No Fixed Color Continuum – Vanesa Donoso @ Candyland



Opening on Friday, March 17, 2017, at 17-22

Candyland. Gotlandsgatan 76, Stockholm

Exhibition opens 17th March- 2nd April 2017


When living in a foreign land the limits of oral communication become more obvious than anywhere else. I often find myself rescuing unusual or invented words when I am unable to express my thoughts into  the relatively limited English I have at my disposition.  Perhaps odd attempts of expressing myself are, whilst probably incomprehensible, somehow ‘unpolluted-er’ in form, although you will have to settle for an unsatisfactory wrong-word, which often holds miss-placed and unintentional weight.


It is sad to think that you might only be enjoying a watered down version of the relationship you might be having if you were to share the same mother  tongue(s). Or maybe it is this unadorned speech that is the more authentic, the one which comes when you have not yet learnt to manipulate the said language into the shape of appearance, lies, sarcasm or puzzle.


NO FIXED COLOR CONTINUUM represents this constant misconception leading to an often feeling of displacement, forcing oneself to look back at how life use to be or would be like back home.


Cross-cultural interaction begins and ends with difference; new places, new behaviour, new language. It may seem that the inherent variability of cross-cultural interaction and biculturalism prevents any patterns or generalisations from being established. What is established however, is not a universal model or fixed pattern, but a universal motion of balancing between two cultures, being near and far, being different and accepted.


The displacement of the individual to an unknown geografic space, as a deliberated act of placing oneself in an alien context, becomes a journey not only spatial but vital, it transforms the traveler in the fundamental protagonist of a challenge that often gets initiated with the acceptation of loneliness.


Catalan born Vanessa Donoso López has lived away from the country of her birth for 14 years which she has spent mainly in England and Ireland. It is this sense of lost and found that infuses her exhibition, NO FIXED COLOR CONTINUUM.


Lopez’s work focuses on a mental state described as Persistent Immigrant Homesickness. Away from home people will almost certainly miss something about their home-place making home-sickness a near-universal experience.


Some may consider the luxury of travel and the emotional response caused by being away from home to be the preserve of western middle-class travellers. However, current research suggests that an investigation of homesickness may be an important tool for developing strategies needed to improve the quality of life for those who are forced to travel as refugees or economic migrants.


Donoso-López has identified different ways of dealing with homesickness; material experimentation, play and repetition. Using Candyland Gallery as her laboratory, once again a new space in a new context,  she explores the many layers of this enigmatic emotion. Using simple materials the artist experiments, in an almost infantile way, to evoke childhood experiences bringing the visitor with her on this journey.


In this show for Candyland,  the artist  interconnects different components and physically experiments with them in a basic and almost infantile approach. Elementary materials like paper, dyes, inks, wood, branches, plaster, fabric, glass, live plants are used for this installation.


Thick paper is used to do chromatographical exercises where the colours get separated while they are being absorbed. The making/use of the object symbolises an awareness of a separation of certain things in time and space, now re-united.

Information is carried from one context to another in a very literal way. Its an exercise of engaging with diverse materials from different sources and origens. Its a ‘direct investigation of the properties of … materials’ (Robert Morris on Eva Hesse, 1968). Vanessa wants to see how spanish ink reacts with irish paper in Swedish atmospherical conditions, she needs to break it open to see whats inside.

There is an urge to see how models of knowledge can be reconsidered and redefined.


This encounters are a process of osmosis and to exist within unalike realities implies the conversion of materials as well as of the language, the domestication of new sceneries and the acceptation of the otherness. It is to be someone else being oneself.


Vanessa Donoso López (born Barcelona, Spain) lives and works in Dublin. She studied at the School of Arts and Design Llotja, Barcelona, the University of Barcelona, and the Winchester College of Art, UK.

Some of her solo shows include To swallow a ball’. The LAB, Dublin, Ireland,  ‘There is not pine nor apple in pinaple’, Instituto Cervantes. Dublin, Ireland, Eye before E except after see-ing Stockholm. Supermarket Art Fair with the Ormston House, Stockholm, Sweden, 2016.

‘Eye before E except after se’. Limerick City Gallery. Limerick, Ireland, 2015.  ‘Daily disagreements over small things‘ SWAB, Barcelona 2014, ‘A painful excess of pleasure‘, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin 2013 and Kings House, Roscommon, 2014,  ‘Jouissance’, Madame la Marquise, Barcelona 2013, ‘it never rains to everybodys taste, Queen St Studios and Gallery, Belfast 2012, ‘the rain in spain falls mainly on the plane’ Barcelona 2012 ,’Scientifico-experimental-tecno-color-movement’ at M’atuvu Project space in Brussels 2010, ‘Establishing a Mission’ at the Ashford Gallery, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, 2008. Group shows include ‘Death Drive‘, Galway Arts Centre, ‘I want to be your dog‘, The glue factory, Glasgow, ‘40/40/40‘ Madrid, Rome, Warsaw and Dublin, ‘Metamorphosis’, PS2 Belfast, ‘ The God of small things’, Rubicon Gallery, Dublin and ‘Precaution’ at Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.


In March 2017 Vanessa finished an Artist residency and commission at the Facebook Head quarters offices in Dublin. Currently she holds a studio in Temple Bar Gallery and Studios as a studio member until 2018.


Other upcoming solo shows include the Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast, the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin and the SummerHall in Edinburgh.  She is currently working on a public commission by the Royal College of surgeons of Ireland, Dublin.


Vanessa is represented by Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin.