Roberta March and Tony Parana, both Brazilian artists that immigrated to the United States, found
the movements of life as a common thread in their artistic practices. Life moves all the time and in
this exhibition they both directed the motions of life into their paintings, reflecting on how we keep
moving to survive in this world.
Roberta March has been exploring the five elements of nature: earth, air, fire, water and space.
Responding to these elements of nature, she reflects on how we need to mold ourselves, becoming
fluid to keep adapting to the new circumstances which life brings to us. Looking to nature, she finds
inspiration to create paintings with the intention to bring the viewers to wonder…the non stop
movement of Earth. The mosaic sgraffito in some of her paintings imitate the motion “andamento”,
how the mosaics and life keep moving. The people moving (andando) around the world imitates her
own history as an immigrant moving from Brazil to England, to Houston, Texas and currently living in
Portland, Maine. Her life is always in motion and her art reflects it.
Tony Parana also reflects on his own journey as an immigrant, artist and capoeirista (a capoeira
player or dancer). The flow of the movements of capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian art form, music, ritual
and ancestral energy inspired him to create his art . Looking back to the history of capoeira , we will
find that the acrobatics movements of capoeira started in Brazil for self defense, where enslaved
Africans learned the art to fight for the necessity of survival.
In conversation between the art of Roberta March and Tony Parana, both artists found an
interconnection of movement of humanity and the earth, the necessity to keep moving, keep finding
balance and common ground in a diverse community.
By embodying the mindset of the fluidity of movement of the body and earth as a true life forces, the
artists are able to generate works that innately reach out and intend to capture the emotional
sensibilities of the viewing audience.
The essence of movement in this sense becomes a powerfully shared experience between artists
and viewers. Elements of lightness and darkness, mystery and space allow color and form to fluidly
merge together creating a range of emotions within the viewer’s eye, and diving into the
psychological experience of becoming the motion, becoming fluid and becoming alive.