By Carlos Alonso – Innogate To Europe
Last March, when the coronavirus was still a distant threat, Innogate to Europe had the chance to interview the Spanish artist Mónica Sánchez Robles. Her studio, located in Madrid, is part of a three-storey coworking space in which we find sculptors, graphic designers, and a craft workshop. “It is great to be surrounded by so many artists. We are constantly sharing ideas and projects”, she says.
Although we have prepared a set of questions, the conversation flows naturally. Mónica studied Fine Arts at the Complutense University of Madrid and photography at EFTI (School of Technical Photography and Image), also in Madrid. Once graduated, she moved to Paris, where she continued her training in painting and photography at Parsons Paris. Afterwards, she started to travel around the globe. “Travelling has been an essential part of my development as an artist. I think that it is important to learn about other cultures and to discover different methods and practices of working”, she claims.
With regard to the creative process, Mónica highlights the use of photography. “It is often the starting point. Nonetheless, there is a long and elaborated process between the original photography and the final artwork”. She also emphasizes the use of recycled materials. In fact, one of her latest works is an installation made of recycled iPads which shows a collection of images and sounds perfectly synchronised.
Following a similar creative pattern, Mónica tells us about ‘The colour of emotions’, the project in which she has been working for several years. “The study is about the relationship between colour and emotion, a method that invites the reflection and enjoyment of colour. Now, I am developing the last part of the project, which is called ‘The human being’. There is an online interactive test that allows me to analyse the way people connect feelings and colours“, she explains.
With exhibitions in Madrid, Paris and Málaga, Monica recalls the time she tutored a course for people with disabilities. “It was an extraordinary and enriching experience. They were extremely creative, and you learn to see things from a different perspective”, she says.
When it comes to identifying the weaknesses of the cultural sector in Spain, Mónica has no doubts: “Sometimes there is too much unnecessary bureaucracy, and so little support”. She also thinks that social networks are a useful tool to disseminate new initiatives and projects. “However, at times it is overwhelming. Too much information. There should be an official and direct channel of communication between institutions and artists” she suggests.
Eventually, Mónica mentions ‘Ras de Terra’, an old tobacco dry house in Extremadura she is trying to turn into a residence for artists. “We aim to create a sustainable environment in which artists can develop their work and share the experience with others. It is also an initiative which fights against the depopulation in rural areas”, she explains.
We send you our best wishes from all the members of AHEH.
Here you can watch the video interview to Mónica Sánchez Robles: