimanesa Amorós , a Peruvian-born American artist whose work explores community connection within the intersection of history, technology, and architecture. Her monumental lighting sculptures incorporate video, lighting, and electronic elements to create immersive environments. Technology compliments the concepts of her work without defining it. She draws upon important cultural legacies for inspiration. Still, she does not hold a nostalgic view of her subjects. In the art of Grimanesa Amorós the past is meeting the future.
Tell us about your greatest inspirations or influences please.
I draw inspiration from nature, architecture, and the cultural heritage of the communities surrounding the artwork I create. I am a daughter of an engineer, and in many ways, I inherited his way of thinking about space and its effect on individuals within communities.
When I create my large-scale sculptures, I consider how architecture, the viewers, and the piece communicate with one another, becoming one. It is a never-ending source of inspiration—the essential element of my work.
How are the current trends in technology and innovation affecting your work as a creative?
Technology is rapidly evolving, and it is exciting to see how the art world incorporates these new methods of making. I cannot predict the next big thing, but I believe art that expresses the unique qualities of the artist will remain most impactful. I create work that utilizes but is not defined by its relationship to technology.
We’d love to hear more about your creative process. How do you normally tend to work from the point you have an idea to finally having your work ready to share with the world?
When I create a large-scale light sculpture, I begin with a site survey. This is an essential element of my practice. For my piece to connect with an audience, it must have been inspired by the surrounding community.
I am onsite for each of my installations, working in extreme weather conditions, overseeing the entire process. It involves coordination, significant logistics from both sides of the teams, and, most importantly, communication. Attention to detail is critical.
Programming my lighting sequences is like composing a piece of music. Each note has its moment in time and space. I often compare what I do to drawing onsite.
While I create renderings for installation ahead of time, the final placement of the lights and the programming of the piece depends on the physical architectural space.
My presence in the moment is essential.
What do you think of the art world and how it works in general? Do you think it’s also an industry that is in a continuous state of change?
The art world is in constant flux, adapting to changes in our cultural landscape. This is accelerated now through the presence of social media. It is interesting to see how much the art world has evolved and will continue to grow since it has become digitally accessible.
Anything coming up that we should know about?
I am excited to unveil SCIENTIA on the 1 June, a monumental new site-specific sculpture at Azkuna Zentroa-Alhóndiga Bilbao, Society and Contemporary Culture Centre which will be in the atrium until August 31st.
After that, I have upcoming projects in Saudi Arabia, Mexico, New York, and Germany.
What does wellbeing mean to you and anything in particular that you practice?
I always say that when we have our health, we have everything. Wellbeing is attending to our inner selves.
We must live in balance, physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is a process we are required to nurture and foster throughout our lives, but it is well worth the effort. We cannot effectively share ourselves to the world if we are not whole.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
No podemos hacer arte para complacer a los demás. Tenemos que hacerlo para hacerlos pensar. Cuando doy una conferencia, remito a los oyentes a mi lema LPP: amor, pasión y perseverancia. Ha sido esencial en mi práctica desde el comienzo de mi carrera.
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