Soldiers & Camouflage
This is an ongoing body of work, that started back in 2003. It continues to be relevant in Renata's creative process.(although subject to a long paused, this subject-matter is still very much present on her mind)
It has a starting point: an upside down newspaper image from the first days of the Iraq invasion back in 2003.
This image shows a charging soldier, possible British, with the wrong kind of camouflage and holding a gun across his body.
Renata worked on this image - upside down, as she found it on a broadsheet newspaper - for over a year until one day, bored after so much de-construction, Renata turned the image around and saw the humanity of the soldier - and also his fear. There was a son, a father, a brother, and Renata didn't know if he was still alive, injured or back home. This kickstarted the need for compiling other images from the press of ongoing global conflicts whilst exploring the inherent painterly qualities of camouflage. The international press was the main source of inspiration: the invasion of Iraq turned over the years into an unsolvable conflict , the many ongoing confrontations all over the world and her own country Venezuela as it turned a full-blown narco-led dictatorship that bought and sold uniformed violence as a mean of population control.
This body of work uses a variety of media: painting, large format charcoal drawings, soft and hard sculpture.
A couple of subsequent trips back to her country Venezuela, afforded the opportunity to build on an unintentional photographic archive of urban jungle. And slowly, soldiers gave way to monster-like plants, beautiful, dark and broody drawings of a beauty that is just as menacing as soldiers while lying in wait.
Soldiers are always threatening to pop back in Renata's work, that is why this series is still ongoing.