A visit to the workshop of the Camagueyan artist Martha Jimenez

Breaking into an artist's studio or studio, without prior notice, can be an unfortunate act. Without trying to do this, you can break an idea, send to fly a gesture that could have been the beginning of a promising road, the happy ending of the persecution of an image, a word, the discovery of the thread that brought to earth what has interviewed during so many nights.

One afternoon, knowing the risk, I wanted to meet the artist Martha Jimenez in the place where she creates, after enjoying the creatures (The gossiper, the water seller, the newspaper reader, the couple in love), neighbors or bystanders, who seduced her pupil and her hands and remained forever in the Plaza del Carmen in the city of Camaguey, where this artist lives, founds and teaches.

But Martha is an intelligent woman. Before you can access to her place, you must go through several rooms where her works are displayed. And there you are stranded, among her creations, unraveling the symbols with which she speaks of identity, the nation, women and their daily battles, small and transcendental, all at once.

You will find canvases that correspond to the various series she has prepared, among them "Longing" or "Women who fly", where round, thick, wide-hued, dreamy women with their feet on the ground are the beginning and end of her expressive discourse. At the same time there are other objects, key points of her reflections, such as sewing machines, boats and oars, that tell us about the searches, the paths we choose to be, the fate just waiting to be seen.

In the exhibition halls also coexist her creations in enamelled pottery, in clay, that return on the same themes and others, related to the place of the woman, from which she looks and creates, with the nation, with other texts like the poems of Jose Marti.

And almost at the end of the house, is Martha, amidst a mix of paint tubes, canvases, cards, books. There is also the rocking chair where she must sit to think, to look from a distance from birth, to rest from the rigors imposed by creation.

The study opens to the patio of colonial design, where the old tinajon, a symbol of a city and one of her women, cohabit without complexes, and one of her women who holds in her hand a cage where another woman is enclosed, as if to say that the enclosures do not always come of others, of their impositions and beliefs. But Martha will not answer the question, it will leave us alone to seek the answer.


Author: Laura Paz
Source: On Cuba Magazine