Pale Fire

Maru Aponte: Salt Stains

March 23–May 26, 2024

Exhibition Map


Rhys Edwards The Earthen Ocean: Maru Aponte at Pale Fire for Peripheral Review

mira y no les descuides.
las islas son mundos aparentes.
cortadas en el mar
transcurren en su soledad de teirras sin raiz.
en el silencio del agua una mancha

look and don’t neglect them.
the islands are apparent worlds.
cut off in the sea
moving past in the solitude of rootless lands.
above the water’s silence, a stain

Reina María Rodríguez, “las islas / the islands”

Mona Island, in the Puerto Rican archipelago, has two hundred caves, many of which permeate its coastline and are visible from the sea. These caverns are caesuras in the island’s chromatic landscape. The wind shakes the palms, sand and surf, making sunlight and shadow dance around the still, dark recesses. From a boat, Maru Aponte transcribes the movement and luminosity around her with watercolours on small pieces of paper. She works with the medium because it responds to wind, light and heat, much like the ocean. The plein-air sketches that inform the paintings in Salt Stains express the elements and forces that shape the islands in the archipelago.

Maru Aponte’s artistic journey unfolds through the dynamic exploration of watercolour as a contemporary medium, challenging its historical associations with leisurely pursuits. Aponte is a Puerto Rican artist working in Vancouver, Canada, where she bridges diverse landscapes to evoke a profound sense of place. Intense colour emerges as a pivotal element in her work. This saturation reflects the intrinsic qualities of the medium as well as the vibrant palette of Puerto Rico. Her paintings resonate as a visceral representation of the Caribbean experience—beautiful, cacophonous and authentic. Aponte recently graduated with an MFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver. In 2023, she had a solo exhibition at Souvenir 154 in San Juan and was granted the Griffin x ECU Fellowship Studio Award at Griffin Arts Projects in North Vancouver. In the summer of 2024, Aponte will present a solo exhibition at Galería Agustina Ferreyra in Mexico City.