RAQUEL DEL VAL “Trazos naturales”

Nature is a fundamental source of inspiration for many artists and it is precisely the starting point for the latest works of Raquel del Val. After exhibiting in 2020 at the collective show Cuarto de invitados 2, the artist is now presenting a solo exhibition entitled Trazos naturales (Natural Traces) at the gallery in Santander.

In contrast to a previous stage focused on the biological structures of the human body and a surrealist style, her work has now taken a significant turn. Among other things, this change has been motivated by the impressions received on a trip to La Palma Island, shortly after the eruption of the volcano: “I was surprised by the great variety of natural elements in the landscape and their longevity, including the recent volcanic eruption that has modified the environment so much, turning it into something even more special. I have seen so closely the way this natural event has had such a great impact on the conditions of the island and its landscape. It has led me to reflect on the great capacity of nature to continue to develop according to its natural cycle. Some of the works at the show are inspired by several of these natural elements, specially the colours of the volcano, the ash tides, the salt flats, the rock formations and the lush vegetation”.

Returning to Cantabria, her reflections are combined with the experience of the everyday context in her hometown, Somahoz. There the nature coexists with the industrial and factory sites of the area. It is an important influence on this series, as can be perceive in colours and textures. However, the essential component of these new works has to do with the artist’s taste for filigree, for free and abstract drawing through. She develops something like invented alphabets, traces that suggest exotic musical notations, dances of lines or graphic choreographies distributed across the canvas. These curious kufic trajectories are going to mark out the abstractions formed from pigments exposed to rainwater, in a performance of catharsis that introduces hazard and transformation beyond the artist’s control into the work. The result is rich in veilings and surprising plastic effects. It evokes natural processes and the behaviour of matter, and dialogues with the playful line, maybe inspiring languages that could have the capacity to inaugurate new ideas.

In addition to the works on canvas and aluminium, the exhibition also includes some sprouts: wall installations made of textile pieces that establish curious formal games.

They represent the mysterious calligraphies in volume, printed with the same water effects as the paintings. We could imagine that they have escaped from them, taking their own, containing on their surface the textures of nature and the creative behaviour of matter.


RAQUEL DEL VAL (Somahoz, Cantabria, 1997) holds a Master degree in Museology and Museum Management from the Universidad a Distancia de Madrid and a Bachelor’s degree in Art, Minor in Painting, UPV-EHU, Basque Country.



Trazos naturales

8th February – 6th April 2024


Galería Juan Silió
C/ Sol 45, bajo. 39003 Santander.

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10:30AM – 1:30PM / 6 – 9PM