The relationship between the artist and the White Continent began in 2008 when the INACH (Chilean Antarctic Institute) invited her to create a cover of the newsletter. This led her to investigate and explore this universe: “I was captivated by the algae and their ways, I was interested in wildlife and how a place that seems devoid of life, is actually the opposite”.
In 2011 she began working with the historical researcher Consuelo León, a member of the Fundación Valle Hermoso, in Valparaiso. Together they decided that Araneda paint portraits of the men who participated in the first land expedition to Antarctica, beginning with the year 1947: “For me it was a really interesting job because I have learned a lot and it always surprises me the man’s need to explore and go beyond. ”
The aim of the artist was to face herself on a journey which was to come across situations, people, ideas and reflections which she may not be able to process. He devoted herself to learn and be inspired. Andrea toured the White Continent for six days with other two artists, aboard the icebreaker “Almirante Oscar Viel”, being part of the INACH’s Antarctic Scientific Expedition No. 48.
“Sailing in the ice is something unique and different that I had never lived. See the forms and colors; it was like a sculptural installation. An atmosphere that reminds you of the majesty of existence” she recalls. With regard to the landscape of the region she knows, she found differences in Fildes bay, were the big rocks in the sea reminded her of the Mediterranean sea, plus she was surprised by how the fauna owned the place.
For the artist it would be interesting to return to Antarctica to cover more ground, since most of the time was spent on the ship Oscar Viel, sailing. “We made only a drop in President Gabriel Gonzalez Videla Island, where we got to know the smell of the penguins, see them up close, hear their sounds … I think we live rather a part of it,” she explains.
Andrea Araneda was able to portray certain characters and their relationship to the Antarctic: The waiter who cares about the welfare of those who go on the ship, the scientist who investigates a tick that is installed on the penguin, the documentarian who travels to record all it can.
She was very attracted to the work of the scientists, their deep interest in research that leads to build camps where there is nothing set up for that, and deal with nature, living with wildlife and climate: “I think what drives a scientist to do research is very similar to what takes to realize their creative work. There is a common and inexplicable passion “.
The artist explains that there is an emotional landscape of every human being. Each person brings an inner reality that everyone knows only: “Everyone has a story, dreams, fears, a sense of happiness, death, religious belief, a power of good and evil and it depends on how we balance it”.
One of the objectives of the program Sello Región is to bring Antarctica to the entire population and generate a real interest in it. Andrea agrees that art is a way of bringing the White Continent and thus raise the understanding of its importance and create roots. “I personally learned a lot through the interviews I did to those portrayed and that really created a relationship,” she said.
To her surprise the trip changed the way she work even in “a positive crisis”, which need to order their thematic and technical interests: “The idea came to interview people and record portraying thereby started make a video to complement the work of painting”. So she began to rethink her creative language: Enjoy painting, computer and now is starting to embroider.
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Did you change something in your daily life or your way of thinking about certain things?
Rather than changing, say further, remember and see more clearly. I scored a lot of the inner journey I made with the Antarctic scenario. Many reflections. It was like going back a bit to the origin, to the primitive. The immensity of the ice is much like that of the smaller agencies, in its beauty and its existence. Items not know do not cease to exist for that. There are equal and have a place. And that extends to the fields of human beings. And our vulnerability. What we are small in size compared to the universe and length of time spent on earth. That makes you laugh the ego and understand that we are part of an infinite plot.
And uncertainty as a constant in our lives, we do not know what can happen in 5 minutes. What is truly important? How do I live my daily life? Concentrate on what I have. Be grateful, brave and noble.