The central nervous system plays a somewhat pivotal role in these beautiful works by Juana Gómez. Forming part of her Constructal series, they consist of photographs of people printed on linen or cotton, which are then hand embroidered to add veins in various colours. “My work arises from the observation of nature and the processes that determine how both living beings and the inorganic world are structured and built,” explains the artist.
She takes inspiration from Professor Adrian Bejan and his constructal law of physics, which he states as being: “For a finite-size system to persist in time (to live), it must evolve in such a way that it provides easier access to the imposed currents that flow through it.” In a similar fashion, Gómez likes to show the flow and structure of the human anatomy by taking photographs of people, often of herself as well, and printing these onto delicate fabrics before embroidering veins onto them, to show the patterns of nature.
“There is a fundamental law that can be seen in the veins of a leaf, the course of rivers and their tributaries, the circuits of the central nervous system, the currents of the sea and the routes of traffic on the Internet. Deciphering this common language, which connects the microcosmos with the macro cosmos, the external and the interior world, allows us to distinguish a pattern that influences inert, biological, social and cultural systems.
“It affects us continuously, although we are barely conscious of its presence, and governs aspects as common as our movements through the city and others as personal as the symbols of our dreams. Its essence arises from the way things flow along the path of least resistance.”