WMA Artist Interview with Laura Lucía Sanz
The exhibition Path of Entry was to have opened at WMA this spring, but due to the temporary closure of the museum, it was postponed until next year. The group show, featuring artists from around the world and guest curated by Chintia Kirana, was inspired by the poem “Remember” by U.S. poet laureate Jo Harjo, and features work dealing with the environment, the process of reflection, and remembering.
Below is a short interview with Path of Entry artist Laura Lucía Sanz. Be sure to check out her takeover of WMA’s Instagram account on June 11, and others from the Path of Entry artists from May 21-June 25.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, and where do you live and work now?
My name is Laura Lucía Sanz, I’m from Bogotá, Colombia. I grew up there and did a BA in arts in Bogotá. After graduation I pursued an MFA in Syracuse University, and that brought me to the US. I live and work in New York City. Currently I’m located in Irvington, NY for a couple of months in a small town near the Hudson River.
How would you describe your artistic practice? What medium(s) do you work with principally?
My artistic practice is very organic. I use drawing and painting as my main medium because it is the way that I think and process ideas and emotions. I’m drawing constantly things of my life, current world events, mainly things that I read and want to integrate with other sources, conversations or referents that are surrounding me at the moment. Later, I play with these drawings, make them bigger or in different techniques, edit, organize, regroup, and find new meanings in them. After playing around more specific projects start to form, sometimes jumping into different mediums. I’ve worked with ceramics, installations, collage, photography, video and now animation.
How did you get involved with the Path of Entry exhibition? Tell us about the work you’ve contributed and how it relates to the central themes of the show.
I got involved with the Path of Entry exhibition by meeting the curator Chintia Kirana at Vermont Studio Center, in May 2019. We took many long walks among nature and chat about everything. We found a mutual sense of awe and respect toward nature and share the concern about climate change. The work I’ve contributed is intended to celebrate nature but also reflects the anxiety and impotence of living an environmental catastrophe that seems to be in the hands of unresponsive world leaders.
What do you do to find inspiration for your work?
To find inspiration for my work I start drawing, pick up a book or go for long walks and look at everything. Being in nature and focusing on the light always gets me started, looking at colors puts me in a good mood, and then I’m ready to work. Going to a museum, a conference, having a conversation with someone real and smart. For me it is about finding a way of getting in the right mind set of relaxation and focus, and not stepping away from my work for too long because otherwise I get too critical and it is hard to start again. Sometimes making a mess and then organizing my work space helps to spin old ideas around or find new materials.
What have you been doing to stay inspired during these times of social isolation?
Staying in touch with the people that are important to me has helped me to stay inspired. I’m lucky to be surrounded by very driven and talented humans in different creative fields. Also all the injustice, racism and inequality that has become even more evident by this crisis has motivated me to create more, to look for more ways of pushing for change, imagine a new system, and not conform with the current order.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed your schedule for the upcoming year? What’s next for you?
Covid-19 has changed my plans completely for the upcoming year and for this one. I had to step away from everything that I was involved with and find a temporary new place to live. I’m not sure what is next to me. I have some publication projects cooking, and some collaborations on the way, that were delayed but hopefully will come together soon. Other than that I plan to keep creating and learning, listen and to get used to change.