Illustrator Sonia Alins is known for her ongoing series titled Dones d’aigua (Water Women), where illustrated women are seen submerged in water. Exploring the expressiveness of elements such as transparency and blur, Alins’ work (often three-dimensional) has a surreal element to it, meant to convey feelings, desires, dreams, and nightmares.
“To me, Dones d’aigua has become an aesthetic research on emotions and water as a visual and symbolic element that helps to transmit these emotions,” explained Alins in an interview with Brown Paper Bag. According to Alins, her aim is that, through the physical relationship between the characters and the aquatic medium, the viewer can experience the characters’ emotions, be it anguish, fear, sorrow or joy.
“I was born near the Mediterranean sea and the influence of it and water in my culture is something defining,” she further explained. “I guess it’s part of my DNA. The truth is that the sea has always been present in my life and has transmitted a special and positive energy to me.”
There’s also a poetic quality to her work that is well-intended. “The protagonists of my works interact with this mass of water where they are immersed and, there, their feelings are amplified, their shouts are heard louder, their desperation is felt more profoundly… But also, when they are calm, it feels like a more rewarding emotion too.”
All made by hand, Alins takes pleasure in manipulating the paper so as to achieve an ethereal atmosphere. While her artworks look beautiful in the pictures, they’re meant to be experienced live. “When people see them live,” says Alins, “they are surprised by the atmosphere created.”