The logo-image of La Foresta is changing with every season as the real forest does. Every new spring, summer, autumn and winter it celebrates changing seasons of nature and of our lives. As snow melts away, as buds turn into leaves, as leaves start to change colour, as they fly away with the wind, as new buds are born - at the turn of each season we invite a different artist to create a portrait of La Foresta in summer, autumn, spring or winter. Each creator's image will represent La Foresta online for three months and later will become part of the permanent Museum of Seasons. During these three months Visual Strolls becomes an online gallery, a visual viewing room, exhibiting the work of the invited artist. 

This SUMMER we are showcasing the work of Ana Ventura. Ana  is a multi-facetted artist and illustrator based in Antwerp and Lisbon. She is working with a wide variety of media, creating illustrated books, embroidery sets, decorative wall stickers, photographs, screenprints, postcards, clothes and accessories. Here's a selection of our all times favourites of Ana's work. 

Mulher sem memória
Por vezes esqueço-me do meu corpo e quando isso acontece vou a correr para casa para ler os recados que lá deixei para mim na parede, já a contar com estas situações. Nos recados deixo o nome dos braços, das pernas, da barriga, dos cotovelos, dos joelhos, dos pés, do pescoço, dos sovacos … E leio todas as palavras e decoro-as a todas por ordem alfabética. Mas por vezes acontece esquecer-me também das imagens dos nomes dos braços, das pernas, da barriga, dos cotovelos, dos joelhos, dos sovacos… e é nesses momentos que jogo a minha vida como um puzzle, sempre a tentar encaixar as partes do corpo certas, nos nomes certos, nas funções certas… Acho que foi por isso que escrevi esta página... para falar contigo… porque é curioso… eu nunca me esqueço de ti… mesmo quando me esqueço de tudo o resto, nunca me esqueço de ti e queria combinar contigo uma mnemónica para quando me esqueço de mim, pode ser?. Faço assim: sempre que me acontece esquecer de respirar, só tenho de pensar em ti porque basta-me imaginar-te e fico logo com um formigueiro nos pés. O formigueiro faz-me sair de casa, porta fora, em desespero, à tua procura. Depois só tenho de te encontrar e tudo é simples: Olho para ti e o meu lado esquerdo começa a bater muito depressa, a doer, como se fosse bicado por um pássaro. Cada batida  percorrendo todas as ramificações internas do meu corpo. Lembro-me de que tenho coração. Começo a corar muito, a ficar muito vermelha de vergonha só com a ideia de poderes perceber que o meu coração bate por ti e então lembro-me da minha cara, e lembro-me que prefiro a tua cara à minha, e o calor é tanto e tão grande que só me apetece morrer, como vi num filme, e aí lembro-me que morrer é deixar de respirar e faço exatamente ao contrário, respiro, respiro, respiro, arfo até me vir à cabeça a imagem nítida do teu nariz que agora deve estar quase colado ao meu. Como já sei de antemão que o meu amor por ti tem miopia, faço pontaria e tropeço no teu nariz, só para me desculpar na tua boca, é aí que me lembro que devia usar óculos mais vezes para te ver melhor; beijo-te com muita força e muitas aftas e tu confirmas que os meus beijos sabem a Pyralvex. Desatamos os dois a correr, eu porque me lembro que já devia ter tomado a minha vitamina C e tu porque tens medo que eu não saiba o caminho para casa. Chegamos a casa, comemos laranjas e eu conto até 10 para ter a certeza que ainda sei contar. Acabo no 10 como previsto, sem me esquecer de nenhum número pelo caminho, e deixo-me cair nos teus braços, até porque não me lembro de que lado ficam as pernas e nem sequer me aguento em pé. Fazemos amor às escondidas da memória … e assim a engano,  enquanto deitas por terra migalhinhas que marcam os caminhos da floresta do meu corpo… Adormeço descansada. Afinal ainda tenho (quase) tudo no lugar…

Patrícia Portela
 

Woman with no memory

Sometimes I forget about my body, and when that happens I run home so I can read all the messages I left there for myself, hanging on the wall, stuck to the fridge, already taking into account this type of emergency. In these messages I write the names of my arms, my legs, my belly, my elbows, my knees, my feet, my neck, my armpits… and I read all of the words and I memorize them all in alphabetical order. But sometimes it also happens that I forget the images of the names that correspond to the arms, and to the legs, and to the belly, the elbows, the knees, the armpits, and it is during these moments that I play my life as if I would do a puzzle, constantly trying to fit the right pieces of my body to the right names in the right functions. And this is why I am writing you right now… because suddenly it occurs to me that despite the fact that I am able to forget almost about everything, I always seem to manage to never forget you, and this is why I would like to formulate a plan to be activated in case I forget about myself. We could simulate it like this:

Everytime I forget how to breathe, I just have to remember to think of you, and as soon as your image comes to my mind, my feet start to tingle in an unbearable formicary that forces me to get out of the house. I run out into the street desperately looking for you. Then, if I manage to find you it all gets very simple: the moment I look at you, the left side of my chest starts pounding very hard, very fast and in pain. That is when I remember I have a heart. I start to blush, my cheeks getting redder and hotter with the mere thought that you might understand that my heart is pounding because of you, and this is exactly how I remember that I have a face and I immediately conclude that I prefer your face to mine, and by now I feel the heat not only in my cheeks but all over my body, and the heat is unbearable that I just want to die exactly like I saw once in a movie, and this is when I recall that to die is to stop breathing so I try to do exactly the opposite in order to stay alive, and I breathe and breathe and breathe the best I can, and this is how I remember I have a nose and consequently that you have one too, and yours is probably very close to mine by now. Because I know beforehand that my love for you is myopic – you know I am a little short-sighted – I aim sharply at your nose so I can apologize myself in your mouth. I am reminded that I should wear glasses while I kiss you with all my strength and all my sores, and you tell me my kisses taste like Pyralvex solution, you know, the green stuff for mouth ulcers. I just want to disappear, my body seems to be consistently all there and that feels stranger then when it was not, so I have no other alternative but to start running, so I run, and strangely enough you start running too. I run because I forgot to take the vitamin c pills I left at home, you run after me because you are worried that I might not know the way home anymore.  We both arrive at my apartment, we both eat oranges, I count to ten to reassure myself that I can still count. I end by 10 and I fall into your arms, mostly because I have no clue on which side my legs really are and I find it difficult to stay standing on my feet. We make love to cheat my memory while you leave little crumbs behind to mark the way back into the forest of my body. I fall asleep soundly. (Almost) Everything is still in the right place.

 

Patrícia Portela