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French Version

Amado's mental photography

Amidst the sand, colors, and the carefully placed pigments, Clara Amado of Barcelona, Spain gives us an inner look at what she sees when visiting our greatly prided sites.

Amidst the sand, colors, and the carefully placed pigments, Clara Amado of Barcelona, Spain gives us an inner look at what she sees when visiting our greatly prided sites. Holding her eighth Jordanian exhibition at the "4 walls" Gallery of the Sheraton Hotel, the well-educated artist dazzles all with her expressionist art work of Wadi Mujib, Petra, Aqaba, and the Dead Sea.
Amado's mental photography is vitalized through the use of three basic tools; paper, sand, and natural pigments. Using these, the final results protrude at the observer in an almost life-like way. Through their employment, Amado manages to set tones of naturalism, abstract expressionism, and realism. Her delicate undertones of color and grain reflect a primary motif of nature and its lack of uniformity.

The haphazard distribution of the sand grains, coupled with the well-calculated shading, gives the viewer the impression of observing a photograph.

However, at second glance, one notes that the artist has cleverly created a layer formula for her paintings. Using paper and sand, Amado introduces a separate dimension into her art, dividing the painting into three layers, and thus generating an altogether realistic appearance of the mountains, peaks, and valleys she creates.

These layers are first, the base which is animated through the use of natural pigments, second, the paper above the base, and finally, the sand grains that contribute to the element of naturalism inherent throughout her paintings. The layers almost seem to flow into one another, having no distinct boundaries and no specified limits, just as nature itself appears to be endless.

Furthermore, unlike the common painting where the general sensation is of being on the outside looking in, Amado's paintings engulf the observer in the vast array of colors in a way that generates the sensation of being present within the scenery that is depicted. A prime example of such a piece is that illustrating Wadi Mujib.

Through the slight crack of the two corresponding rocks, the observer sees the subtle shades of blue and white portraying the "Wadi" itself. The talented artist, through her whirlwind of colors, sand grains, and paper shapes, allows the observer to create a mental image of what is being represented. For example, throughout her pieces representing the Dead Sea, Amado shows distinct outlines of thick black, which are perhaps intended to illustrate the renowned mud that the sea is known for.

However, not all of Amado's pieces show a distinct meaning. In some pieces, she employs shocking contrasts of color that serve a purpose that may vary from one viewer to the next. This, in turn, contributes to the subtle beauty tucked in between the layers of each piece. A recurring object throughout Amado's paintings is the mountain. Varying in color and shape, almost every piece appears to have a mountain of some sort.

Although seemingly repetitive, each mountain serves as a contrast to the environment depicted. Some stand amidst water, some below clouds, and some in correspondence with other mountains. Amado's use of color is perhaps the most important element of her art work, it sets the tone for each piece by either reflecting the atmosphere, or intensifying it.

From the blue, to the brown, to the shocking red and black, Amado animates her chosen sites through a variety of colors that each serve a distinct purpose within the piece. Amidst the sand, the colors, and the carefully placed pigments, Amado illustrates our renowned Jordanian sites in a way that no photograph can. The exhibit continues till 8 August.


Amman,27July2002
Aseel Barghuthi
The Star


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