Points de Vue: We need light to see, to live, to create... How does light inspire your eyes, your work?
Catalina Rodriguez: Light is everything. Light and the absence of light have inspired artistic creation since the dawn of humanity. For me, it’s the key, and I’m obsessed with it. All the people I look up to and my sources of inspiration for my photography and painting are great masters of light and colour. It has the power to transform everything, from a feeling to the way you perceive things.
What came to mind first when we mentioned “prevention” and harmful light?
The first thing I thought of was glasses, sun glasses. Then I thought of diseases associated with photosensitivity; one of my friends is a low vision specialist, while another suffered from severe photophobia when her bone marrow transplant was rejected. I researched the specific harmful effects of exposure to ultraviolet radiation and blue light, and I started to recognise the importance of prevention. So, although I initially thought about drawing closed or damaged, irritated eyes, with cataracts, I finally settled on reflecting the fundamental role played by prevention in a positive manner, through colour.
Artist Catalina Rodriguez in her studio, working on the creation of the project “Prevention” for Points de Vue.
How did you take up this challenge?
I have been short-sighted since I was ten. I have also had astigmatism for the past six years. So I have always been aware that poor eyesight limits your ability to perform a whole range of everyday activities, which of course includes art. So I approached this challenge with a great deal of enthusiasm. As I began to familiarise myself with the importance of prevention when it comes to ultraviolet/blue light, my interest in the topic grew. For example, I only knew about the effects of the ultraviolet spectrum wavelength, not those related to blue light. I also found the differences between the two types of blue light interesting, as well as their relationship to circadian rhythms.
How far do you think painters should take care of their eye health?
As much as possible. When it comes to painting, vision has nothing to do with sight, and art very often does not reproduce what is visible. However, if you are able to maintain a good quality of sight, you will have a better tool to help develop your creations. For me, the eyes are the diamonds of the body. As William Blake said, “The eye altering, alters all”.