'The Veil That Veils The Moon'
Viewing Room 1st - 22nd June 2021
‘The Veil That Veils The Moon’ is a digital solo exhibition of 3 original artworks by Mafalda Figueiredo, running for just 3 weeks. One new work will be released each Tuesday throughout the duration of the exhibition, accompanied by text and detail images, to encourage a slower and more comprehensive engagement. The exhibition invites collectors to get intimate and build a personal connection with the artwork before purchase.
The exhibition forms part of an ongoing series entitled '3 Works for 3 Weeks'; an innovative take on the traditional solo exhibition, promoting slow looking and true engagement with the artist, the artworks and the concepts behind them.
Scroll down to view the artworks and their accompanying texts.
For all purchase enquires please get in touch.
"THE SUBJECTS IN THIS PAINTING REPRESENT OPPOSING POSITIONS: THE SOOTHER AND THE SUFFERER. THE SOOTHER, PAINTED IN GREEN, PROVIDES COMFORT, PROTECTION AND LOVE, WHICH THE INNER CHILD WITHIN THE SUFFERER IS CRAVING."
DETAIL IMAGES OF 'BLACK HOLE'
‘Black Hole’ features two women in the midst of a tender embrace; the soother and the sufferer. One is a martyr-like figure complete with halo while the other sits vulnerably below her, desperately seeking to be touched and loved unconditionally. The latter stares out at the viewer, acknowledging our intrusion on this moment. As we look down to her chest, we see the namesake of the title, a black hole engorged in her chest, showing us that a piece of her is missing or has been taken.
The black hole represents a void, emptiness, a numbness.
Here there is a clear need for maternal protection and love, especially in moments of crisis when we have suffered and need comforting by someone who can provide a safety net.
Both figures sit within an embellished background, the chaos of stipes entangled and entwined into each other representing the chaos of feelings by the sufferer. While the serenity of white flowers sit above, which in religious iconography represent purity and often specifically symbolise the Virgin Mary for her purity; the ultimate Mother.
There is such tenderness in this moment, perfectly captured by Figueiredo’s sensitive mark making. The unconditional love radiates through the canvas, evoking religious scenes of the ultimate forgiveness which only a martyr figure can give.
"I HAVE A RECURRENT DREAM WHERE I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR A SMALL BABY THAT FITS IN THE PALM OF MY HAND... I BELIEVE THIS REPRESENTS THE ANXIETIES AND CONTRADICTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH THE FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE ROLE; THAT WHICH IS IMPOSED BY THE PATRIARCHY AND THAT WHICH IS CHOSEN AND THE TENSIONS BETWEEN THE TWO."
DETAIL IMAGES OF 'FOUND IT AGAIN'
Darker in tone than many of her works, ‘Found it again’ is based in a nightscape, with Figueiredo’s ever present moon surrounded by a cacophony of stars. Within a mountainous landscape a woman glances over her shoulder to acknowledge the viewer, while holding a tiny baby in her outstretched palm.
The almost surreal, dreamlike mountainous landscape looks alive as vines pick up and carry a baby seat just out of their reach. The loose brushstrokes in this work give it a flowing energy, reminiscent of finding yourself in a dream where everything makes sense but at the moment of waking it seems undone and difficult to articulate.
The title of this work suggests that something was lost; the maternal instinct? The woman is not smiling in the way we would expect after finding something, instead she looks solemn. She is frozen in a moment surrounded by feelings of confusion, fear, maybe love? Yet she cradles this tiny baby’s vulnerable body with care and tenderness. How does a woman verbalise her autonomy over her own body? When is fertility and childbearing truly your own choice, rather than what is expected? And just because we can, should this be expected above everything else the contemporary world has to offer?
Raising questions and challenging sexual stereotypes, this work has been painted with loose mark making, oozing with energy and immediacy demonstrating Figueiredo’s almost palpable passion.
"THIS PAINTING IS ABOUT A POWER STRUGGLE BETWEEN COMPETING PARTS OF MYSELF. IT CAME FROM A NEED TO SOOTHE INNER CONFLICT AND TO REGAIN CONTROL OVER MY LIFE"
DETAIL IMAGES OF 'SNAKE'
A dramatic face to face stand-off ensues between a woman and snake. Both hold their mouths open, waiting for the first move to be made. The woman glances out to us, pulling the viewer into this moment with her, making sure we’re watching this intense situation unfold.
The painting represents a power struggle, one in which competing parts of one’s own psyche are at a conflict. Recalling the Buddhist term ‘Monkey Mind’, to be unsettled or restless, it also refers to a part of your brain connected to the ego, which causes anxiety and makes you feel incapable. The monkey mind, represented here by the snake, is your inner critic, which stifles creativity and insists on being heard.
Reminiscent of the ultimate sin, the painting also recalls the story of Eve and the fall of man by a cunning serpent. This woman is clearly is ready for the fight of her inner demons, plucking the serpent herself to face him head on.
Bold primary colours sing in this painting, the blue and green of the background alluding to the Garden of Eden and the ever-present moon radiates across the scene. The moon represents feminine energy, but also the controller of tides, moods and animal behaviour. It is particularly fitting in this scene, providing its strength to the woman who is seemingly bathed in its light as she makes this incredible stand.
“'THE VEIL THAT VEILS THE MOON' IS A RECONSTRUCTION OF R. D. LAING’S IDEA THAT 'WE ARE THE VEIL THAT VEILS US FROM OURSELVES'. THE MOON IS AN EVER PRESENT SYMBOL IN MY WORK. IT’S ALMOST A SIGNATURE, IT HOLDS THE SYMBOLIC AND EMOTIONAL CHARGE I ASSOCIATE WITH THE IMAGES I CREATE. IN A WAY IT’S ME, AS THE OBSERVER OF MY OWN IMAGINATION. I’M BOTH HIDDEN AND REVEALED BY MY PAINTINGS. I’M REVEALED TO MYSELF AND HIDDEN FROM OTHERS BY MEANS OF SYMBOLISM AND METAPHORIC IMAGERY. THEY ARE THE VEIL THAT VEILS ME."
Liminal Gallery is delighted to present the first in a series of online solo exhibitions entitled 3 Works for 3 Weeks, with Mafalda Figueiredo.
Mafalda Figueiredo is a Portuguese artist based in London who works predominantly in oils on paper and canvas. Her paintings are deeply autobiographical in nature, depicting fierce women in brightly coloured landscapes sharing sometimes tender, sometimes defiant moments. Her characters, often reminiscent of the stances seen in Renaissance paintings, are caught off guard sharing intimate moments, as they stare out of the canvas to the viewer, making us complicit in their narrative. The watched becomes the watcher. The position of voyeur is constantly in flux, as her characters and the viewer jostle for the title of the object.
Loose brushstrokes are full of movement and colour, coupled with incredible precision and detail as scenes are built around these characters, giving her works a burst of energy, while building the narrative and characters to a crescendo moment.
3 Works for 3 Weeks is an innovative take on the traditional solo exhibition, promoting slow looking and true engagement with the artist, the artworks and the concepts behind them.
‘The Veil That Veils The Moon’ is a digital solo exhibition of 3 original artworks by Figueiredo, running for just 3 weeks. A new artwork will be released each week, accompanied by text and detail images, to encourage a slower and more comprehensive look at the artworks. The exhibition invites collectors to get intimate and build a personal connection with the artwork before purchase.
Each Tuesday throughout the duration of the exhibition, Liminal Gallery will release a new artwork onto the dedicated Viewing Room found on liminal-gallery.com.
To purchase please get in touch with us firstname.lastname@example.org