Ana Spoon is a Valencia-based, Spanish artist who specializes in drawing as a way of articulating her interests in psychology. Her work investigates a line of research into the psychology and neurotic phases that coincide with the creative process, aiming to take on the educational, social, cultural and therapeutic aspects of art. Her training in art therapy has moved her work beyond intricate and detailed drawings into a more embodied and deeper realm, integrating sculpture as well as drawing.
She became interested in art therapy after realizing that, unconsciously, she was using materials as a means of exploring the inside of surface physical sensations: the ability to filter through and to bring out disease and pain in a visible way. Spoon has researched the relationship between psychic and visible pain and her work deals with the concepts of health and self-knowledge through the process of creation. She combines her personal knowledge of the creative process with her professional experience and her methodological knowledge. In turn, her art itself has been nourished through the theoretical and experiential contributions of her workshops and art therapy classes.
Spoon proposes the use of fabric as a sculptural object. This recent expansion of her work is inspired by the concept of ‘I Skin’ by the psychoanalyst Didier Ancieu. Ancieu conceptualized the term with the belief that human corporality is the first conscious reality. The sensorial is the first trace that appears in our psyche, beginning with our experiences of intrauterine life. Ancieu’s term encompasses the sense of being in one’s own skin, its characteristics and functions. The term serves as a parallel between this and consciousness, involving the psychic apparatus. ‘A darkness that consumes you’ is Spoon’s cryptic title for a series, wherein she reflects on a textile universe that investigates the symbolic dimensions of material and its similarity with human physiognomy. Curtains and sheets are torn and trimmed to compose a series of pieces that seek to replicate on textile the most intimate bodily experiences. Through textile fibers, the pieces filter the light in a translucent territory that is sensitive to the context surrounding them.
Spoon creates pointillist ink patterns on the surface of the material. This automated exercise of overlapping points on the porous surface of the textile creates a graphic that expands along the fabric. This combination contributes to a graphic territory that obscures the surface. Optical illusions of form give the impression that figures are arising from this semiconscious repetitive exercise of pen on fabric. As the brain has a tendency to homogenize what is within our visual field, it attempts to create a familiar form that can be identified. The effect of these apparitions created by the the mind are deconstructed when approaching the piece, the figurative impression takes on an ethereal consistency.
‘A darkness that consumes you’ is a series of work that revolves around the poetics of fabrics and their behavior; about the disappearance of the tangible. The cracks, creases and fissures created by the ink and pen, mark the material with memory. Spoon’s work is extremely sensitive to light exposure that surrounds it, creating illusions within the work. The artist values the investigation of existential meaning as a tool for therapeutic self-exploration and emotional balance. Both aspects of her work—the creation and the psychological exploration—represent disciplines that provide her a substantial amount of artistic feedback and reflection.