I L Y A N A   M A R T I N E Z



The contrast and juxtaposition of the urban and natural worlds is the focus of my work. As a city dweller, I am drawn to urban spaces, but also to the uninhabited ones that are places full of mystery and wonder, where my imagination takes off. The natural realm is alive with endless growth, sprouting seeds, clinging roots, plants, and dirt. The built environment of the city is a concrete one, fabricated with structures, wires, grids and geometry.


The blank page leads me to explore these contrasts, to make vague ideas tangible, planting them in a context and nurturing them with brush, watercolour and ink. Foundations are laid and elements built up, one upon the other to create illusory communities. Buildings are transformed to flora, while seeds germinate structures. A fragile city floats in space, while another dense metropolis is firmly rooted on land. The urban and the natural fuse together at times sustaining one another, but growth and decay have an equal hand.


While the small format requires close attention and an intimacy with the paper, the drawings’ content portrays a vastness. There is a focus on distant spatial relationships: aerial views of the land, its rivers, bridges, roads and buildings. Creating these places is like charting a voyage to make the imaginary a reality. These works are maps that echo the importance of drawing as an artistic and personal language.


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