These drawings on paper belong to a series I completed in Mozambique while there in March 2007 with the painters Manuel Belzunce and Miguel Fructuoso. I have always laid claim to having the nomadic character of an artist; someone capable of arriving in a new place, and at a glance, with experience and instinct, to arrange space in the least time possible, so as to live it, and to accumulate further experience and then to continue the journey. This change of scenery is basically driven by oneŐs work, that is to say, by oneŐs inner self, since the physical journey is merely a linking mechanism. I endeavour to take seriously new things I encounter, and not to exploit othersŐ pain that I have not experienced. If we are not consumed by a tragedy, we must be careful at the time of its re-telling not to appropriate to ourselves the compassion of our listeners or viewers.

I donŐt want to do everything I know about, but only that which is a part of me. And that which is a part of me can be anywhere.

When, at the beginning of the decade, I began to travel to Africa, my work had consumed the dialogue, the expressiveness, which had helped me to profit from the 90Ős. I needed to distance myself then from those spent resources, so as to make works less adorned, more austere, with more meaningfulness; but without being symbolically charged. I didnŐt want to search far away because I guessed that, as usual, the opportunity would be right under my nose.

Alert vigilance, and patience, are the main things in such a venture.

Always I have avoided, as far as possible, the stolen, the contrived and the exotic. Neither did I want to pretend to be a tribal artist. Nevertheless, in this transition, I have re-affirmed the organic aspects of my work. These respond to the physical art-making process, but remain attentive to my ambience and to my own cultural tradition. I have tried not to overdo the imaginative, reserving this resource to finish works with preconceived tendencies. I believe that my work has been improved by changing the way of dealing with its intrinsic geometry, that certain techniques used to overcool parts or zones within some of those works, and I also believe that the vibrancy of a more physical composition brings with it qualities which allow for greater efficacy of communication. In summary, these works-on-paper which I am presenting here, belong to the land on which they were created; earth which in many cases forms a part of the multi-media surface on the paper. They belong too to the water of the river, the rain, the smoke of the fires which kept malaria at bay, to the precarious but functional structures of Africa, and to the peopleŐs profound scrutiny; made of an existence as difficult as it is hopeful. Also they belong to the continentŐs wanderers who, day and night, are scattered across the countryside with their slow gait; denizens of the inhospitable. Life, like these works, only consciously appears under the noses of those who carry on, without attention to a final destiny.

Angel Haro, Murcia, August 2007



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