We know very well that the name does not make the thing, but in Adalina Coromines’ case an alternative vocabulary needs to be drawn up.
Her exhibition in the Can Mario Museum in Palafrugell, where the sculpture collections of the Vila Casas Foundation are held, makes your head spin.
Are we in a painting or a sculpture exhibition? The material is earthly: sand, silicates, clay, lime, and the volumes seem to fit with the technique of bas-relief more than the material informalism of, say, a Tàpies. And taking of informalism, are we looking at a series of abstract or figurative works? In fact, all work is an abstraction of something… Informalist, then? No. There are cracks and incisions. Art Brut? No, not that either.
There are two pairs of twin works in which we can sense symbols. Something female in one and peace in the other. There are also geometries that suggest the cross. Symbols, “presences made from absences”, that do not determine the sense of the works. Red herrings.
Some people say that the painting—or sculpture—is a window of different dimensions. In Adalina’s case it would be better to talk of doors; opening that can take us to new spiritual states…or not. We can also simply talk about presences: “my aim is that when looking at the works someone can connect with the moment, inhabit the present”, the artist explains.
Adalina also tells us that following a period of problems she chose the discipline of walking in nature. She had had an epiphany as a child: “you form part of everything, and everything is you”.
She walked for four years until one day she had an injury. Immobilised at home she spotted her partner’s box of watercolours and she started to paint. By painting and creating she reached the same place as in the woods: “when I go into my studio I smile with fulfilment”, she admits.
We could classify Adalina Coromines’ procedure as “metaphysical constructivism”. Her goal is plastic even though the creative process obliges her to experiment limitlessly, guided and almost pushed by her intuition. The right thing only emerges after an exhaustive process of rejection and destruction.
An act of rural artistry that would delight Perejaume.
Adalina creates by sedimentation: she sometimes scratches sketches on the wood on which the material will be deposited and then floods it with water and adds the pigments. The result is often random but calculated at the same time. When the work dries out she digs and ploughs out the earth in an act of rural artistry than would delight Perejaume.
All the materials she uses are natural and none of them are toxic. When she is not pleased with the work she immediately destroys it and its components are recycled.
Thinking about layers, at the beginning of this article I said that in Adalina’s case an alternative vocabulary is required. From the Latin humor we get liquid, humidity, and in particular the type that the earth transpires. Earth that is called humus. The smile on the artist’s face as she goes into her studio is, then, the greatest expression of creative fluidity.
The cracks that break the earthy surfaces are part of the process of regeneration, of a present continuous that covers all other possible times. If there are scars, then it is a sign that the wound has healed. And there is no better symbol of hope than that.
The exhibition Adalina Coromines. Scars, can be seen at the Can Mario Museum in Palafrugell until 9 May 2021.