PAULA TURMINA


There is nothing new under the sun, but there are new suns

Bienvenue Art Fair, Paris
October 20 – 23, 2022






We will not speak of gilded lilies, or chemtrails that swirled in the crimson sky. For your ancient handprints carry the things about myself I could not know, the unknown unknowns of bygone eras. A writing in the scorched red of earth that regales the story of absent generations, the tragedies of brighter stars. 

Foreign life has crept in softly, you press a sticky leaf against the sun; it is translucent with veins wetly throbbing. All the pebbles that hung about for the coming century turn to watch you with questioning eyes. And though the parched ground may sigh for a loss subtending, it teems with the knowing march of ants. In the fray of a new primordial soup, we might forget the ‘good times’ of past lives. About the woman we loved who penned space-bound false starts, for instance.

About solar technology, you warned that rapid growth was once the root of all evil. I wondered how that could be when we let our beloved anthills endlessly spiral. I remarked that circularity is an unstable reward-system, which made you fizz, laugh and cry. ‘As if we weren’t all amply warned when hot was already too hot.’ But you can’t lose what you don’t have, and we never had her, our sun.

We bade it goodbye, that world of another. We exchanged our losses for a rosy belief system wholesale. Your old age recalls unpasteurised milk under a backyard tree that grew from a seed, and gives, and gives. How, trekking, you stroked an obsidian frog whose beauty was laced with a special breed of poison. How surviving creatures have evolved with the thoughtless happiness of frolicking bathers. ‘Life finds a way, so we do.’

The green ray is a zone that spawns new discourses, which artists travel on their wayward search. You tell me the past was slit open, that the future emerged from its husk. I, too, was born this way; you remember with tenderness it was slippery and strange. I carry with me my love-death relation to the day, for my face is young and framed by petals. I keep safe your wiser advice, that it ‘only takes a comma to divide you and trouble, child’.

Text by Elaine Tam






ABOUT THE ARTIST

Paula Turmina (b. 1991, Brazil) lives and works in London. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in Painting at Wimbledon College of Fine Arts and an MA in Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art. In 2019, Turmina was awarded a residency program with Winsor & Newton in collaboration with The FineArt Collective and recipient of the Zsuzsi Roboz Scholarship with the Chelsea Arts Club Trust. She has exhibited in several group shows, including 'In transit, our memory fragments' at the Chelsea Space, 'The Red Room' at Cromwell Place with Berntson Bhattacharjee Gallery, and 'Wish Lush' at Kravitz Contemporary.

Paula's practice encompasses painting, printmaking, analog films, and writing. She is interested in the human relationship to the land, speculating on the future of the Earth and the absurdity of political discourse and colonial history. Her work stages the transition between the human body, animal, plants, and the landscape, combining a sci-fi perspective to personal desires.



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