Isabel Herrera

"The images I capture reveal my dreams, my fairy tale; that irrational language that feeds my spirit; an illusory encounter with myself, where I revisit my childhood, and where ordinary experiences become poetry. In stillness, I have found life to be a succession of vanishing, ephemeral moments."

Music - Polaroid photograph composition Ea 3.5 x 4.2 in.

Isabel Herrera is a contemporary instant photographer and artist who lives and works in Guatemala City. Herrera’s works portray serenity and nostalgia and that which is also ephemeral, vaporous and impermanent.

From a deep state of quiescence, Herrera has come to understand that life is a succession of vanishing and fragile moments. While trying to remain in the now, detached from all things banal, she has found her own way, searching to preserve fragments of time. Instant photography has enabled her to mindfully cherish these moments in complete stillness, in presence. It is how she finds contentment. The Polaroid SX70 and its experimental possibilities have allowed her to capture these fragile and evanescent instants always through shades and veils of haze. Herrera has found a muse and inspiration in nature, and her deep connection to it is reflected in her images. The Polaroid emulsion lifting technique she continuously works with is the way she can convey vulnerability, sensitivity and fragility of life. From the moment each emulsion is attached to organic cotton paper, it acquires its own unique form and personality. The wrinkles, folds and tears form an allegory of the human experience and existence; scars, grief, pain. These apparent imperfections simultaneously assure strength, hope and resilience; a sense of gratitude of being here and now.

Isabel Herrera has showcased works at Guatemala’s Sol del Rio Contemporary Art Gallery, Juannio’s annual Contemporary Latin American Art Auction, and internationally acclaimed Instant Photography Festivals in Germany, France, Italy and the UK. She was also invited to be a guest speaker and exposer at the First International Experimental Photography Festival in Barcelona Spain in January 2020, and a guest judge to Guatemala’s Universidad Francisco Marroquín Design Week 2020.

Untitled - B&W Polaroid photograph 3.5 x 4.2 in.
Untitled - Polaroid photograph 3.5 x 4.2 in.
Matilisguate - Polaroid photograph 3.5 x 4.2 in.
Self Portrait - Polaroid photograph 3.5 x 4.2 in.
Confinement - Original Polaroid BW SX70 film
Sueños Lúcidos - Polaroid SX70 film
Untitled - Polaroid Emulsion lift. Polaroid 600 film
Self Portrait - Polaroid BW 600 film
Inhale - Polaroid 600 Color Film

This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


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