By Juli Bolaños-Durman
Presenting a series of glass sculptures developed through an intercultural dialogue between mystical India and a Scotland-based Costa Rican artist.
During the 12th edition of the Arte Laguna Prize, Costa Rican artist Juli Bolaños-Durman was selected as the winner of the Art Residency offered by Basu Foundation for the Arts in Kolkata, India. The residency undertaken in January 2019 gave Juli the chance to enhance her interdisciplinary practice by drawing inspiration from India’s vibrant culture and developing professional connections that helped her to create a new body of work informed by this experience.
The eclectic cultural program of the Basu Foundation Residency allowed her to develop new directions in her artistic process. By collaborating with the Karwaan Design Project and local glass craftsmen from the Firozabad community (which has 500 years of Persian glass tradition), together they produced a series of conceptual glass sculptures that embody this cultural exchange. Aspects of their interaction that were lost in translation have contributed to an exciting and unexpected expression of new insights.
Juli added a poetic layer of significance to the glass objects inspired by the foundation’s Palace. The artist was encouraged to wonder about the people that used to live there, as well as about their relationships with each other and this building, full of history and magic. Furthermore, she has managed to achieve a fresh visual narrative by uniting both her playful yet profound vision and the spirit of the place.
Juli’s diverse experience at Basu Foundation can be easily linked to the core of her artistic statement: ‘I want to create raw pieces that are put together sensibly through the joyfulness of play, and explore different materials and ideas to challenge the boundaries of art and its meaning’.
For Juli Bolaños-Durman, the residency in India has been an enormous opportunity to learn, discover and enrich her artistic practice. Not only to develop a new body of work, but also to step out of her comfort zone and foster interesting partnerships for future collaborations.
Sponsored by the Basu Foundation, in partnership with Arte Laguna Prize.
Photo Credits: Vivian Sarky 2019