If I didn’t know Ines Fonseca Santos and Ana Ventura I would say that someone invented a pseudonym so that it wasn’t too conspicuous that they are both authors of such an organic book (“A Habitação de Jonas”, published by Abysmo). The work of one, Inês, and the other, Ana, both in the poetic domain, is made from the crossing of angles, views, matters, species, after all, of bodies. Inês’s plain prose pretext is based on experience in which a story becomes a myth, a myth becomes a word, a tradition becomes a whale, an animal becomes a home, a dwelling is made of doors and windows, the lines become a map, until a drawing becomes the world. You understand what she meant the moment I take out the simple set of six leaflets from “A Habitação”. These appear as three colour steps that are later opened as pairs in a relation of spots, lines, collage, in other words visual verses that extend, pictures, gestures, fragrances and themes of the text into intimate theatres. And they can elevate into a third dimension, which allows us to drift along walls and detours while the verses echo in us. Ana Ventura’s vocabulary is made up of members from all the kingdoms of tradition, plant, mineral, animal and dream, of roots and stems that intersect houses and objects, leaves that compose eyes, skies that are found only in mouths, as though the reigning materials become one through her hands and her ingenuity. As if the world could be one, as if life were only childhood. Ana embroiders myths, prints on fabrics and draws with needles. If she also had talent for genetics she would mix plants with animals, in not being able to she applies a finely detailed art where the rays can become branches, stalks become the streets of a map, stains on the wall become abundant hair. This alchemy of transfigurations, which makes the bodies into threads with which to knit liveable places, things of comfort and disconfrontation, approaching her to poetry’s gaze, the one in which you see a whale in a crumbling wall. Actually finding something else is what prepares us for the fall, to stumble. This handrail, made of verses, some written, others drawn, comes in handy because of vertigo. Let us not blame geometry, as says Inês: “To blame was the heart against the rocks, / the heart taming the rocks”.
João Paulo Coutrim
The 6th Book Illustration Festival "BookILL Fest" 2017, Serbia.
Inês Fonseca Santos
978 989 980 19 43