Time and Space is a journal series exploring creation, human connection, and intimate spaces.
This week we’re talking to Barcelona-based painter, Miriam Dema. In true Revel form, Miriam’s work is a tribute to the beauty of imperfection and the generosity of life in moments of splendor.
Becoming an artist isn't always a linear path. How would you describe your own journey? What moments of adversity stand out in your mind?
My relationship with art is a mixture of love and a constant fight against self-demand.
I’ve been drawing and painting since forever, I went to art school and studied Fine Arts in the University of Barcelona. I have always been very curious about many things, so I spent my college years experimenting with different disciplines in art. When I was half-way through my degree I went through an artistic and emotional block that got me to stop painting completely. I focused in conceptual art and got really interested in cooking, and combined both in many artistic projects. When I graduated, I moved to Lima to study Peruvian cuisine, and curiously enough it was there, after almost three years without touching a brush, where I fell in love with painting again.
I’ve come to realize my painting comes very much from emotion, and only when I let myself feel I am free to create art that is honest and with which people connect.
What sources of joy, strength, or pleasure do you draw from? What inspires you to create?
I feel deeply inspired by shared experiences and human interaction: the way people look, move and touch, how they set a table or how a space ends up looking after and during a meeting. Food, as a way of nurture and care. Color is both a way of expression and a source of inspiration to me, as well as fashion.
I’m always inspired by the imperfection provided by time or the human footprint, and music and dance. I like to create happy memories with my painting, constructed with a combination of reminiscences, imagination and everyday elements.
What advice or words of encouragement would you give to your younger self during challenging times?
Be bold, start doing what frightens you the most to overcome fear and, overall, trust your talent and criteria.
COVID has caused many of us to get creative with our workspaces. What does yours look like in 2021?
I set my studio at home, so luckily I’ve been able to work during confinement. My plan is to rent a bigger studio this year, once the COVID situation is a bit more stable. I find very important to have work-space and rest-space separated and I would like to work with even bigger formats, hence I will need bigger walls!
You spent a year in Lima, Peru? How did that time influence your work?
My time in Peru had the biggest influence in my creative development, which at that time was pointing towards cooking. My relationship with painting was completely off, and being away from home and the stimuli of such a different environment helped me to relax, to paint again and to begin to find a pictorial language with which I feel identified. It pushed me to use color without complex and to paint freely, which allowed me to begin to form my own and honest style.
Your personal style is so charismatic and colorful. What is your favorite piece of clothing?
Thank you! It is so hard to choose. I buy almost everything vintage, and every good find feels like a treasure. Maybe the pieces of clothing that make me happier are silk dresses in summer and pants (that fit like a glove) the rest of the year.
Miriam Dema’s work is a tribute to the beauty of imperfection and the generosity of life in moments of splendor. In the joy of colour, depth and largesse in stroke, dance freely elements indissociable from happiness, such as shared summer tables, freshly cut flowers and fruits.
Wooden tables, oil paint and oil pastels, are usually her canvas and technique of choice. Partially uncovered layers of color give her the opportunity to obtain richer textures and nuances and allows the viewer to experience part of the process when seeing the final work.