Feel Your Own Shadow

Arandu ka 'aty - in the Guarani language it means wisdom, experience, a person who manages to feel his own shadow. 

Feel Your Own Shadow is a series of oil paintings and watercolors, still in progress, where I explore the metamorphosis that a woman experiences in/through motherhood - devastating and wonderful at the same time.

The series seeks to bring to light the shadow of the condition of motherhood in a world that tends to take it for granted. The title of the series comes from the Guarani people of the Amazon where a wise person is the one who is able to feel their own shadow.

The most recent paintings are accompanied by poems that work as interlocutors with the paintings in order to enhance the experience.

When my eyes went blind

I sought refuge in the womb of the Earth

Grandmother trees who see suspended in time

Mothers of all mothers 

give me clarity to release the past

carry my future

and anchor the present

I can hear the river, my son 

every time I feed you

My body a moon that empties and fills itself

Thirst and hunger take over me my womb creates a river that I don’t control but that you provoke it is the river of all lives

Mother, the river tastes like you even in front of the shadows of an ashamed herd

Flesh soil stretched skin 

I knew to how to give birth

Still in a trance

I feel the presence

of my mother

Of your mother of all mothers

On the ground I recognize the infinite courage of all of them

No nací en tierra sin árboles

oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm, 2021

A single physical form has several spirits and images into which it transforms. But these are only visible through dreams, says Davi Kopenawa, shaman and spokesman for the indigenous Yanomami. Only by dreaming can one understand the multiplicity of being that is in constant transformation. But then what is dreaming? Ailton Krenak, a Brazilian indigenous leader, ecologist and writer, describes it: “For some people, dreaming is getting out of reality, giving up the practicality of life. For others, however, life is meaningless if it is not made up of dreams, the place we go in search of songs, cures, inspiration and even solutions to practical problems that confuse and elude us during the day, but that arise in all its possibilities in the realm of sleep."

Tengo culebras

watercolor on paper, 35x27cm, 2021

For people like me, raised in a post-colonial Western paradigm, understanding reality from an indigenous perspective implies unlearning; let go, question, and rethink our ingrained conception of the world. It involves a monumental effort, if perhaps impossible, to transgress the limits of our world and thus enter a"Weltanschauung", a worldview that defies all Western logic and ontology.

The act of unlearning,while difficult and obtuse, is revealing. It implies letting go, questioning and rethinking the world to learn to feel one's own shadow; to connect with the dark, with the unknown. In my own experience, the act of unlearning became an intuitive process in which I entered the darkest depths of my being, where I see with the dream and where I connect with the moon to the infinite universe.Trusting and letting myself be carried away by this intuitive process led me to open new worlds and places, and suddenly, to feel my own shadow.

Tea, la luna en el centro de la tierra

watercolor on paper / 35 x 27 cm / 2021

La reina de la noche

oil on canvas / 35 x 50 cm / 2021

La piel de la selva

oil on canvas / 35 x 45 cm / 2021

Mãuyoma, las mujeres agua 

watercolor on paper / 27 x 35 cm / 2021

Pasaron tantas lunas

watercolor on paper / 27 x 35 cm / 2021

Espíritus que protegen 

watercolor on paper / 27 x 35 cm / 2021

Maternar juntas es mejor 

watercolor on paper / 27 x 35 cm / 2021


Arandu ka 'aty - en lengua guaraní sabiduría significa persona que consigue sentir su propia sombra

Sentir la propia sombra es una serie de pinturas al óleo y acuarelas, aún en curso, en donde exploro la metamorfosis que experimenta una mujer en la maternidad - devastadora y maravillosa a la vez. 

La serie busca sacar a la luz la sombra de la condición de maternidad en un mundo que tiende a darla por sentada. El título de la serie proviene del pueblo guaraní del Amazonas donde una persona sabia es la que consigue sentir su propia sombra

Algunas pinturas van acompañadas de poemas que funcionan como interlocutores potenciadores de la experiencia.

© Adriana Ciudad all rights reserved
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