Renata Fernandez at her old studio in Peckham Rye. Photograph by Efrat Einey
"The militarization of almost every single aspect of my country, Venezuela, drove me to take on camouflage as a subject-matter coinciding with the Iraq invasion back in 2003.
As I indulged in the inherent painterly qualities of camouflage, I started to reflect on it as a symbolic dress for humanity: we are all a bellicose part of nature, like soldiers in waiting, seemingly ready to strike against each other, or against nature itself.
All my most recent work in painting, drawing, sculpture and installation come from those reflections on camouflage. My most recent creative process also benefits from a profound need to explore the genre of landscape: but one that is set in an urban environment, with a static narrative, devoid of people yet with outdoor furniture standing symbolically by humans. This depiction of nature is one that could be considered as attractive as uneasy, a ‘Menacing Beauty’. This Beauty, that can be mesmerising as is broody, is one that lets us believe there is something intangible behind the foliage that could be distinctly unfriendly. Some of my landscape works seem also driven by a certain melancholy: everyday I live the horror of witnessing, remotely and through the eyes of friends and relatives via social media, the daily destruction of the place I used to call home. As a result of trying to keep on holding the unattainable and the already gone, I end up depicting otherworldliness.
Since 2008 I’ve focused on having on one hand the knowledge and pleasure of using traditional techniques and most noble and stable materials, while at the same time I explore a multidisciplinary approach that includes digital techniques.
There is in my creative process a strong sense of craftsmanship, an emphasis in the materiality of my works that guides me in the way they are presented, framed or set in place, underling their potential sculptural qualities. As a result of this cross-disciplinary approach, paintings could become the source of inspiration for installations, immersive sculptures or even sculptures."
Fernandez studied Fine Art in the Armando Reveron University Institute (now named UNEARTE), and Social Sciences, Media and Drama in Universidad Catolica Andres Bello, both in Caracas.
Fernandez established her practice in London in 2003.
Most recently Fernandez showed her work at AMALGAMA in its first edition (the book was published in October 2019, available through AMALGAMA ) and as part of FLAWA (Festival of Latin American Women in the Arts) also in its first incredibly successful first edition in London. Fernandez also showed in Maddox Arts in Mayfair as part of the group show HER NATURE (June September 2017) and also in MADDOX'S WINTER SHOW (2017-18). Fernandez was selected for the Lynn Painter Stainers Prize 2016 and 2018 both held at Mall Galleries.
The artist had a solo exhibition in the Museo Alejandro Otero, Caracas, Venezuela (2013-14), titled TROPICO CAMUFLADO. She shows her work constantly in London, as well as in France, Belgium and Spain. Her work is in several private collections in Venezuela, Taiwan, Spain, USA, UK, France, Germany and Belgium.