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NaturÁnima: The Art Exhibition of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula

The National Museum of Costa Rica inaugurated the exhibition “naturÁnima.” This was created by artists Ariane Garnier and Carma Casulá as part of an interdisciplinary, artistic, research, and creative project.

The works show the particularities of the blue zone of the Nicoya Peninsula, its landscape, and its people. Nicoya is home to several of the oldest people in the country and the planet; some are over 100 years old.

Nayuribe Guadamuz Rosales, Minister of Culture, was present at the inauguration. Also present were the director of the National Museum, Ifigenia Quintanilla Jiménez, the artists, and four of the Nicoya Peninsula’s oldest seniors, between the ages of 100 and 106.

The exhibition was made possible thanks to the common interest in environmental and human issues, which awakened both artists’ curiosity to understand the reasons for a blue zone in Costa Rica.

Visitors are greeted by the work “Constelacciones” by Carma Casulá, which visually shows the routes taken by the artists in the blue zone of Nicoya.

Ariane Garnier presents six works: the first shows an interior landscape, with photographs sublimated on chiffon fabric and intervened with embroidered pieces of the same material, representing people’s moods.

The second one is called “Somos” and is composed of 30 pieces of clay and collected seeds joined with alpaca thread. It is accompanied by sounds from the market in Santa Cruz. 

Her third piece, “Estancia,” represents living in the present and enjoying the moment. Two rocking chairs made in Hojancha that rest on white stones allude to the Guanacaste houses.

“Colmena” shows different photographs with fragments of honeycomb, emphasizing the experienced lived while making the artworks. Also, “Frágil” displays 12 photos printed on acrylic with details of the landscape and seeds from the blue zone in Costa Rica.

The sixth exhibition, “Tejido en tensión,” is made of spheres and high-tension cables. Inside the spheres are seeds and garbage collected in the area. It refers to the contamination that reaches the sea from San José.

“Experiencing Nicoya from the inside was a tremendous learning experience, and I am left with a deep feeling of gratitude. It opened my eyes and made me question how we are going to take care of nature and this landscape with which we are one,” commented Ariane Garnier.

On the other hand, the artist Carma Casulá presents five pieces. “Una por una” synthesizes the relationship between biomass and deforestation in Costa Rica because of cattle for livestock exploitation.  

Moreover, “Paisaje continuo” seeks to create a biological corridor through photography, showing pastures, secondary forests, and part of the jungle thanks to regeneration and the beaches.

Additionally, “Presencias” represents Nicoyan’s stories about the forest and the environment.

The fourth work is called “Galería familiar” and is a series of photographs of internal spaces of the houses, the environment, and portraits of the protagonists of the exhibition. The last one, “Comer bosque,” embodies the artist’s walks and conversations with the Nicoyans in the forest.

“I have focused more on the territory, the transformation of the landscape, and the capacity for regeneration through good policies and actions, especially of the citizens,” explained Carma Casulá.

All the people involved in the project invite the public to come and enjoy the art. Undoubtedly, it is an opportunity to immerse oneself in Nicoya and reflect on the culture and way of life.

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