Marifer Barrero

Paper House, 2007
Paper, mixed media, 300 x 600 x 500 cm

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Our way of understanding the space in which we live is defined by our perceptual experiences of it. My sculpture practice is based on two main axioms: (1) Everything that exists is part of a whole and is a whole in itself and (2) there is no fragmentation in the different qualities of life, boundaries are illusory. The aim of my sculpture is to research the spatial sense of self as a means to observe that there is no gap or fragmentation between the world and ourselves. The notion of spatial sense of self is explored in my practice through perceptual experience where monochromy, colour, silence, containment of space are the central elements of exploration. I propose three main tools to live the interconnectedness of life and to experience it through my sculpture practice:

Silence: a transitional space that clarifies the illusory gap between the self and the world.
Containment of space: embracing the space that contains the self.
Spatial sense of self: exploring ourselves through space.

Formally speaking my practice is involved with elements of daily life and perception experiences that are analyzed through the three main tools. Nature, plants, landscape, the earth, the sky, enclosed spaces and simple observations are the main motifs. Textiles, paper, found objects, plants are the predominating materials. Containing, folding, sewing, wrapping and embracing are fundamental actions.

As an example of my work, I can refer to Paper House. This project was approved for the Slade Research Centre at Woburn Square in March 2007. It is a white paper house based on the shape of my former studio. Within this project I was researching the idea of the mind as a container, where the essence of it is not changed, but its relationship to space and place is dynamic and therefore vulnerable. Paper House led to a second installation, White Paper Room where the experience of monochrome, vulnerable and contained space was further explored. These projects took me to explore monochrome paper construction objects using origami, geometry and geodesic principles which resulted in I bought an orchid in Sainsbury’s, a paper orchid copied from the orchid I bought in the supermarket and that survived in my room. At the moment I am continuing my work in the construction of contained spaces and paper objects, as well as in wrapping and embracing objects in different textiles.