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Signals #02 Dayana Lucas


“Sings and Bleeds” Dayana Lucas
50x65cm, sumi-e paper 80gsm, dragon’s blood ink and brush
photo © Dinis Santos

These two drawings were made last year with “dragon’s blood”, the inner liquid of an endemic tree called “Dragoeiro” (Dracaena Draco*) of Macaronésia region (Madeira, Açores, Canarias and Cabo Verde). This inner liquid was very exploited and commercialized at the beginning of the settlement in Madeira, for medical purposes and as a red dye, a very valuable and appreciated resource in Europe. In the Canary Islands it’s considered a pagan cult tree and it also has a Greek mythological origin.
This ink, this dye, moves me a lot because of its organic origin and intense vibration. In one of the drawings (“Sings”) there’s an encounter of two elements: after making the first one I did the second that when it was made wasn’t touching the first one, but after some time I saw the drawing again and the ink continued to expand through the sheet provoking this delicate encounter. I have made several drawings with just two elements, two lines or forms, that almost never touch or cross. Interests me a lot all the dance, force and delicacy that can be in a relation of two, and all the empty space that is boosted with the presence of the drawing/ink. I also love to see how two things get together, the legs of a table with the table for example. There are quite simple and magic ways to reunion two things. The other drawing (“Bleeds”) is a micro scale of that point and place of encounter of the other drawing. A micro-macro vision, that occupies all the sheet. The title of the drawings was taken from the poem “My Head Shakes” by the Portuguese poet Herberto Helder who I truly admire.

I’m now in Madeira (Portugal), in the island where my parents were born. I always feel a big re-encounter with life when I’m here. The connection with the land and the other elements, specially water, is very strong and direct. The stars wanted me to be now here and not in Porto, where I live and work. It’s a strange moment in our life and history, where we are alerted of a different upcoming future, different of what we imagined and desired. That can sometimes be hard to deal and understand and that’s why I try to live one day at a time, making what’s necessary to do each day, with simple routines that provides me tranquility, following the rhythm offered by the atmosphere of the place, more slow and assertive. At the beginning of all this pandemic  I felt it was really hard to make decisions as I used to, and it was hard to deal with painful thoughts, visions and feelings. After some time I feel I’ve embrace the chaos and the suffering and now I listen more carefully to my body, to what it needs and what is needed to be done. I feel now closer to the root. Life is simple, we should never forget that. Very soon I had to learn to deal with death and absence, and because of that “the future” has always been a strange place for me. Each day now is a day to enjoy, with what is possible now, as somehow it has always been. There are better days than others, but while there are days coming with the sun there’s a signal that I’m alive and I feel grateful. I feel also grateful to be surrounded by nature and also to have my memory that is awakened by simple sounds and movements from everywhere. Many times I remember my friends laughing, who I miss a lot and with whom I would really like to share the well-being that I feel most of the time here. To be with my mom here, now, is the biggest lucky and gift as it has been always, together or apart.

Dayana Lucas 24.04.2020

Dayana Lucas was born in 1987 in Caracas, Venezuela. In 2003 moved to Ponta do Sol (Madeira Island), where her parents are from, and in 2006 to Porto where she studied Communication Design in the Fine Arts Faculty — Universidade do Porto. She was a co-founder of Oficina Arara(2010-2017), and collaborates regularly with SOOPA collective, as a designer, artist and consultant. In 2019 she created Orinoco — a publishing label of artists books and other editions.
She develops a practical research through drawing, having done individual and collective exhibitions in Portugal, side by side with her work as a graphic designer in the cultural area, having collaborated with musicians, visual artists and some portuguese cultural institutions as Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Fundação de Serralves, Câmara Municipal do Porto, Universidade do Porto, Galeria Gabinete, PORTA33 and others.