Gersony Silva's poesis comprises sensitive and feminine aspects. On her aesthetic journey, feet become wings; legs show scissures; sweat earns redemption, and the discipline of motion transmutes to freedom. Drawings, paintings, objects, photographs, performances and installations transcend bodily limitations and ascend to the sublime. Almost all of her pieces are dominated by a deep red-blue duet. In many of them, colors sketch the attributes of body and soul.
Is dialogue between body and soul the purpose of There are - White Gatherings (For Maria)? At first sight, the predominant light-blue and white allows only the presence of timelessness. Absent red but adding white, where is the body? Where is the movement that invariably leads to freedom? Where are the poetic principles so dear to the artist? All troubling questions. Searching for their answers enables our fruitful reading of her work.
The installation's 40 photographs of skies (heavens) from various parts of the world refer to a sense of divineness. Some photos feature sunrays emerging in openings between clouds to hail the apparition of Maria – “a lady brighter than the sun” as the three shepherd children described her in 1917. Scudding clouds and flashing lights alternately disturb and soothe the gaze. Absences (blank spaces) between photos also play a part in the suspension of time required by the work.
As well as the skies, there are six offerings (three clouds and three white roses) with golden wings for supports. White roses traditionally offered to deities translate purity and the idea “I am worthy of You”, while white clouds evoke ethereal becoming and metamorphosis. Let us recall that every offering conveys some of the essence of its offeror. The constancy of wings takes on the function of Silva's affectionate signature. The lower part of a fabric holds an rose impression while on its upper part clouds and sky cover and uncover the installation. The fabric also demarcates and sensitively protects the space.
From the photographs, offerings and fabric (gatherings), Silva creates a place of shelter in which sacred and feminine welcome the body of the viewer completing the installation; finally temporal becomes present. In the play between gathered and welcomed, place becomes temple, altar and nest around the body of the person entering.
In short, There are - White Gatherings (For Maria) does more than ask us to contemplate; it offers space for reflecting, reliagre [rejoining] and reconnecting. Body and soul joined by sacredness of place. Once in the installation, visitors sense ruah (spirit or breathe, air, wind) and Maria's omnipresence: they feel welcomed and simultaneously reaffirm the sensory experience of the sublime.
Doctor in Visual Arts, ECA-USP; post-doctorate Instituto de Artes, UNESP Member of the Brazilian Association of Art Critics (ABCA).