Originally trained as an architect before turning towards visual art, Stella Rahola Matutes nevertheless continues to address placemaking and situational spatial encounters in her practice. By exploring craft techniques, especially glassblowing, her works embody the matter and meaning—as well as the loss—of material cultures based on small-scale collaboration and extol our primordial capacity to produce knowledge with our hands. The Silicon Dawn (2019) saw a cluster of shiny pinnacles rising from hexagonal islands as if a model for an archipelago of needle-like skyscrapers had emerged from the imagination of a vainglorious oligarch. Yet these architectural follies were made of artisanal mirrored glass: their apparent technological innovation was formed by human breath. Developed with architect Roger Paez and a group of master’s degree students at Elisava, Beautiful Failures (2021) took place in an icon of the Modern Movement, the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition Pavilion, by Lilly Reich and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and hosted 17 ‘burial sites’ for defective pieces of glass, from lamps to laboratory equipment, from different workshops in Barcelona.
Stella Rahola Matutes is a graduate of the Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona (2011) and Goldsmiths, University of London (2019). Her solo exhibitions include Fig Juice, Espacio Micus, Ibiza (2020–2021); Babelia & Other Stories, Museu Can Mario, Palafrugell (2019), and L’altre paisatge, Galeria Carles Taché, Barcelona (2014). She has participated in a number of group exhibitions, including Politics of Translation, The Stone Space, London (2019), and Syntonic State, TULCA Festival of Visual Arts, Galway (2018). stella.cat