Eulalia de Valdenebro is an artist focused on botanical illustration. She wants to capture the harmonious and codependent relationship between human beings and nature through an ecosophical narrative. Likewise, her artwork contributes to some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, such as Sustainable Cities and Communities, Climate Action, and Life on Land.
The artist has had an extensive experience as a professional, which has allowed her to explore herself in different fields and develop her internal concerns and critical positions. For instance, her master's degree in Plastic and Visual Arts, her Ph.D. in Art and Ecosophy, and her training in Botanical Illustration at the Atelier de Peinture Botanique.
Through her artwork, Eulalia seeks to establish a more pleasant, deep and sensitive dialogue with nature and its interdependent relationship with human beings.
The botanical illustration work has allowed her to develop a more physical and intuitive path due to in situ experiences and tactile drawing. It is fundamental for the artist that her body appears as an element of measure in nature and links those forces.
Eulalia explains: “When I illustrate a plant, I always try to capture its movement; that is why I travel to see it, understand its cycles, see its leaves turn to find the light, understand how a flower withers and how the fruit appears. I like to feel the flexibility of the trunk and taste its sap, it's as if the taste told me exactly what colour I should use to illustrate it. The botanical illustration that I learned, born in front of the plant, with many drawings that are perfected and with colour tests that capture the subtlety of the passage of a cloud. Then, with all this material, I produce a botanical illustration that is an idealization achieved in the sum of all those drawings. Working in this way has allowed me to travel to many ecosystems and know many plants in depth. Likewise, I recognize its landscapes, history, politics, people, and customs. It is the most important thing that botanical illustration has given me because it is the basis of all my work as a plastic artist.”
The artist summarizes everything mentioned above in an ecosophical position, where the exchange is necessary to be alive; otherwise, everything will be dead. According to Eulalia, science has divided everything into categories and objects, devaluing its Being, which has led us to lose our symbolic, spiritual and sensitive gestures towards nature. Therefore, ecosophy does not divide or classify, rather it integrates and interrelates all in codependency.
The anthropologist Francois Correa, defines ecosophy as an ecological movement that involves a spiritual dimension in which different groups can work together in complementary reciprocity for the environment's well-being. For example, Indigenous people from the Amazon conceive the ecosystem under the principle of reciprocity as a presupposition of the relationships between society and nature. For them, animals have culture, they have a common mythical origin, they share a spiritual essence and they have a soul.
Therefore, Eulalia's artwork calls to awaken the conscience around how we relate with the world, involving a spiritual dimension in our existence, where everything has life and we are part of the whole, reseeding more profound dialogues and harmonious relationships between the communities of the same territory.