Title: WAR LULLABY
Size: 1600 x 1220 mm
Technique: Acrylic on Canvas
This piece was created for her ﬁnal project assignment at Fontys School of Fine & Performing Arts (Tilburg, the Netherlands). It is actually covering a previous attempt of another painting that Gema never managed to ﬁnish, as if the fate of the canvas was to hold “War Lullaby”.
The painting criticises the hypocrisy shown by the media during the 2017 terror attacks under- taken in the UE by pro-Daesh groups. This situation was indeed catastrophic for Europe, but at that time it seemed like the media had suddenly forgotten about the huge amount of people in Syria and other countries that were living this kind of terrorism on a daily basis and were trying to escape desperately.
In this painting, Gema manages to convey this by representing a mother devastated by the loss of her child on “the other side of the wall”. Fire and blood are the main features of the lower part of the painting, in contrast with the blue and yellow upper part, which represents both the night and the European ﬂag.
It is curious how the idea came to her one day riding her bike on the way to Fontys School. Gema had heard about a friend of hers whose sister happened to live 20 km away from the place where one of the terrorist attacks had taken place. Having that conversation in the back of her mind, she spotted what seemed to be a woman wearing a chador. Gema was not wearing glasses at that moment, and as the ﬁgure came closer she realised it was in fact a blurry parking meter, whose colors and shape deeply inspired this painting.
“War Lullaby” was conceived within the gardens of Fontys School. People would come around the piece during the painting process and guess different ﬁnal results, such as a Pietà, ideas that caught the attention of Gema, because it meant the painting could be read in many different ways and was accessible for all audiences.
Inspired by the bitterness of Picasso’s “Guernica” and the condensed shapes of Klimt’s “The Kiss”, Gema risked her grades by showing some truth on a non-political art institution, but this made her realise what would be the fate of the rest of her creations: to showcase meaning and representations of all realities that are taken away from popular knowledge.