A landscape, or a glimpse of it, bordered by the crevices of the folds of a palm, in graphite, in oil, in watercolor, seem a heroic but feeble attempt at grasping the ungraspable, as William Blake would pine so in the Auguries of Innocence :
“To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour. “
For Katrina Bello, these attempts are her means to quantify the otherwise abstract, or rather to be intimate with the distant and the expansive as an artist working with the narratives potentially evoked by the visible, touchable and external surfaces of our natural surroundings, coming from a deep interest in landscape, perception, memory and Earth Sciences.
Drawing Abundance takes off from Austrian philosopher Paul Feyerabend’s Conquest of Abundance: A Tale of Abstraction Versus the Richness of Being where he discussed that our notion of “incommensurability” is usually commensurate on the human reduction of experience to a manageable level. Further, Feyerabend extrapolates that these endeavors in containing nature tracks down also the history and character of Western civilization. For the artist, these ideas became integral to her choices and decisions as to the subject of her drawings – landscapes that draw parallel realities with physiognomy, where crags of rocks meet palm and skin, veins and capillaries mirror roots and stems.
These drawings double as records of her visits in the deserts of Nevada, and the riparian sites of Wyoming, Vermont and New Jersey, “going to the woods (or to the wild) to observe and draw deliberately, to front the essential facts of life”, with heaven under our feet as well as over our heads.
Katrina unveils for us that breadth between the fathomable and the infinite, between being immersed in it or holding it gently in one’s hand, and between something that evokes fear and something that feels precious and fragile.
— Lena Cobangbang