“digging with my feet”

May 11 - July 8, 2023


featured Ximena

« I don’t want to feel the bottom when I dig with my feet »


I imagine this feeling being expressed by a person and by a plant.
I imagine that all emotions can be felt by plants. Only, we haven’t asked all the right questions yet .

This series of paintings does not constitute the right questions, but rather fragments of conversations, not only my conversations.
I wanted to sit down and talk to the plants, and I realised that they were already having conversations with each other. So I kept quiet and listened.

I was so captivated by their discussions that I wanted to grow roots myself, so I started digging with my feet.
The fig tree spoke to me through smell and the taste of its fruit, the rock and the palm tree through the touch, like the cactus. The tree taught me to breathe like him.

I wanted to write down their conversations, but there was nothing to say in words. I couldn’t understand everything. Despite the chaos, there was no cacophony.

So I integrated them into my body, into the movement of my wrist and my arm. My back lengthened to rise like the palm tree. I learned to make my hand dance like the branches of the dry, irregular bush.

They spoke rapidly, their conversations had been going on for years. The rock came to punctuate the dialogues, he often interrupted to recall details of the story because he doesn’t forget anything. He told me about the passage of humans and other species through colours, smells, sounds and textures.

He taught me that even if we were not in the landscapes that we were making of them, we were in the details, sometimes too present.

The plants, the rocks and the earth were all used to having their portraits painted and they were very successful. They even had relatives in other continents because of their beauty. To tell the truth, today it annoyed them more than it flattered them. They felt like in a zoo. They laughed at our idea of landscapes, they thought we were naive.

Their conversations were so interesting that I kept digging with my feet. I couldn’t feel the bottom anymore.


Ximena Maldonado Sánchez
April, 2023