Naomi Martinez

In Lichtenberg I noticed this element of something being incomplete, not fully finished. Like a job half done. But I couldn’t quite place my finger on what it was. I then became more aware about the history between the East and the West, just how recent the wall had come down. Loads of construction sites had insulation leftovers on the side of the buildings. This inspired me to play on the idea of INSIDE OUT: How something that is meant to be inside of a building could be extracted from its “normal original” setting and adapt to another surrounding. That’s when I started experimenting with expanding foam, a material that changes from soft to hard. I used a whole can and got ten different sized sculptures. They partly remind of bodily shapes, partly of more random, chaotic natural forms. I spray painted them a vivid cadmium yellow, just like the colour on most street signs, road markings, bins in Berlin. I wanted to make more but in bigger scale and some taller playing with the size of my height. The cans weren’t that cheap so I decided to buy a more erect moldable material – chicken wire, light and easy to move. I temporarily placed the works on the streets, in parks and metro stations, and in front of several buildings in Lichtenberg in different scenarios and situations, relating to architecture and the urban environment. Using such transferable material made it easy to move around the district also with the idea in mind of bringing some of the works back with me to Gibraltar for the exhibition, in which I would like people to move them within the space just like I did in Lichtenberg. I personally think they are quite nice and intriguing to hold.

Having a studio space from the moment of waking up till going to sleep meant that I could work at anytime from the comfort of my own home. This impacted my work greatly. It was a dream come true. I found it easy to work in Lichtenberg and have learnt so much from my stay. There’s so many creative inspiring people around you ready to help, to offer ideas, materials, talk about their experiences, they are interested in what you do with great enthusiasm.

They invite you to their studios and exhibitions. I didn’t experience aggression once, a very calm atmosphere full of love.

What also impacted me in Berlin was how well spaces and buildings are being revitalized by artists and creative people which has made the city such a vital and existing place to live in. I would love to see this happen in Gibraltar – it’s a win win situation, there is no reason with all the empty buildings in Gibraltar that one couldn’t be adapted for artist studios.

February, 2019