Andrea Kim Valdez

‘Our Fragile Planet’

Live Edge Acrylic Sculpture and Limited Edition Archival Digital Prints 

Most Ipad Prints will soon be available as Limited Edition ‘Prints by Post’ from Front Room Art.

Kim’s iPad prints and ‘Live Edge ‘Acrylic sculptures bring the domestic into dialogue with a concern for the fragility of nature in the wider world.

In sculpture her work continues the theme of the rainforest previously explored in her memorable room installation ‘Ecos de Las Amazonas’. A number of ceiling, wall hung or free standing semi-abstract acrylic sculptures feature exotically coloured macaws, flowers and plants of the rainforest.

The sculptures explore and exploit all the possibilities of the material. In natural light  Acrylic sheet catches the light and makes the colours glow along the edges: under ultraviolet light the sculptures become fluorescent.

The three series of iPad drawings shown here are all concerned with our ambiguous and potentially disastrous relationship to nature. Las Amazonas contrasts the wild with the domestic. Orchids, today the most popular of houseplants, are superimposed and interact with backgrounds of the real rainforests and wilderness places where the flowers  originate. These places, like the layers of drawing on the iPad, are being transformed and disappearing from view.

The series Landscapes is a rendering onto the Ipad of Pen and Ink or Pencil drawings made ‘en plein aire’ in various countries and places visited by the artist, whilst the series Room for Wildlife was made directly on the Ipad, following numerous visits to London Zoo.

How the sculptures are made 
The sculptures are designed using cardboard and paper, then the acrylic sheet is cut with a jigsaw. Recent work transferred the designs to a CAD program for laser cutting. This allows more complex shapes to be cut, and for the creations of editions of the sculptures, as well as a freedom in scale.

Design and cutting the sheet is followed by bending the work in various directions using a hot air torch, and assembly the pieces using a special glue (called Acrylic welding). Some sculptures are engraved, the engraved lines subtly catching the light along the surface.

The resulting work is highly original, colourful and delicate, and can be placed in natural light, under spotlights, or more adventurously, under ultraviolet spotlights. 

How the Drawings are made
Ipad Apps allow images to be built up in layers from a variety of sources. Some, mostly in the first Las Amazonas series, include original photographs and pen and ink or pencil drawings made on visits to the Amazon.

Each layer on the iPad can be treated separately in terms of transparency, colour and relationship to the layers above or below. The final image is made from multiple layers – one layer being the drawing made directly on the Ipad.  The final image will be the one amongst many possibilities that the artist has chosen to print.