The Imperfect Past project is the result of an artistic experimentation project on the chromatic potential of the microorganisms that live in the thermal springs in the village of Furnas in São Miguel, archipelago of the Azores, Portugal, in bisque fired works made of pure clay from the island of Santa Maria. It was the capacity of these microorganisms to produce pigmentation/colouring in their habitats, contaminating them, that led Maria Pedro Olaio to explore and wanting to find more about these beings, through their direct intervention on the colouring of these ceramic works.
Maria Pedro Olaio creates a symbiosis between the human element and nature. The use of such raw material and such innovative colouring method reveals her interest in reconnecting with nature, whilst relearning its natural processes. These works are the testimony of art’s responsibility in portraying the creative force of nature.
What is presented is the proof of a past that a more reductive appraisal could classify as imperfect and the form how art takes upon the responsibility of retrieving the sublime, on a time where everything needs to be questioned again. A revalorization of the integrity of objects and of the natural processes where asymmetry, irregularity and unpredictability are the characteristics that stand out. At an historical moment of paradigmatic shift the return to what is essential seems to be the possible anchor for the projection of a new rethinking the role of art, the artist and concepts like beauty and aesthetics.
Imperfect Past presents this questioning. It also pays homage to the memory of a distant past, almost as if the action of the microorganisms, in what is essential to them, is the vessel of an ancient memory and of the return to what is, truly, primordial.