by Ana-Maria Cardoso-Cockerill
Empathy flows – and breathes art.
The viewpoint of an young being, ejected from a swirling migration nightmare to a beach’s dead silt, cries from sight to sympathy.
The mood-morphing child refugee crisis careers through the artist’s mind at a convulsing pace: sharing with us – as more fortunate observers of the same sky – a floating prison of chaos: shone, dully, through the graphic telepathy not of blind journalism, but of Ana-Maria’s warmly bleeding brush strokes.
A spiral plays in lonely space, its dance unable to shake off itinerant tragedy. The reversing flicks of a hanging moon serenade broken life’s extremes – with the comforting perspective of a surreal lens, that digests cosmic hope with terrestrial pain.
Beams of ribbon-lightening pirouette down bright, windswept airs, as a lifeless hat rides a lonely Autumn storm. Wind crashes, pouring through tensile density into fused, solid gloom, as blue lament swims through a black wall; whence blocks of light bound on, over a dark plane.
A living trip of meditated perdition, Pieces weaves a multi-chrome orchestra of varying media, fused by mood.
A nightmare’s unstoppable propulsion has been cried by the artist, freezing the painful frames of fluid reality, their graphic form reactively caressed. Yet ours is a journey in reverse: from the gallery, back, to Ana-Maria’s mind, and to the sorrow that she sees: from the canvas still of her embrace, to the cold, pulsing brine of a boat’s careless wake, as seen by a small passenger. Its callous ripples recall every child’s side view from the rear of a moving vessel – in a horrific new context: not a family day out, but a one-way trip into fate, that greets fear, minute by minute.
We share the child’s watery closeup of grey depths: mechanically animated foam, that dances, chill, as nature waves yet cannot help.
And, as we share, we “subjectify”. The skeletal coat hanger flutters, dead, dangling victim before crime, and we see what it saw.
We dream the same fear.
Our thoughts are then induced forth into flight’s multi-media void, and its fractal confusion. The pelagic wake of wounded waves is installed: ripped, in three dimensions, from a bandage: a tragic trigger, retracing the painful chain that left infancy thirsty, and bereft of its nest’s suspended craft.
The artist’s psychological expertise is clear from the way in which her work listens: she relays what she hears, as pencil, drawing and writing all join paint in migration’s tonally acute projection onto canvas; whose flatness deepens with the pitiful romance of the roaming and the hopeless.
Pieces draws up the endless fathoms of a lost lullaby; of echoes, as recalled by the destitute and heard by us all.
Review by Jonathan Graham, 2016