She trains, yes, Sofia Areal does it like the athletes, trains.
She does not rehearse like actors do. Does not plan like some novelists, no, she trains.
Tests her limits daily, stretches, flexes.
Yes, right in the morning, the hand rotates around her wrist, she spins. And she insists, turning with graphite, paint and small pieces of paper, cardboard, small canvases, small rotating gestures, drawing, gaining strength, gaining strength, small lines on the table top, India-ink spreading voluptuously.
Dancer, athlete, Sofia Areal trains.
Does not calculate, does not rehearse, does not plan, she prepares herself.
And all day long she enlarges the gesture, always rotating, laying canvases on the ground, swirling, sending paint, drawing. In ever larger mediums, canvas, paper. And the colours are vibrant, the gestures expansive, some unaverted drops, it is good; the gesture has accidents, the expansive gesture.
Yes, Sofia Areal is disciplined and insists.
As the athletes, trains, overcomes her own limits, wins.
And each of her works, small paper, tapestry, canvas, ceramic also, now this tile’s panel it is always a victory.
Victory against the night, against fear, against death.
As the athlete who surpasses the barrier, who jumps higher, who in that second in the air, wins (before the fall).
Yes, Sofia Areal prepares for that second of victory, her painting – because it is painting – is Olympic.
(Was it not this way how Pindar invented poetry in Ancient Greece, singing odes to those who free themselves from the law of death?)
Yes, Ramos Rosa would say, he who demanded “free freedom” from Poetry, Sofia Areal’s work, athletic, it’s a daily experience of freedom.
A praxis, one would say many years ago, when Sofia Areal was born.
(And I like her so much. And her winning chant).
Exsultate, jubilate, sings Mozart, yes, exult.
Jorge Silva Melo
Lisbon, August 2018