Where taking risks and entering a deep state of meditation intersect, that is where we can find Claudia Lugo. She is a strong character who is absolutely determined about her ways. Her first profession was being a lawyer, which serves as the point of departure for her artistic practice. With a bold move, Claudia changed her direction of life completely. As she told me, this shift in her path could have supported her in knowing exactly what she wants when it comes to her artworks as well.
Wings of ink
At first, art used to be a hobby for her, painting during law school. Then came art education, which obviously influenced her style greatly. The body of work she created so far mostly consists of paintings made with ink and watercolour. Ethereal shapes, forms spread out and cover the paper-space. Her gestures are light and easy, though still conveying strong visuals. She often depicts wings, expressing the feeling of being free and light. The wings also suggest a sense of floating in space, which is an image and feeling Claudia is interested in.
Claudia creates space for the mind
At this moment, her studio space is very clear and simple, not overloaded with unnecessary items. When coming to Leipzig for the 49th round of PILOTENKUECHE’s residency program all the way from Mexico, she set out for a new experience, deliberately moving away from her comfort zone of painting. Her intention was to make no paintings, so she now uses almost only metal wires to create her airy sculptures. In the past, she has already created wings out of metal, connecting to one of her previous topics. The fragility of the jewellery metal she used at first allowed for lightness.
Right now, she is experimenting with knitting and crocheting different types of metal wires. For example, a copper cable wire she acquired in Leipzig at the Restlos material upcycling store, which are less malleable, therefore taking more effort to create the desired shapes. Claudia even created her own tools to be able to work with the wires in the most effective way. When she can, she likes positioning her pieces in big empty spaces, where she feels her works can breathe.
photos by PILOTENKUECHE – Kizzie McNeill, Johanna Morgen and Fanni Papp
A natural meditative state
When first encountering these metal sculptures, it is not necessarily obvious that they came to life by knitting. Somehow, the technique remains a mystery. At the same time, knitting itself is a very calming process. Claudia has also told me about her experience with meditation and how she finds inspiration in zen philosophy. She has started practicing meditation many many years ago. Now, it comes just naturally while she works. When she knits, she can easily get into a meditative state. The rhythm helps to calm the mind. Also, she never listens to music, so her studio is not only clean and simple, but also very silent. Through her art, Claudia seeks to understand silence and emptiness, in which she finds great beauty. In the silence, the rumbling thoughts turn into relaxation, refining to focus on one single thought or idea.
Past and future
In relation to her most current sculpture works, she shared with me her experience with scuba diving, and the wonderful sight of underwater coral reefs. While she explained the delicate movement of the soft corals, I then instantly understood what kind of image her hanging sculptures want to convey. These creations also resemble some sort of not so soft creatures, which are gently sinking under the surface.
Claudia has the opportunity to show one of these sculptures in January at the Venice International Art Fair as well. We wish good luck for her!
written by Fanni Papp
Find out more about Claudia’s work on her website.
2G viewing by appointment only
Sunday 19 Dec and Monday 20 Dec
12 noon – 4PM
max 4 people per booking