Antigua Abstracted

Antigua Abstracted

The City of La Antigua Guatemala is, for me, completely coloured by my experience of life as an artist. Often out of all the photographs I take, the ones that end up “speaking” back to me with the most intensity are those expressed abstractly through the language of line, colour, movement, form, surface and texture. In this image of a night Procession during Holy Week, the literal, representational image is almost completely dissolved by movement and light. What remains are traces of light distilled into line, a ghostly record of time passing and the impermanence of things. The Italian “Futurists” were particularly interested in finding ways to depict movement and speed through the use of repetitious painterly marks on the canvas.

In other images from Antigua perhaps it is the intensity of a colour combination, the beauty of a chance arrangement, or the quality of line which first attracts the eye. The whole history of Art can be found in Antigua and for me a creative energy resides and resonates there as a powerful living force, just waiting to be expressed into being. Maybe this a part of what draws so many people to Guatemala, this vital life energy, which is palpable in the streets, in the air itself, and manifested so strongly in its rituals, customs and people.

text and photos by Michele Woodey.

Antigua Abstracted 2 Antigua Abstracted 3

Michele WoodeyAbout Guest Contributor: Michele Woodey is an artist and painter living in Toronto. She is also “half” of a creative collaboration” known as “Fiona Hoop”. Michele is art editor, writer and contributor to out of Miami, Florida. Fiona Hoop intends to set up studio in Antigua in the near future.

© 2009 – 2016, Michele Woodey. All rights reserved.

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  • emromesco

    Great way of trying to capture the movement in LAG. The ghostly cucuruchos remind me of a legend… Los Penitentes de la Merced (?) Please anyone, correct me with the title and add the author… although it is indeed a “popular tale” I am sure I read it somewhere authored by someone.

  • Eric

    Wow, Michele … different, is the only word I can come up with…and I mean it in the most complimentary way. Unique. I’ll second emromesco, and say that the way you capture the movement is stunning. My limited knowledge about painting made me think “Pollack”(sp?) when I saw the first shot – it reminds me of an enlarged section of “Blue Poles”. Awesome sensations of movement, and vibrant color splashes. Nicely done. Carry on !

  • Yes I agree Eric, Jackson Pollack’s ” action ” painting does come to mind.He was all about the movement and involvement of the body , creating traces in time and working with a mixture of controllable and uncontrollable elements……….

  • Good work and capture of movement; I hope we get more submissions from Michele. 😉

  • “this vital life energy, which is palpable in the streets, in the air itself, and manifested so strongly in its rituals, customs and people.” What more to say? Beautiful photo and beautiful description!