‘The Owners of the Earth (Vissaquelo)’ series is an ever-evolving journey of research and a continuous unpacking of the relationship between trauma and fantasy. The work is deeply connected to the trauma experienced by the women in the artist’s family, and the fantastical family history that has been passed down through generations.
In this body of work, the artist focuses on the psychology of trauma and the use of fantasy and imagination as a tool to address the present and the future, a way of reimagining a life outside of that trauma and the historical use of spirituality in addressing a collective trauma. The artist explores the concept of fantasy as fragments of memory pieced together, how memory often incorporates fantasy – particularly in collective memory. Recent theories in epigenetics suggest that trauma can be inherited and can be compounded through successive generations that have experienced trauma. Firmino investigates the concept of intergenerational healing through fantasy, the (hi)stories passed down through her family, and their role in intergenerational healing.
‘The Owners of the Earth (Vissaquelo)’ was conceptualized alongside a performance. By projecting fragments of colour on the long, curved walls of the CIRCA gallery, the artist presents fragments of memories amongst the artwork. As one walks amongst the paintings and washes of colour, one is immersed in the artist’s subconscious, CIRCA becomes a capsule of memories being generated, recreated, and reimagined.