Mara Cosleacara (b. 1999) is a Romanian artist currently based in London. She graduated with a BA in Painting from Camberwell College of Arts, UAL (2022) and is now graduating the Painting MA at the Royal College of Arts (2023). Throughout her studies, Mara built a practice that explores colour, line and the process of mark-making, navigating the gestural through a well-defined language of abstract signs.
Receding lines and gestural brushstrokes blend together in layered compositions that explore a space of impermanence, edges, residues, traces and their intricate histories. Painting is employed in my work as a means of observation, analysing patterns, gestures, erasing and revealing surfaces to reach a state of in betweenness, a stillness often associated with geological formation.
Excavating from the underneath, adrift fragments show on the painted surfaces, edges of a line, traces of a brushstroke being intertwined through rhythmic gestures. The rhythm of the work lays in internalised patterns, movements that flow, self-cultivated gestures that translate on canvas through pressured oil pastel marks, translucent paint and thick areas of scratched colour. Depth is achieved through concealing, the work only revealing bits that allure to what is subtly receding from underneath.This aesthetic pleasure of dimming down, erasing and retreating emerges from ideas of indeterminacy, beauty of impermanence and imperfection, the appreciation of things that are partly hidden, all ideas encountered in teachings of Japanese aesthetics such as wabi-sabi.
Exploring the physicality of painting through an array of gestures, images are created and then destroyed through the rapid passage of marks. The mark making is intuitive, spontaneous, loosely applied in matt colours that are then absorbed on the painted surface, slowly emerging out of the background or subtly disappearing. My practice is process based, peeling, scraping, smudging colour, paper and pastel to achieve textural surfaces. All the speed of these actions culminates in a frozen picture, still and almost falling off the edge of the frame.
Creating a refuge, the paintings are introspective, they are time-based, analysing collisions, erasure and the marks of time on a surface, alluding to ruins and the beauty found in absence, mystery and the appreciation of traces.