In Conversation:

Inner Landscapes

Art advisor and curator Laura Bartlett talks to Copenhagen-based artist Patricia Perales García about the horizon line that connects her childhood to her practice as an artist.

Photographer: Peter Dalsgaard Nielsen

No items found.

When curator Laura Bartlett first encountered the practice of artist Patricia Perales García – which spans disciplines including ceramics and textiles – she felt struck by a pervasive feeling of light. Soon afterwards, she invited Patricia to stage a solo show at her North London home.

“Slim textile panels each hang from the curve of a chalky ceramic scroll, quietly announcing their arrival,” writes Laura, in the introductory text to the exhibition titled "Three Doors Facing the Sea". “[Her] precise processes, sealing the first layer with paint and hand-stitching the shapes to their background, conjure up ideas of home and belonging that are less easily grasped”.

Though Patricia has since moved to Denmark – the two women remain in dialogue and continue to collaborate from afar. Here is one of their conversations about the deep red soil of northern Spain, mental landscapes, and home.

Patricia in her studio. Image courtesy of Peter Dalsgaard Nielsen.


LB: Describe Burgos, the city in northern Spain where you grew up. From things you’ve said I sense a dry, ancient place full of texture and light.

PPG: Yes, the landscape found in my home region in the north of Spain is dry and feels vast and flat. The soil, which is a deep red colour because of its iron, contrasts beautifully with the bright blue sky that is characteristic of the area. I love seeing the line of the horizon and its changing light and colour. When I was a child, it gave me a sense of something beyond, and an opportunity to dream of what was on the other side. 

Burgos is a long and narrow city placed on both sides of the river Arlanzón. Built of mostly sandstone, it has a warm presence. There is a feeling of going back in time, something that strikes me even more now whenever I go back. There are butchers and fishmongers side-by-side in the small streets. It’s also a very traditional – I would say dated – city with an aging population. Perhaps that’s why I left when I was 18 years old…

"Three Doors Facing the Sea". Installation view, Laura Barlett Gallery, London, 2020.

LB:  That horizon line pervades your work - the painted landscape on the hand-built textured surfaces of your ceramics, and here with these works on paper. It remains, but instead of being broad and open, the landscape its containing has become more internalised, the space depicted is more mental than physical. Could you talk a little about that?

PPG: The drawings shown at AMO come from a time of great change in my life – physically and mentally. The pregnancy especially and the months that followed were a difficult period during which I was diagnosed with OCD and anxiety. With that came a deeper understanding of myself in the last months. It made me look inward, and that’s been reflected in my work.

I have also been drawn to deeper and darker colours, and the lines have become more precise. At the same time, the landscapes motifs are less naïve and instead are my representation of how different feelings are sensed and lived in awe.

Motherhood (Fear), 2023. Oil pastel, oil crayon and colour pencil on cotton paper.

LB: Yes, the intensity of this new series of works, the way you’ve brought elements together inside landscape, instead of simply in one, a mise-en-scène. There is something dusty and silent too, reminding me of a De Chirico. Tightly bound, dreamlike, woven with content but at the same time mystical.

I can connect to those multitude of experiences they depict, like a chess board of differing emotions playing out across the works, but there is also a universality to them in their poetic sense of both displacement and connection.

Could you name one painting, one book and one song that you feel connected to at this moment?

PPG: Lately, I have been looking at paintings by Luke Samuel. I like his use of colour and the spaces they create. As for a song, “Night Ride Home” by Joni Mitchell. I love the sense of escape, freedom and mystery that the songs evokes for me.

And not a single book, but the whole living autobiography series of Deborah Levy: Things I Don't Want to Know, The Cost of Living and Real Estate. Her writing is honest, intimate, and warm. It’s made me reflect on how to create a home both within myself and in the larger picture of a lifetime. 

Several works on paper, belonging to the "Motherhood" series.
Works in progress. Image courtesy of Patricia Perales Garcia.

No items found.
Listen on SpotifyListen on Apple MusicListen on Soundcloud
Back to journal