I was born in Santiago Chile, where I worked as a designer and also studied oil painting with the renowned Chilean artist Matías Movillo. In 2015 I decided to take up art as a second career and came to the UK to study at Oxford Brookes University. I now have a BA Honours and MFA in Fine Art, and I am working mainly in Oil Painting, Photography and Collage.
Over a decade practicing yoga and meditation, using methods to help quiet my mind and stay present, has had an important influence on the way I make art. Making art in a meditative state releases an unlimited flow of creative energy and frees my mind of prejudices, self-criticisms, and expectations that condition the final result. This is why my practice is positioned within the concept of mindfulness, which is understood as the act of being fully present and aware of what we are doing at a given moment, preventing a reaction to our constant stream of thoughts.
Meditation has changed the way I observe and perceive the world around me, and that is why many of the themes that I work with have to do with what I call “present moments”, because they belong to a present that will never be again, they are unique and that is what makes them so valuable to me. The possibility of capturing the present moment in an image either in photography or in oil painting transcends time and space, and this image becomes a physical document, allowing me to comprehend how ephemeral these moments are and how important it is to capture their essence.
“ When I work I search for that place inside myself where I can find stillness. Once there, I connect profoundly with everything around me. Physical forms then vanish, leaving space for colours and textures. I am one with all that is.”
– Mariana Acevedo, 2017 –
My photographic work focuses on images taken from everyday life, especially from things that often go unnoticed. I want to draw attention to look closely at the world that surrounds us, to discover beauty in the most trivial things if we only stop for a moment to observe them.
In oil painting my work usually starts from an observation in nature, especially in the moments of dawn and sunset where the sunlight reveals the most interesting interaction of colours. What I like most about oil is its versatility to be used in many different ways and on many different surfaces. I like to exhaust the medium to its limit, and use it freely without rules or boundaries taking advantage of its slow process, which allows space and time to listen to what the medium is communicating. It is in this communication and in the careful elaboration of details where my work concentrates. It is here where I find stillness and my creative process begins to expand.
The ever-changing colours of the sky and its interaction with elements like water and trees; the views from a skylight, subject to the passage of time and weather; the electric cables that look like black lines drawn in the sky; the many possibilities of one drop of oil paint on a piece of paper; the fascinating lines made by subtracting colour instead of adding it; all of these are recurrent themes in my work. My creative process is an exploration with a high level of intuition and uncertainty, where each of my works becomes an exciting new discovery.
Within my practice there is a marked interest in teaching, but especially to pass on what I have learned through my experience. This is why I am implementing a meditative art teaching methodology. This method uses different mindfulness exercises to learn to quiet the mind, because when the mind is full there is little opportunity for something new to arise. These exercises also help to develop intuitive observation skills, invaluable when it comes to reproduce what we are really looking at, and not what we think we are looking at. I give an important role to the “making”, exploring different materials and techniques instead of focusing on only one. I aim to help each person to discover their own creative potential, which is often hidden by too many judgemental thoughts and the fear of not being good enough.