Martha Jimenez Perez, hands of godess

Sculpture, painting, wood carving, ceramics and engraving are arts that are learned over the years and with a good vocational training, but above all they are innate skills in those who execute them and that is precisely the case of the Camagueyan Martha Jimenez Pérez, who does not leave her native land and in her has left its mark materialized in beautiful pieces.

Dedicated to manual work from a young age, she began her studies at the First School of Art Instructors, completing her training in a self-taught way and then acquiring the upper level as a Licentiate in Fine Arts, to later practice as a teacher and art instructor.

In the historical center of her native Camaguey, she has a special workshop where she exhibits her anthology and the most contemporary work for approximately five years, where the visitor can find small and large sculptural formats, paintings, ceramics and the most unsuspected objects.

Renowned internationally, Martha Jimenez Perez holds, among others, the 1997 UNESCO Regional Prize, Biennial Prizes in Europe and Asia, the Biennial Prize of Ceramic and Pottery in Shanghai (2010) and, from 2011, she has the main laureate in the Terracotta Biennial of Turkey, awarded with a sculpture of three meters.

The Plaza del Carmen, in the city of Camaguey, is a must-visit for those who come to the land of Ignacio Agramonte, for the way in which there are preserved folk traditions and the excellent atmosphere of the place, where reign sculptures -in natural size- of real or fictional characters created by the hands of this goddess of the arts.

This sculptural ensemble consists of a trio of women identified as "The Three Gossipers", a couple of lovers, a newspaper reader inspired by a neighbor of the area, who still is accustomed to sit there to browse the press.

Special is the sculptural portrait made to a vendor of jars, who with a wheelbarrow passed through the place until a little more than a year, in which he died, his name was Jose Rodriguez, who was a concierge of the former Ursuline Convent located in the place where today is the well-known Plaza del Carmen.

About this set, the artist commented: "I worked in sculpture and ceramics in small format, and in 1997, my work had received national and international awards, I worked the subject of customs and I liked to carry out works within the urban area, all this was united in the proposal of these pieces to the Office of the Historian of the City and was approved".

After a thorough investigation to characterize the place with a theme that reflects its customs, since 2004, these works embellish the area.

At present, this Cuban is involved in the reworking of the sculptural project, to take it to the bronze, and in other sculptures that must be finished for the celebration of the five hundred years of founded the Villa of Santa Maria del Puerto del Principe.

Bronze work is very difficult because of the efforts it requires, and from a woman it demands a lot more, said the interviewed, who went on to say "there are efforts and forces that must be applied, but that is a challenge for women and we demonstrate that women can not only be good at household chores, but also are useful to society".

To the question of how she feels from the eyes of others, she replied: here in Camaguey I feel good because I see the satisfaction in the faces of my compatriots, who receive my art, made from the soul and for the soul, satisfying a spiritual need to feel better.

Attention to the family is something that is not abandoned, although her work leaves very little time to attend, but always she makes a space to fill and compensate for the void that has left her necessary absence.

To end this conversation, Martha Jimenez Perez, who turns everything she touches into art, left for granted the certainty that she will not leave her space to emigrate to Havana, because according to her, this is where her art is most needed.


Author: Digna Rosa Perez
Photo: Jorge Luis Sanchez Rivera
Source: Blog La Habana en clave de Sol