Fig Juice, 2020
Fig Juice, 2020 Stella Rahola Matutes

Notes for an Eye Fire exhibition views. Photo: Miquel Coll

Exploring artisanal techniques, especially glassblowing, the works of Stella Rahola Matutes embody the matter and meaning of material cultures based on small-scale collaboration and the primary capacity to produce knowledge with our hands.

Fig Juice is made up of three different co-dependent elements: tendril-like wire chains, synthetic hair, and forms made of glass and gold that resemble fruits or organs. The title suggests a poetic extract of paradisal fertility and enlightenment, like a distillate of the transcultural symbolism of the fig and the marvel of fig plants’ collaborative intelligence. Figs’ “fruits” are balls of enclosed flowers that are only pollinated by a single type of wasp for each species, while their importance as a year-round food source makes them quintessential ecological keystones.

Rahola Matutes imagines an uncanny suspended environment that is objectively inert and crafted, yet its parts also seem to form organic associations and to interact of their own accord.

Making of

Stella Rahola Matutes
Stella Rahola
Stella Rahola
Stella Rahola
Stella Rahola
Stella Rahola
Stella Rahola
Stella Rahola
Stella Rahola
Stella Rahola

Photos: Latitudes and Hiuwai Chu

About Stella Rahola Matutes

Stella Rahola Matutes

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

Stella Rahola Matutes, The Silicon Dawn
Stella Rahola Matutes, The Silicon Dawn
Stella Rahola Matutes, The Silicon Dawn
Stella Rahola Matutes, Beautiful Failures
Stella Rahola Matutes, Beautiful Failures
Stella Rahola Matutes, Beautiful Failures
Stella Rahola Matutes, Beautiful Failures
I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life
Jean-Michel Basquiat