Nostalgia for seemingly better times, or perhaps, simultaneously, a secret yearning for worse times to come, are woven into Francisca Ahlers’s scenes, in a back and forth of strokes which fluidly depict time and fractured time. The main themes are the past, oblivion, solitude and waiting combined with a poetic method of recovering memory, using black and white with just a few segments of colour. The artist’s usual medium is charcoal, which she uses to give life to ancient, uninhabited rooms.
The scenes reflect the romance of times gone by, as well as the space’s descent from riches to rags. An excess of Baroque highlights the emptiness of exterior scenes, whilst the same feeling is created inside by the inhabitants, who usually appear as lost characters peering out, seeming to show the spectator around their habitat without realizing that they are actually part of its beautiful decadence.
The works are mainly composed of frayed lines, eloquently depicting the emotional state of people and elements, often morphing into swarms which symbolize the characters’ neurosis and the energy in the air. As such, the artist accentuates the feeling of anti-habitat emanated by her work, producing a curious and alluring effect: being faced with an apparently uninhabitable environment which, at the same time, seems welcoming, even familiar, awakening our curiosity for these timeless, exquisite and ghostly portraits.