liminal - Paula Ortega
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 1. Of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
2. Occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.

Latin limin-, limen threshold

Paula Ortega’s pieces are grounded in a robust consideration of what is precious and how we assign meaning and value to objects.

Driven by her fascination for fractals and the unseen structures and patterns that are part of our world– both created by nature and humankind, the Liminal Series combined the beauty of vegetable sponges with recycled metals. Paula wanted to challenge the perception of value for this natural fibre more commonly used for scrubbing, so she combined it with precious metals to test her idea of ‘material mobility’: is it possible to raise a given material’s status through association with a more appreciated and valued material like silver? She called the series Liminal as she thought of the whole process as a transformation ritual in which the material was revalued and its status changed.

Loofah is a vegetable that grows on vines in hot sunny weather and is commonly used for scrubbing. There are different varieties and it is very popular in China and Vietnam. It’s also grown in South America, Egypt and Greece. It can be eaten when ripe or if allowed to fully ripen and then dry out on the vine, the flesh disappears leaving only the fibrous skeleton and seeds, which can be easily shaken out.

Paula Ortega’s Liminal Series brings the wonderful loofah into a new place in people’s minds.