Catalina Christensen’s work stems from the notion of the ‘sublime experience’ in relation to memories and recollections of journeys to wild and isolated places, which invoke in her a sense of freedom. Her aim is to evoke her experience of being in nature, through a painting language that depicts the essence and atmosphere of particular places, rather than focusing on their physical reality.
From the beginning of her artistic career, Christensen has been fascinated with experimentation and the alchemy of materials. Three years ago, she took the decision to make her practice as environmentally neutral as possible, in line with her personal concerns about the environment and freedom. This inspired her to use egg tempera and natural materials as the source of her pigments.
Colour, surface and texture are important, but process and materiality are at the core of her practice. The artist’s life in her studio, reveals a complex and unusual practice that progresses from micro to macro level: from the elaboration of pigments using natural rocks collected and processed in her native Colombia as well as indigo dye, metal powders and their compounds reduced and oxidised through the application of natural chemical processes, leading to the creation of paintings/3D objects. This singular style is the ever-evolving product of her experimental nature that coalesces to produce a profoundly distinctive visual style, through which thematic concerns are explored.
The practice comprises two major trajectories: the paintings/3D objects and the pigments. For the artists, the collection and preparation of the pigments is an artistic endeavour in itself, and therefore she includes them in her exhibitions. Recently, Christensen started collaborating with other artists by exchanging rocks and pigments, which in conjunction with her own pigments, donations and purchased pigments form part of her overall pigment collection.