It has been demonstrated in a great number of species that the individual specimens which make up that species are unique. Maybe humans will never be able to distinguish between the members of a shoal of dolphins, but this does not mean that they are all the same, or worse that they should be the same. Every living being on the planet is unique, a balance can not be established without the acceptance of this and other basic conditions.
The anthropomorphism of the great apes plays a fundamental role in our ability to distinguish one from the other. It is only necessary to pay a little attention to see that each one of the gorillas, bonobos, chimpanzees and orangutans in a zoo are completely different from each other.In the Great Apes in Feminine project I use the portrait as a tool to individualise, emphasising that each member of a species is unique.
After more than a decade of "technological" artistic production I took my pencil up again. I was not interested in making photographic or video portraits. To draw a portrait demands a profound connection between individuals, and this is what guided me. The primatologist Sabater Pi (1922-2009) famous for discovering “Copito de Nieve”, believed that drawing portraits was the best technique for representing primates. I am not sure that it is the best technique, but I believe it is a good one for getting to know them. When I draw I "tune in" to the model, this "being with them" (female gorilla-gorilla) enriches me profoundly on a spiritual level. I feel the creative process as a form of dialogue, a "morphological echo".
The portrait is a form of differentiation, of individualisation, it shows the unique nature of the subject; in this way, and from an ecofeminist point of view, I find a complete coherence in this practise of "portraying" female gorillas, making their unique and unrepeatable nature evident. Drawing allows me to work in a more detailed way on certain aspects and simply sketch others. I try in this way to bring out the physiological characteristics which stand out in each of the females I draw and which make up the "feminine" image of gorillas found in spanish zoos. “Planet Earth –or Gaia– is not human, nor does it belong to humans. Humans are not the center of life; we are a recent, rapidly growing part of an enormous ancient whole. Gaia is the place for all the living beings we know. It is also the place where our dreams are born. If we feel our lives to be something more than a succession of hedonistic distractions then it is crucial that we reconnect with the biosphere.” (PERALES, 2016 :352)
This project counts with the support of the Great Apes Project.