Contemporary art has multiple aspects, it is plural, heterogeneous and perennially innovative. While it moves forward at the same pace of present-day time and modernity, much of the ramifications of artistic creation still lie in the past, particularly the very first ones, and therefore, they are regarded as the traditional, artistic practices, like painting and sculpture. However, the latter can now acquire new forms, faces and expressions. Inês Teles (Évora, 1986) advocates, reflects and exercises exactly this.
The artist, who is currently residing in Lisbon, works essentially with these two disciplines, having a degree in painting by FBAUL. Through her action, brushes, ink, pigments, lines and brushstrokes, she goes beyond any supports, canvases or easels, reaching new ways of being. Also, her sculptural production has beautiful, sensitive and organic forms, which are rather unique. From the gesture, movement and rhythm of her hands, bodies of matter, lines and colours are born, which break down any barriers between techniques, amplifying them individually and, at the same time, relating and merging them into each other, nurturing creative flows that make up a magnificent work.
“I never know what a painting means; what it is today, tomorrow will not… Painting can unfold itself on other roads.”
This humility, honesty and understanding of the several artistic exercises are the fuel of Inês Teles’ creation, always the same way: simple, unpretentious, somewhere between the test or the essay, and has a clear objective, established before the final construction process. The artist gets involved with the materials and, as if it were a dance, she goes through the pre-established and the random.
Likewise, her atelier exists as a lab, a place of experimentation, of creative and plastic expansion, activities always preceded and succeeded by a serious maturing process that solidifies all the work. The area is wide and banal, shared with other artists, in the area of Santa Apolónia, Lisbon. This was the studio that Inês found when, in 2013, she arrived from London, where she obtained her master’s degree in painting at UCL’s Slade School of Fine Art. The creator and her work settled in a first floor, inhabited by painting and where the first creative steps were taken. Temporarily, in another area, on a lower floor, the materialization of the most recent sculptural objects took place, namely the resins that have been presented to the audience.
The studio’s atmosphere has something from the sensitive order, which the several pieces carry and emanate, tainting the area when they are installed, as if they were stepping right into it. This idea of contagion is something that the artist intends to achieve, confessing her worries about “what the work can instil in others and in the world”. However, she clarifies that her “work does not impose itself, it does not demand anything”, but challenges the viewer and insinuates itself as an experience, in a relational context. Even with the several elements unarranged, something ever so typical of a workplace, there is still a harmony and almost magic, typical of the author and her production.
As she declares, “my work neither symbolizes, nor is figurative”. Thus, the work is better revealed in the dynamic of an aesthetic experience. Therefore, in order to receive it, the viewer needs to dedicate some time and attention to it, approaching it both physically and personally, always intimately.
Inés Teles, albeit young, already has a totally unique body of work, with expressive and plastic qualities. Her education and professional experience, lately intensified with several individual and collective shows, result in a fully contemporary formal, material and visual production ability, followed by a singularity that undoubtedly marks her own pieces. Continuously embracing new projects, particularly the participation in UmbigoLAB, the artist is still on her assertive and promising path.
If visiting the studio, where everything is built and developed, is an impossibility, two individual exhibitions of this artist can be seen, one in Lisbon, in the gallery Acervo – Arte Contemporânea (11/10/2018 – 21/12/2018) and another in Porto, at Room 117 (09/29/2018 – 11/17/2018). Both deserve to be visited, being common in terms of logic and meaning and, at the same time, unique, each with particular and unrepeatable traits, representative of everything that Inês Teles does.