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“MEDICINE AS METAPHOR” – SARA LANDETA

“Art is a wound turned into light”, said the cubist painter Georges Braque. Tell that to Sara Landeta – a visual artist responsible for transforming the captivity of an illness into art.

This young artist, born in the Canary Islands, and who has devoted herself completely to contemporary art for the past five years, left behind the paper tablecloths of the beach bars of her homeland – on which she first started drawing– to live in Paris for three years. She finally moved to Madrid where she currently works on her latest piece “Medicine as a Metaphor”

We invite you to get to know Sara Landeta, the artist who portrays herself as a black bear: clumsy, yet courageous.

So Blue: Sara, when did you start to move through the creative terrain?

Sara: I grew up knowing it was necessary for me to work in some kind of creative profession, but I wasn’t sure what, in fact, contemporary art was last on my list. I started studying advertising in Madrid when I was 18, but I didn’t feel the least bit comfortable.

My mother made me take the entrance exams for the Art School where I ended up studying mural painting and illustration. At 25 I signed my first contract with an art gallery, and without almost realizing it, I’ve spent the last five years devoted to contemporary art.

SB: Where does the passion for art and drawing come from?

S: I was born in the Canary Islands and spent my childhood drawing on the paper tablecloths of all the beach bars I went to with my parents. At 15 I went to live in Paris and that’s when I started coming into contact with art, discovering museums and galleries. I realized it was something I truly enjoyed. Just before returning to Spain, I’d grown accustomed to going to the Musée D’Orsay and sitting in front of a painting by Courbet titled “L’Atelier du peintre“, which is 359cm tall and 598 wide. It took over everything, the museum hall and myself.

SB: What techniques do you use in your work?

S: I only work with colored pencils which to me is the sincerest technique, no matter how much you erase, your mistakes are always apparent, it’s not like covering something with layers of paint and a brush.

SB: Now talk to me about the latest project you’ve been working on: “Medicine as Metaphor”. What is it about?

S: My last project is a metaphor on illness. I drew a collection of 120 birds on the back of 120 medicine boxes which were prescribed to different people. The birds learn to be in captivity, yet they never stop wanting to fly and that is what keeps them alive. With “Medicine as Metaphor”, all I want is to provide a different perspective on illnesses, that of self-realization, which is no less important than the medical aspect.

SB: What inspired you when you started to carry out “Medicine as Metaphor”?

S: A few years ago, my mother was diagnosed with cancer and she lived a type of captivity, where all that mattered was getting better and doing exactly what the doctors ordered. There is a phrase written in social media by someone I don’t know with regard to the project I created and I believe the description is perfect “the patient as a captive animal and the bird as its metaphor.”

SB: Why medicine and birds?

S: Birds are the only animal connected to land and sky, which is why they’ve always signified liberty. If I had chosen rats, my message would’ve been more critical.

SB: Sara, do you have any unfulfilled dreams or something you feel you need to do soon?

S: Professionally, I’m in a place where I want to do millions of things, things I’ve never dared do! Yet I’m still focused on growing as an artist and making my world become more international every day. Personally, there are a few things I’d like to cross off the list, but I don’t think they’re too far away. I’m on the brink of turning 30 and the truth is I’m in the best place ever.

SB: Now, tell me, can we see any of your work now or soon in a gallery?

S: This year my work will be viewed more in other countries, but I’ve signed a very large project which will be exhibited in May 2016 in Madrid and which I’m very excited about.

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