Carmem Gusmao

Roots I

My work is founded in my life. It's almost autobiographical. Throughout my existence, my passion was for old ritualized cultures, symbols and signs. The human psyche has always been seductive to me, enough so that I attended psychology courses to delve deeply into the magical and mystic universe of Carl Gustav Jung (disciple of Sigmund Freud). Through my art research I sought to prove the existence of the filogenetic inheritance. At last, Classic Literature, Philosophy, Biblical Texts, the universe of my culture profoundly influenced my artistic skills. Some of the passages from Baudelaire's The Flowers of the Evil inspire the sacred hearts of my paintings. In much the same way as the darker characters from Crime and Punishment of Dostowiesky lend their fears to my blue paintbrush. In Pablo Neruda I explored his metaphor until exhaustion (clearly that I continue searching...) and many times, found the source of my red blood in Kafka's The Judgment. In the Brazilian Amazon, where I grew physically and spiritual, I dove near the multicolored clay that runs in the riverbed and found the seeds that germinate in a thousand colors and forms between my paintings and ceramics. Among the native Kayap??s Indians, I lived days between the forest and the river, the dance and the ritual, the pureness of a people who insist to survive, though. One day, with rains and thunderstorms drenching the forest, the red clay dissolved in the soil and I glimpsed one of the most beautiful spectacles that life could have ever offered me. Dozens of Indian ankles brilliantly decorated with crimson bands of Urucum (A Amazon seed) extract interlaced with precise geometric patterns made from the black juice of Genipapo (An Amazon Fruit). That vision celebrated life, the existence of everything, the force and the courage. At that moment the only thing I knew was that while the painted ankles existed, so too would my work in divulging this spectacular culture which, without a doubt, influenced the growth of the Brazilian nation. And so, my little clay rolls, my little bricks of adobe had been born as the trays of life. Of the land that drained wet between my fingers, I now play God and create inside of fragile boxes of iron, my form of indestructible Kayap??s Indians!