We are continuing our series profiling the authors and artists featured in our latest volume, Metamorphosis. Learn more about the Metamorphosis volume here. Click this link to order this and previous volumes.
by Cherice Bock
Editor, Whole Terrain
Mariana Palova‘s art graces the cover of our Metamorphosis volume. We enjoyed her art so much, in fact, that for the first time in Whole Terrain’s history, we offered two options for cover art: “The Mind” and “Savage Garden.” (The other piece appears inside the back cover in each format.) Her digital art combines her own photographs and paintings alongside digitally produced elements. We love her creative combination of the realistic and the whimsical, drawing us beyond the surface of what is “real” into our own inner dimension. Each of her seven pieces appearing in this volume capture the eye with their powerful combination of lines and natural forms, and they hold the eye as the viewer’s gaze searches the details of the piece. The creative power and courage of Palova’s inward exploration appears on the page in vivid color, combining the human form with natural and mythical beings, and unlocking the imagination of the viewer.
Palova grew up in Mexico and began making digital art at age 16, at first exploring digitally altered self portraits. Since then, her work has appeared in solo exhibitions and collective shows across Mexico, as well as in the United States, Germany, Poland, and China. We wanted to learn more about her thoughts on her art, as well as her connection to the natural world through her art.
Whole Terrain: Do you consider yourself an environmental artist? If so, in what ways?
Mariana Palova: I try to learn as much as I can about nature, because nature is part of my work. I consider myself more like an “environmental inspiration artist.” Making an appearance in Whole Terrain was a great experience. I really support scientific investigation, and being part of a journal that includes science and the arts is an honor for me.
WT: From your artist statement and your work, the theme of “metamorphosis” appears to be one that you spend a lot of time with. You mention the “magic and mysticism” of the human journey in your online artist statement. Can you share a bit about your own metamorphosis as pertains to art and the natural world?
MP: As a living being, I am constantly changing, physically and spiritually, and the observation of these changes is a vital key to understanding or even finding my true self. Art is a kind of meditation that I use to discover the world that is inside of me. Nature intervenes, giving a shape to my reflections, in the form of moons, stars, birds, trees, and many other elements.
The case of “Savage Garden” is precisely what I just described. When our inner nature revels in our true emotions and character, we find a whole new creature emerging from ourselves. This creature could be an inspiring creation or even a terrible monster.
WT: What are you working on now?
MP: I am currently working on some new pieces based on a recurrent topic of my work: alchemy, which is one of the most beautiful languages of change and metamorphosis. I am constantly trying to develop the mysteries of the personality, and how the environment (natural and artificial) affects our behaviors, our passions, and our spirit.
Bio: Mariana Palova was born in 1990 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Her art includes elements of ancient astronomy and cartography, alchemical iconology, spiritual magic, analogy, and metaphor. Palova’s work is known for its vast polychromatic richness, an extensive range of textures rendered in a unique contemporary style, including both personal and ancient symbolism beneath a mantle of artistic maturity and quality. Her art evokes a sensitive, boundless work of passion and a philosophy of life based on the beauty of human metamorphosis and the fascination of her imagination.