Jacqueline Unanue (Chile)
October 25, 2012 § Leave a comment
The Inner Codes series originated from my method of “calligraphic” painting: using spontaneous drawing, to evoke a primal mode of communication. I do these paintings from a gestalt conception, connecting with the present time or the here and now. In that way, I am able to create from my feelings more than my intellectual thoughts. Doing these paintings I feel that I am developing my own new magical codes as part of an experience of inner communication. The images I get are a universal yet mysterious writing that directs me to my collective unconscious and reminds me that I have existed since time immemorial.
AR-L: Your work has a calligraphic element that is also very magical and surreal. Would you please tell our readers more about your sources of inspiration and your process as an artist.
JU: While studying design in my native Chile in the 1970s, I became interested in pre-Columbian art, especially in the rock art done in my own country. I was encouraged to do further research by Hans Niemeyer, a renowned archeologist.
I visited the solitary and awe-inspiring valleys, mountains, deserts and rock formations of Chile, which are repositories of this art. I also traveled to Spain to study the caves of Altamira in the Basque country, which being the home of my paternal ancestors connected me to my roots. My former work springs from this research and exploration, and concerns my connection to an ancient past.
Having already these ancient codes inside me, I started doing my current painting I titled: Inner Codes Series. They originated from my new method of “calligraphic” painting: using spontaneous drawing to evoke a primal and pictographic mode of communication. I do these paintings from a gestalt conception, connecting with the present time or the here and now. In that way, I am able to create my own pictograms from my feelings more than my intellectual-thoughts, or my background information.
Pictographic communication allowed the first humans to generate the codes that would later develop in a writing system, and allows me now to discover and develop my own new magical codes as part of an experience of inner communication. The images I get are a universal yet mysterious writing that directs me to my collective unconscious and reminds me that I have existed since time immemorial.
AR-L: Have you experienced anything different in the way in which you approached last year’s Diálogo 365 (2011) and this year for CARPE DIEM?
JU: This year the Call for Carpe Diem invited me to focus in a more inner way. It was more than dealing with an historical moment as the Bicentennial celebration. CARPE DIEM was really an insightful spiritual inspiration.
AR-L: Would you like to tell us about your upcoming projects – exhibitions, residencies, travels, etc.
JU: I have an upcoming individual exhibition at 3rd Street Gallery, the gallery who represents me in Philadelphia. During January 2013 I’ll be exhibiting there my last series: Inner Codes, consisting in big format acrylic on canvas paintings. During April 2013 I’ll travel to Barcelona, Spain as well.
AR-L: What other artistic work are you involved with that is collaborative in nature?
JU: I am member of the 3rd Street Gallery, a cooperative gallery in Old City Philadelphia. I serve there in a Publicity committee.
AR-L: Since carpe diem also references the harvest, and in preparation for the holiday season, please share one of your favorite recipes with our readers.
JU: PASTEL DE CHOCLO VEGANO CHILENO (Chilean Vegan Corn Casserole)
Chilean Pastel de Choclo is a traditional casserole of seasoned beef, raisins, and olives (similar to the filling for the famous Empanadas de Pino), topped with a thick layer of creamed corn. Since I am vegan, my delicious version has the creamed corn layer (the best part), but substitutes soy meat in place of the beef filling, and tofu slides in place the hard-boiled egg. This is a delicious casserole, suitable as a main course or perhaps a vegetarian-vegan alternative for the Thanksgiving table.
- 6 ears corn, grate the kernels (you can replace it for a big bag of frozen corn)
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 8 leaves fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Spray oil
- ½-1 cup unsweetened soy or almond milk (instead of cow milk)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 4 large onions, chopped
- ¾ cup soy meat
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 piece of extra firm tofu sliced (instead hard-boiled egg)
- 1 cup black olives
- 1 cup of raisins
- Spray oil in a large pot. Heat the grated corn, (or frozen corn defrosted, and grounded in a blender with a bit of soy or almond milk), chopped basil, and salt
- Add the cornstarch and the soy or almond milk little by little, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.
- Cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
- Set aside while preparing the soy meat filling.
- Fry the onions in a bit of water (instead oil) until transparent, add garlic cloves and ground soy meat (previously cook the soy meat for 2 minutes and drain) and stir to brown.
- Season with sea salt, pepper and ground cumin.
- Using an ovenproof serving dish, spread over the bottom of the dish the onion-ground soy meat mixture.
- Arrange the tofu slides, olives, and raisins over the soy meat mixture.
- Cover the filling with the corn mixture.
- Bake in a hot oven 400 Degrees F for 30-35 minutes until crust is golden brown.
Total time: 1hr = Prep time: 20 mins + Cook time: 40 mins. Servings: 12