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Nature's Symphony: Exploring the Practice of Judit Prieto

In this review, explore nature's symphony with artist Judit Prieto and get submerged into the captivating world of her series 'Seven Forests - Seven Continents,' where art intertwines with environmental advocacy to provoke reflection and inspire action. Join us as we explore Prieto's profound reverence for the Earth and her tireless efforts to protect its beauty.

Joana Alarcão
01/03/24

In a world brimming with hustle and bustle, art can serve as both a pathway for reflection and action and a source of serenity. If you have witnessed an exhibition or public space intervention around climate awareness or social justice, you are not unfamiliar with these atmospheres - You can either feel a profound sense of social criticism or emerge in a tranquil atmosphere where reflection is advised. And here lies Judit Prieto's practice, both as a harbinger of serenity, capturing the timeless allure of nature, and as a sensory environment of questioning.

 

One of the series that showcases Prieto's artistic prowess is "Seven Forests - Seven Continents." A collection of large-scale mixed-media drawings depicting the most important rainforest or forest on each of the seven continents. When you explore each piece from a purely visual standpoint, before letting your questioning mind wander, you are confronted with contrasting black and white detailed graphite drawings but with intriguing green-coloured areas. If you ask the artist about it, she will explain that it is a way to "conceptualise how much destruction can we make to our wonderful world using the graphite and the green is the hope that we will protect it and reforest." Just by looking at the drawings, you can perceive a resounding reverence for the environment, becoming a poignant reminder of our interconnectedness with the natural world. Through these evocative series, Prieto invites us on a pilgrimage of introspection, weaving a narrative of hope, resilience, and the enduring beauty of our planet.

 

Charcoal drawing by Judit Prieto
Noa'sArk is in Sumatra Rainforest by Judit Prieto. Image courtesy of Judit Prieto.

At the heart of Prieto's practice lies a deep sense of responsibility towards the Earth and its inhabitants. The inaugural drawing of this series, "The Beginning of Nature's Life," embodies this exact sense. Drawing inspiration from the 2019 devastating wildfires that ravaged Australian forests, coupled with the onset of the global pandemic in 2020, the artist created this series to lend her voice and skills to the cause of environmental conservation. Deeply moved by these events, Prieto sought to capture the magnificence of the rainforest and came across the lush expanse of the Daintree Rainforest, one of the oldest ecosystems on Earth, which eventually became the muse and stepping stone of this series.

 

"I wanted to capture a rainforest that was still alive in Australia, and I found the Daintree Rainforest, one of the oldest rainforests in the world. It gave me the hope and dream that nature could regrow again if we all help plant trees."

 


Charcoal drawing by Judit Prieto.
The Beginning of Nature's Life, Australia by Judit Prieto. Image courtesy of Judit Prieto.

From her creative process to her inspirations, the artist is guided by her passion for environmental advocacy, exploration, and scouring the depths of forests in search of meaning. From the initial sketches to the final artwork, Prieto's process is imbued with a longing for immortalization, a celebration of the intricate beauty that surrounds us. Inspired by the masterpieces of renowned artists like Georgia O'Keeffe, Henry Rousseau, and Hokusai, she honors the diverse range of artistic creativity that glorifies the beauty of nature. Every stroke and color reflects the influence of these great artists, highlighting their lasting impact on her creative endeavours.

 

If I had to mention one more thing about Prieto's practice, it wouldn't be her extensive body of work, exhibitions, and professional accomplishments, even though it's quite an impressive list. I focus instead on the undeniable connection between the skill of an artist and her commitment to activism. Not only does Prieto create visually stunning artworks, but she also co-founded with Beatriz Perez in 2019, a CIC arts organisation called ART from HEART, that creates and manages exhibitions and festivals highlighting social and environmental issues. Furthermore, Prieto leverages her influence as an artist to advocate for crucial environmental causes. She collaborates with organizations dedicated to rainforest conservation and has made significant contributions by planting 100 trees in Australia, 45 in the Amazon Rainforest, 20 in Tanzania, and 18 Mangrove trees.



Charcoal drawing by Judit Prieto.
Paradise began in the Amazon Rainforest, South America by Judit Prieto. Image courtesy of Judit Prieto.

"I aim to awe the viewer about nature’s beauty and inform them about the deforestation situation of some rainforests and forests of the world. With the sales of greeting cards, prints and original drawings, people will help to collaborate by planting trees in the continent and rainforest through One Tree Planted organisation."

 

For Prieto, art is not merely a means of expression—it is a powerful tool for social change. Her vivid portrayals of the beauty of nature aim to increase understanding of urgent environmental concerns, encouraging audiences to become advocates for the protection of our world. With each sale of her artwork, Prieto contributes to reforestation efforts, forging a path towards a brighter, more sustainable future.

 


Print by Judit Prieto.
Honey Bee print by Judit Prieto. Image courtesy of Judit Prieto.

If you are intrigued by her work or even want to support her cause, I highly recommend exploring Prieto's series Seven Forests - Seven Continents here.


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Sacred Baobab Trees, Africa by Judit Prieto. Image courtesy of Judit Prieto.

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Judit’s artworks are mainly inspired by nature. Inspiration plays an important role in the process of her work because she expresses what she feels which gives an openness and originality to her art. Since 2016, her art has mixed figurative and abstract elements together, with spiritual or conscious meanings.


Colour and form take a journey from representation towards abstraction, an open-ended journey which allows a sense of freedom and expression. This shift in the creative process is due to her increase in meditation practice in connection with nature and during her work.


She uses techniques such as oil painting, printmaking, drawing and watercolour in making her art. This helps her to have a range of expressive ways to go further in her making process.

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