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All the statements below are made by a confidently liberated sexual woman.
Without doubt the principal influence in my work has been the women I’ve met in my life: mothers, friends, artists, survivors, sex workers, strippers, fighters, activists, performers, women of all ages and all backgrounds who I have met in the different countries and contexts I’ve lived in.
My art practice has to do with my own experience, my own biography expressed with a body that resists with joy and pleasure and keeps creating in a city like London. London a city where we are all implicated in a capitalist system that only wants to devour our creativity at the lowest price possible. However, it is under this oppressive environment that artists like myself create to overcome and heal through our work.
La Beti is the character I’ve developed who brings to life a variety of personas.
I use the art of burlesque and the art of undress because I feel it is a perfect combination of eroticism and empowerment to stimulate the audience's body and mind. It is also an art form that honors the human body in all shapes, sizes and races. It is a platform where dancers, actors, acrobats, comedians, visual artists, strippers, drag queens, etc. can express themselves publicly.
For me the act of undressing is a way to sensually remove the superficial layers that we inhabit.
I am particularly attracted to the varying approaches that I can contribute to, play with and expand the knowledge about Spain, whilst also rebelling against dominant Spanish history. Internationally Spain is known as the country of sun, great food, sensuous flamenco dancers and bullfighters, etc. This image of Spain has been a vital promotion to attract tourism, better the economy and to hide the blurred truth of a history conducted by male hegemony. Some of my acts mock and exaggerate this cliché, and I do it with a touch of comedic and irreverent expression. I enjoy playing with archetypes embedded in Spanish patriarchy about women such as the virgin, the mother, the whore, the slave, the bimbo and the hysterical.
Beyond Lorca, my work is also inspired by many other sources, such as Clarissa Pinkola Estes book Women who run with the Wolves; Taoist practices which cultivate and enhance female sexual energy; Paul Preciado and his feminist, queer and transgender theories; films & philosophy of Alejandro Jodorosky; A film by Beth B entitled Exposed: beyond Burlesque; Fannie Sosa’s notions of the curandera (healer) and the Pleasurable Resistance; drag ball culture of 1980s New York City and many others.
The aim of my practice is to convey and present a spectrum of what women’s power can look like and be. In my performances, I like to present the different characters that can inhabit a woman when she embraces the wild woman within herself. One key objective of my work is to heal the stigma of the ‘whore’.
Feminism for me it tied into all that brings us pleasure, there isn’t the notion of ‘you shouldn’t do’, we should all do whatever brings each of us self-mastery and self-pleasure. Something else I would like to do is help women learn to embrace the dark side, this dark side always referred to as the dirty or the sinful by our patriarchal society.
Collaboration has been an essential part of developing my career these collaborations are often with other artists or different types of creative. For instance, for La Beti’s performances the actual costumes are made with my 80 year-old mother. My mother collaborates with me to make style La Beti and to actually make the costumes. This act of mother daughter collaboration breaks down generational boundaries and also provides the impetus for La Beti’s mother to accept her daughter exhibitionist actions.
Since September 2015 I volunteer teaching Flamenco and self-confidence to women with social difficulties. The two institutions I collaborate with are Women for Refugee Women and Crisis. Applying my practice towards a social benefit is very important to me and I’m committed to continuing this type of work alongside performing.