‘Consequências na Matéria’ (‘Consequences in Matter’) exhibition by Sofia Beça
Galeria de Exposições do Castelo de Mértola (Mértola Castle Exhibition Gallery)
10 June to 11 July 2021
Sofia Beça, ceramic sculptor, is exhibiting her work in Mértola for the first time. Her work, although rooted in sculpture and ceramics, assumes itself as multiform and calls upon the visual arts in a comprehensive manner, breaking the boundaries of the discipline.
In the works presented at ‘Consequências na Matéria’ (‘Consequences in Matter’), Beça presents ideas of landscape in wall murals or small sculptural works. Her foundation is the ‘lastra’ technique, which requires using a wood stove for baking the pieces. Waves, mountains, valleys or gardens are discovered in the works which challenge our optical perception and merge the boundaries between painting and sculpture. Others, more three-dimensional in nature, take us back to questions of divisions and conquests. We can imagine landmarks or stylised soldiers defending their territories embedded in their skin made of stone.
Alejandro Ratia, Spanish writer and art critic, highlights this side of Sofia Beça as follows:
‘The artist becomes a topographer. She describes or invents a landscape. And in this topographic work, territories are defined by landmarks and geodesic points. These modern markers coexist with more traditional ones, often linked to religious worship, such as crosses or stars. One of the sculptor’s main goals was precisely this: the definition of borders. Which also entails giving the territory a purpose, a primordial function to which Sofia Beça returns. (…) However, in Trás-os-Montes, where the artist tends to her wood oven, territories are still marked using stones. At this point, we could allude to a territorial policy, if we introduce property titles or signs of conquest’.
Thus, Sofia Beça wanders from landscape to History, but does not forget current themes such as isolation or solitude, materialised in sculptures of a dialogue-like abstraction with a force capable of deepening the feelings we have towards them.