“The eyes of the statues they mourn his immortality“, said Ramón Gómez de la Serna. The next protagonist molds, chisels, carves… sculptures that are also made so that the devotees dream one day of stepping on eternity. Diana Garcia Roy is a renowned Spanish artist, graduated in Fine Arts from the Complutense University of Madrid, and whose religious work, highly valued today, can be seen in parishes, oratories…from New York, Rome, Cameroon or the remote Amazon.
Winner of different prizes During her career, Diana, who also cultivates drawing and painting, has received scholarships such as the one from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Spanish Academy in Rome or the House of Velázquez. She is the author of outstanding works such as the altarpiece of the parish of San Manuel Gonzalezin San Sebastián de los Reyes (Madrid), attends this medium to talk about the spirit that moves all his art, his love for maryand of which is his right eye: the Virgin of Hope.
-Why did you decide on sacred art?
Mainly I have done it to order, and in a certain way conditioned by the client. But over the years, I’ve realized your interest. As it is a transcendent theme, it has a Great depth and many possibilities.
»In my personal line of sculpture, I try to translate into aesthetic expression the idea that I have inside me. I use a language of game plans, rather architectural, but leaving the human mark of the process.
Diana Garcia Roy is a listed artist Spanish with a special interest in sacred art.
“Observing the great crisis in sacred art today, I have the concern to make some religious-themed work freely using my personal style of abstract sculpture. I have several projects that I hope to be able to turn into a reality soon.
-And, why create a Virgin?
Until recently it was someone’s express request. But it has become a need to translate my deal and affection towards her. I pretend with my work that people I can pray and approach God through beauty. That is why I seek to plastically express the greatness and royalty of her figure, her maternity and affection for each one, the feeling of being welcomed by her.
-What inspires you when you work on a Virgin?
I believe that the fundamental thing is faith and personal treatment with the Virgin, which will be reflected unintentionally in the work you are capturing. Know Who you are sculpting, and what you want to transmit from Her. She is not just any woman you can find on the street. While keeping her close, she has the ddignity of being a daughter of God, Mother of God, and Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Her objective qualities, an extraordinary example of life and being co-redeemer with her Son.
»The challenge is to be able to transmit plastically, in a way that enters through the senses, the greatness of his figure and the closeness of her motherhood.
»It is difficult, but through the beauty it is possible to reach the heart of man, and impalpably transmit these spiritual qualities. That is why I think of making sculptures that are more detached from figuration, that convey a transcendence, a spirituality that lift the soul.
‘Beauty manages to reach the heart of man,’ he says (Photo: @hoshi.sculpture).
»Each time I have made one of his sculptures, a special atmosphere treatment and closeness with her. When I finish the sculpture it is very hard for me to take it away and I miss it.
-What does the figure of the Virgin Mary convey to you?
For me it is a refuge, open arms and a lap. A mother that any child goes to when she needs something or is afraid. I would like to reflect in my sculptures that welcome, that maternal gaze and the certainty that She always listens.
-The aesthetics of the virgins change… do the devotees become familiar with the most contemporary ones or do they still prefer the classic ones?
I think we have been copying the art of centuries ago for too long. There is fear of innovation and they seek to play it “safe”. But in each era of history different styles were developed. naturallyto the rhythm of art, architecture, life… Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque…
»We are in the 21st century and it is necessary a step according to our times, ways of living and thinking.
Sculpture of the Virgin of Hope by Diana García Roy.
»I have tried to give a more contemporary air to the sculptures of the Virgin that I have made, and from what they tell me, they like and help to pray. I would like to continue advancing along this line.
»I think it is urgent a current sacred artthat connects with the man of today, moves him in the most intimate and takes him to God.
-What does it arouse to see a person praying before the Virgin Mary?
My great challenge is to reach the heart of man, to connect with that sculpture and invite him to pray, to love the Virgin or the conversion.
“That is why it is important to find, from faith, a way to express the beauty of God and therefore of the Virgin, for being the human creature who is closer to God.
In 2016, the Virgen de la Esperanza was installed in a remote village in the Amazon.
»Beauty is something that strikes the heart, it has the power to elevate the spirit, to satisfy the need that man has of the transcendent, in a way that profoundly transforms us.
-What role does the “spirit” play in your images? Is it more important than the art itself?
If the spirit is essential for any work of art, it is essential in sacred art. If beauty leads to God, the work at least must reflect even a spark of that splendor.
»It is about seeing the spirit that is withinfind its inner strength, its transcendent expression, discover the sacred origin of that figure and find a way to transmit it.
-Can you tell something about the Virgin of Hope sent to the Amazon?
In 2016, the Virgen de la Esperanza was installed, 2.20 m high and with an inscription on its base: “Everything is possible with love and perseverance. The initiative It was from the IESE Business School, from the University of Navarra, and it is located in a chapel located on a hill above the Uatumá River, which means “pretty woman”, a place where native boats and canoes pass. It is in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, three hours from the town of Presidente Figueiredo. The initiative wanted to show the tenderness and motherly love in the figure of Mary.
»I was lucky to go to his installation and blessing, to know those beautiful lands and humble, kind and full of mercy people. It was touching see how they kissed and hugged her. When you see that your work is really helping its end: helping to pray, it is something very big.
Diana was very moved to see Pope Francis with one of her images.
-Pope Francis has a Virgin of his…
We delivered to the Pope, in the midst of the Amazon Synod, a small-format reproduction of the Virgin of Hope. When the news reached me, and I saw the photo of the Pope with the Virgin in her hands, I got excited deeply. As a believer I have a great love to the popeand it was something really important for me.
»Now there are hundreds of families who they have acquired in this small size for your homes, in Spain and throughout the world.
(Article published in the Marian news portal Cari Filii).