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1. Where were you born and where are you from?
We come from two different places in Spain, Galicia and Almería. It could be said that in order to meet up, we’ve had to cover one of the longest diagonals in our country.
2. What is your first memory connected to the art world?
Pedro: I moved to Madrid in my twenties, and as my former flatmate was taking a degree in Filmmaking, it was during those years that I visited the Prado Museum, the Queen Sofía Modern Art Museum and some other art galleries around the city for the first time. My interest in art was growing, so I made the decision to return to college with the ultimate aim of undertaking some indepth research into artistic processes. I first took a undergraduate degree in Fine Arts in Granada and later on a master’s degree in Artistic Production in Valencia, the place where I live and carry out my work together with Raquel and our newborn son, André.
Raquel: I was born in a fairly artistic family. My father has always composed and played music with almost every instrument he has laid his hands on, and my mother, apart from taking care of us, used to devote her free time to the theatre. My grandmother on my father’s side was a craftswoman; she made dolls and painted in oils, and I would walk down the stairs to her workroom, with the excuse of searching for the cats, when what I actually wanted was to look, smell and touch everything there. That room became my fetish shelter, as I loved to spend a quiet time there. Afterwards, I studied at Almería School of Arts, got my undergraduate diploma in Granada and came to Valencia to study the same master’s degree as Pedro.
3. Have you always worked in the art and design field?
Ever since we met, we’ve worked together on many projects, which have enabled us to carry out continuous research in different but convergent directions derived from the painting and sculpting fields, always wondering about the irrefutable space-time relationship. After several years of work in which we combined our most plastic production with image projects linked to photography, video, graphics and art, we came across metal and clay, two materials which, as they are closely connected, caught our attention both in terms of their durability and because they have undoubtedly marked the development of our society.
4. What led you to the design creation?
We realised that metal and clay objects have always been needed, to store, transport and serve food, to preserve perfumes and essential oils, and to indicate marital status, positions of authority or family affiliation. It could be said that this was the moment when the idea of linking our artistic abilities to object design arose, inevitably connected to everything we had done before. We suddenly discovered that this new line of research was the means that would allow us to relate our interests, and that our workshop could be the physical place to work, experiment and share time, experiences and projects at a slower pace and in greater depth, away from the pressures of the outside world. We needed our work to move away from installative actions to become a project in which human relationships were established differently. We felt the need to build a place where the dialogue with people would be closer and more direct.
5. How would you describe your creative process and its influences?
The processes we enjoy the most and the way we like to approach them resembles the idea of a map, with a rhizomatic structure that allows a repositioning of images, words and objects to establish new relationships and create a personal cartography open to constant rereadings.
6. Could you describe a typical working day?
Since André was born, our days have changed a lot and our organization is quite fluid and full of unpredictable occurrences, as he is the one who determines our working times. In any case, we try to keep days relatively intensive in the morning. Pedro has breakfast at 6:30 so that he can start in the workshop from 7:30 until Raquel and André arrive, which is usually around 10:30. Then Raquel takes over the workshop until 13:30 or so. After lunch, we return to the workshop for a couple more hours, also alternating the work shifts to be able to play with André. Our day ends at 18:00 and we come back home for dinner and share a few hours together just the three of us. Although this would be our ideal timetable, the reality is that our schedules are extremely flexible to be able to reconcile our working life with our family life, which is one of the most valuable things our profession has given us.
7. Why did you choose the specific materials you work with?
Ceramics and metal allow us to review routes from the past into the present; two crafts that require a slow production time, which makes the observation and acquisition of small fragments indispensable for the creation of cartography. Experimentation with glazes, with natural beeswax and its subsequent casting process, and with the shapes and hybridization of both materials, are territories rich in processes which deserve to be observed and from which we obtain samples for our future study. This makes us feel like metal and clay archaeologists.
8. What are the technical particularities of your creations?
Our creative process is not subject to a single prior idea that may be developed later on, rather it is a continuum in which one thing leads to another. We try to think and reflect on processes without a concrete opening and closure, so one idea accompanies us to meet another. We draw and observe objects all the time, looking at archive images that are present throughout the process, and making sketches and conducting mini-experiments that enable us to think and reflect about the shapes, textures, structures and images that we could use in creating the pieces. All this happens parallel to the construction of our objects, without a clearly differentiated before or after, so we could say that we build thinking and think about building.
9. What advice could you give to budding artists who would like to create sculptural design
The time we spend on the project and each piece will remain very important to us. Our objects are born from us always observing, thinking and making, a dynamic process that accompanies us from the beginning of the project. This immersive temporality makes every step we take critically thought out and analysed, learning from mistakes, and trying to maintain a consistent and more robust line of work every day.
10. If your works had to belong to a design movement, in which would you place them?
We prefer to think that our work is not defined by a concrete movement, but is shaped by the sum of them, as a kind of palimpsest.
11. What designers have influenced you?
Our focus has a strong naturalistic and historical character. We find the ancient forms and ancestral ways of production that really interest us throughout different times in history. We continually observe primitive designs produced with as few tools as possible, and above all, we pay special attention to Iberian, Roman and Greek designs, which are an intrinsic part of our Mediterranean culture. Looking at what surrounds us, we find textures, colours and shapes that the natural world offers if you dedicate enough time to its observation. This influence is mixed with the imaginary of designers such as Lucie Rie, Hans Cooper, Ewen Henderson and Johannes Nagel.
12. Which contemporary designers do you appreciate?
Faye Toogood, TODOMUTA studio, Max Lamb, Vicenzo De Cotiis and Nacho Carbonel.
13. Which contemporary artists in any kind of artistic field have you been inspired by?
Olafur Eliasson, James Turrell, Anish Kapoor, Gerhard Richter, Michael Müller, Allan McCollum, Rebeca Horn, LEUNORA SALIHU, Jenny Brosinski, THOMAS SCHÜTTE, and PETER DOIG.
14. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be?
Address. Calle Puerto Rico nº40 bajo izquierda, Valencia.
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