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Energy Bodies


1 April - 7 May, 2023

Energy Bodies is a month-long exhibition exploring the undulating shapes of our bodies when
viewed in light of their vast and complex energetic pathways. Drawing on understandings of energy
within various practices, from holistic healing and neurology to the study of natural elements and
bodily matter, the exhibition leads with a seemingly simple question: What happens to an emotion
once it leaves the body? Relatedly, how might it linger, stagnate, or come to transfer and transform
the bodies and environments around us? What makes an emotion ready for expression in the first
place? How does the energy that we inherit, whether during a momentary encounter or as passed
down across generations, come to influence our mental and physical wellbeing over time?
Featuring works by artists Joana Escoval (PT), Niina Tervo (FI), Alvaro Ugarte (MX), and Rosario
Zorraquín (AR), the artworks on view contemplate the imperceptible entanglements that connect
us through an expanded notion of the body. Comprising both physical artworks and ephemeral
gestures, the exhibition attunes to energy as an increasingly vital channel of information and
affiliation through which to encounter the world.

On entering the space, Alvaro’s site-specific floor installation, A return after long wanderings
(2023), playfully maps the journey of a thought as it transits through the brain. Informed by his
background in social science and communication, the installation furthers his interest in the ways in
which mental pathways are formed. The zig-zagging, disjointed, and mirrored shapes emulate the
multidimensional and accumulative journey of a single thought, whereby associative thinking
collapses distinctions between the real, imagined, past, present, and future. Pebbles (2023) plays
into these neural processes directly, as the intermittent sound of stones being thrown at a window
promises to interject and re-route our minds elsewhere, if momentarily.

Drawing us through to the rear-end of the gallery, Rosario’s artworks—Sigfrida (2021), No XIII
(2021), and Blood (2020)—pick up a related theme. Both materially and conceptually, she is
interested in working with that and those that are commonly filtered out of our primary realm of
attention. Untended ideas, feelings, and memories all form part of the subconscious repository that
the artist sensitively navigates. She does so through rituals of exchange in which participants are
invited to carry out haptic readings of her Glosario; a non-codified, sensory language of her own
making intended to ignite each individual’s mining of their subconscious. These impressions form
the basis of her mark-making, as she superimposes words, imagery, and signs with other forms of
information; from water, air, and light, to the warmth, odor, and aura of each participant that comes
to be wrapped in the sieve-like material.

Niina’s works study the material connection of emotions and their making. With her works she is
taking a closer investigation into soil and it’s emotional language. Her work places an interest to a
study where soil bacteria has been found out to have the same four main bacteria types than in
human digestive system, which have been learned to be part of our emotional thinking. Based on
this she studies the materials and the shapes of things growing and living in it as a language of the
soil, with which she communicates and searches different ways of sensing and interacting

Niina places her studies and installation to her allotment. She has dug soil material to make
sculpture’s and with intuitive sensing searching her connection with it, turning the conversation into
language of abstract sculpture, which to her as a language is both material and emotional.
Sculpture installation (Flushing meadows, 2013) shown as part of the exhibition is taking the

viewer to connect with the feeling of the allotment, and take part in the communication between
Niina and the soil. During the exhibition, together with the installation, Niina makes edible
sculptures which are served both to other artists in the show and to visitors. Materials for the edible
sculptures are partly harvested from the allotment and during the making are exposed with certain
chosen emotions and events, which passing Tervo studies through the material and it’s digestion in
the body, loosely connecting with a thought “Food tastes better if it’s made with love”. Other artists
invited to the show have been asked to reply to these sculptural messages with their own artistic

With a background in visual art and biology, the materiality of Niina’s sculptural works allude to the
imperceptibility of life’s underlying forces, grounded in scientific and philosophical reflection. In
particular, she draws on quantum-theoretical experiments as a springboard to explore the meaning
of energy as a component of our identities that is enmeshed with our surroundings. Approaching
the allotment as a conversation partner, soil-imbued clay, vegetables, dried plants, and fungi are
amongst the materials she uses to create her works. Sculpted in such a way that’s loosely
suggestive of letters, Niina probes us to regard organic matter from a linguistic standpoint. In doing
so, seeking to “read” the vast layers of information each brings to bear that may challenge the
notion of oneself as a self-contained system.

Joana’s artmaking similarly contemplates energy beyond the framework of the body. Verging on
imperceivable, Windway: Le Chaton et la Lune (2019) floats adjacent to the other artworks on view.
Her sculptures are most often assemblages of materials that are rudimentary: pieces of wood,
metal alloys, terracotta, among others, and/or collected from the natural world: leaves, water,
stones and foliage. In this particular piece, the artist creates a delicate synthesis between silver—
regarded as the highest conductor of energy amongst metals—and cat whiskers—tactile receptors
known to gather intricate understandings of its surrounding environment, susceptible to subtle
shifts in vibrations, air flows, scents, and surface textures, amongst other factors. Created at dawn,
Joana gives spare and fragile expression to the energetic transition and transmission from one
state to another, as well as between one belief or knowledge system and another. She is especially
attentive to the invisible currents running through her works, which she sees as integral to what is
being shown; if not the primary material of her artmaking. In this sense, given much of the piece
remains invisible to the naked eye, it is requested to refrain from taking photographs. (To handle
the object, make contact with the gallery attendant.)

Alongside these works is a more ephemeral gesture by Niina, made available intermittently
throughout the exhibition. Comprising a concoction of ingredients sourced from the allotment, Niina
invites visitors to situate the exhibition’s questioning within the body through the process of
digestion, noticing the transferral from chemical energy to other kinds of thermal and mechanical
energy, and the thoughts and feelings they inspire. (Dates will be announced later on SIC social

This exhibition is organized by SIC gallery’s Niina Tervo, together with Rosa de Graaf (UK/NL), a
curator and writer based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.


Joana Escoval
Le Chaton et la Lune (another moon)
Silver, cat whiskers

Rosario Zorraquin
Ink on canvas and paper

Rosario Zorraquin
Ink on canvas

Rosario Zorraquin
Ink on canvas

Alvaro Ugarte
Five small motors and five pebbles

Alvaro Ugarte
A return after long wanderings
Charcoal dust

Niina Tervo
Flushing Meadows
Wild clay
Casting clay
Organic materials
Edible rice paper

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