Lines open like the roots of an impossible tree. Some revealed, others hidden; some powerful, others complacent. Lines become undulating and seem to squeeze through the hiding places that they create and shape. Lines are like the water that flows through the rocks of a stream, nothing stops them; they continue to flow over or round an inexistent obstacle. When looking at these works by Beatriz de la Rúa, we can’t fail to recall poem 78 from Tao Te Ching:

Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water,
Yet nothing can better overcome the hard and strong,
For they can neither control nor destroy it (…)

It is also difficult not to associate her ink works with the classical Chinese Taoist painting. Works by artists from the East sought consonance with the constant mutations of the universe, of people and situations. Not for nothing have they chosen ink, an aqueous means that flows, analogous to the air and water currents that exist per se and are independent from shape. Both in Beatriz’s works and in Chinese art, lines like veins or threads of a skein can be observed. They whirl about like smoke; they are not a mere abstraction but a clear and objective representation of the subtle energy paths (chi or qi) which move through time and space.
Beatriz’s artistic production also nurtures from western tradition, from the visible world of the senses. Unrecognizable figures emerge from those dancing lines – like in water stains on the wall, or the clouds that travel across the sky. Although the repertoire is not strict, an affable preference towards faces can be noticed. Well defined noses that blend into the space between the eyebrows, rolled eyelids that let out a thread which travels across the face and reaches the mouth to become entangled again; girls’ hair mingles with the ambiguous lines of the composition. Or are these lines the creators of that hair? Beatriz’s works achieve a harmonious connection between the world of the senses (figuration, whether human or not) and a subtle dimension.

In another group of ink works, the line continues to be present, but the stain is more dominant. The image is plain, with no ornaments or meanders, in coincidence with Zen austerity, detachment and non-desire. In almost all the series there is a place taken up by emptiness, not understood as nothingness, but as no-shape, no-thing no-being; as a potential universe. In Tao art, emptiness is the essential element, the beginning step to painting freely and being able to coordinate mind and hand. But emptiness is something else, and this is much better described by Lao Tse in poem 16 of the Tao Te Ching:

Empty the self completely;
Embrace perfect peace.
The world will rise and move
Watch it return to rest
All the flourishing things
Will finally return to emptiness and peace (…)

In Beatriz’s work two complementary visions are combined: the oriental one, with the mark of the gesture understood as the product of a subtle force that moves through the artist as a channel, and the occidental one, with a tendency to generate figure and narration. In the production of our artist there is a pendular transition between the representation of an ineffable energy and that of matter, and, above all, a communication channel is established between two inner worlds which give way to a harmonious universe.”