• Elvira Santamaría and Brian Patterson are two long-established artists dedicated to action art and performance art. They formed an artistic partnership in order to create a project entitled Sublimation and En la cisterna during their residency. In two distinctive areas of the City History Museum of Girona, namely the coal cellar and the ancient cistern, they created a performance piece in which dampness, sound, water and audience served to create a series of watercolours.
  • artistic partnership, performance, action, coal cellar, cistern, damp, water, sound, watercolours.
  • Elvira Santamaría and Brian Patterson | Sublimation and En la cisterna, 2014

    They completed a residency at the Bòlit Contemporary Art Centre, Girona, Spain, as part of the first Action Art cycle of the FEM Festival. They worked in two distinctive areas of the City History Museum of Girona, namely the coal cellar and the cistern, where the ancient walls, water and darkness play an important role. There they created a performance piece in which corporal work, architecture and audience serve to guide and materialise all the action on sheets of paper. The result is a series of watercolours entitled Sublimation and En la cisterna, in which the actions of water, colour and fire leave their mark.

    Sublimation i En la cisterna, 2014


    Elvira Santamaría
    Impronta de agua y fuego, 2014
    Smoke and water on paper
    41 x 29.6 cm

    En la cisterna#1 and #2, 2014
    2 watercolours on paper
    41 x 29.6 cm

    En la cisterna#3. 2014
    Watercolour and burnt paper
    45 x 32.5 cm

    Brian Patterson
    Sublimation#2, #3, #4, #5, #6, 2014
    5 watercolours on paper
    45 x 32.5 cm

    Creative process


    Elvira Santamaría and Brian Patterson 

    Mexico City, Mexico, 1967,
    Belfast, United Kingdom, 1958, respectively
    They live and work in Belfast, United Kingdom

    For over 25 years, Elvira Santamaría has devoted her artistic career to performance art, action art and installation with a strong symbolic and poetic identity. She defines her work as anthropological research on human action and gestures. She is interested in long-lasting works, and not so much the final result but rather the creative process, focused on the task at hand and expectant about what will emerge. In these processes it is possible to observe various changes in behaviour and reactions with the audience, with others, serving as a framework for reflection on life, human experience and power relations.

    She holds a Degree in Visual Arts from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland (2009) and studied painting at the La Esmeralda National School of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving, Mexico (1992). In 2015 she created the performance pieces entitled Cartografías de sal, Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca, Mexico; Bajo el signo de las Jacarandas, Central Park, Antigua, Guatemala; Retratos de la memoria, Guatemala; Resignificación cotidiana, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico; Autorretrato de humo, San Cristóbal de las Casas, La Paloma Gallery, Mexico; Autorretrato de humo, Mérida, Mexico; and Calle 60. Sur-Norte, La Rendija Theatre, Mérida, Mexico. She was appointed as a member of the National System of Art Creators, FONCA-CONACULTA, Mexico, (2013). She has won an award at Artraker: Awarding Creativity in Art & Conflict, London (2013) and has completed a residency at Burgdorf, Switzerland (2012).

    Brian Patterson believes that our position on the cultural map of time is the result of humanity’s constant search for identity and meaning. His artistic practice is related to poetics, spaces and how we have ended up at this point. He is interested in metaphysical aspects of human beings and the ephemeral and transitory dualism of our bodies and spirituality, along with the relationship of the individual in the world and what remains private within a community.

    He lives in Northern Ireland, where he works as an administrator and project coordinator of Bbeyond, which was founded in 2001 and is dedicated to promoting performance art. He has worked at Flax Art Estudis, Belfast, Northern Ireland (2003) on the organisation of his International Residency programme. He formed part of the management committee and was director of Catalyst Arts, an organisation that promotes innovative and experimental art practices in Northern Ireland (1996-1998). He has worked as an artist since 1992. He created a performance piece in Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland (2005) and participated in the Routes project in Northern Ireland (2001).