Everyday for the past two months, my phone has been buzzing nonstop. I have received countless notifications. To say it doesn’t affect me or someone I know would be a lie. For the first time in twenty-three years, I feel suffocated. Thus, at this turbulent day of age, I find myself wandering back to the works of Fernando Prats. I seem to find comfort and understanding from Prats’ nature series, and I hope you are able to find solace as well.
In 2018, Fernando Prats presented his inaugural exhibition Nature Paintings in Hong Kong at Puerta Roja. The series emphasizes a study of nature, particularly of bird movements. The process it took to complete this series is astonishing. Using paper or canvas, the artist induced smoke into a contained space. Gradually, the intensity of the smoke fills every delicate surface, which results in a charcoal black background. Following, Prats guided domesticated birds into the space, allowing them to wander. While some walked, others flapped its wings. Within the confined space, an array of movements disrupted the smoked surface, and crafted a peculiar trail and pattern that perceives as abstraction. Each distinctive painting celebrates the synthesis of delicacy and strength. With Affatus 3, vitality is translated through the cluster of active movements. Meanwhile, imprints of delicate feathers reminds us of how fragile these beings actually are. In comparison, Paintings of Birds depict total abstraction. The arbitrary wing beating motion created patterns of circular repetitive strokes, which coincidentally represents the boundless freedom that is associated with the symbol of birds. As a collective series, Prats’ oeuvre certainly transcends a remarkable aesthetic and tranquility.
This series particularly speaks to me. The birds reminds me of our resilient nature, trying our best to stay alive within the mist of darkness. With the days to come, one thing is for certain – whatever happens during this period will remain in history, just as movements of the birds are captured at a precise date and time, lasting infinitely.