Dana Catona’s art combines the materiality of the visual medium with literary imagery by inserting words in her drawings or ceramics. A fine example of her art is the work entitled now, located at the entrance to the Chronic Desire exhibition area at the Garrison Command in Timișoara. A series that started from the desire to transfer the minimalism of poetry into the visual medium, the installation consists of the repetition of the same word “now” along the wall as a prolongation in time and space, through an endless redesign of moments designated by the repetition. The association between the meaning of the word and the material it is made of is paradoxical, as suggested by the difference between the time required to complete the work and the meaning of the word, which denotes a variable present. Placing the work at the entrance to the exhibition does not seem to be accidental, since the entrance is also the exit from the exhibition space. Variable in size and made manually, by shaping and pressing ceramic clay, the pieces of now are never the same. They ask questions about the dimension of time and how it is perceived. The time continuum includes countless non-repeating “now” moments that are always different.

Dana’s second work, also displayed at the Garrison Command, is HOM/M/ES. The human body is rendered in a miniature version to highlight the relationship between nearness and distance as a way of perceiving the self or the others. Making a connection with the artist’s poems, the figures of the installation are pretexts for the representation of feelings such as loneliness, sadness or ephemerality.

Although exhibited in transit points, Dana Catona’s works stand out for the delicacy and sensitivity with which they were created. The use of ceramics as a medium of expression involves an active dialogue between the material and the artist, as ceramics is malleable and goes through multiple stages until it reaches its final form, and can preserve the memory of each moment of creation.


A graduate of the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca, Dana Catona (b. 1967) is the initiator of the PEND project, a space for interaction between the UVT student artists and the established guest artists.