Based on a real life close encounter with a Motmot captured in sketches and watercolor studies, this short film offers an intimate and very special way of understanding the world through poetic and artistic readings of scientific observations collected by Antonia, wildlife illustrator, during her field expeditions across the Cloud Forest. Not knowing much about birds of the neotropics, the artist sets up to communicate with this motmot through the one language they both hold in common: color.
The combination of factual scientific data and richly aesthetic storytelling invites us to contemplate the environment that surrounds us from an artist’s viewpoint; encouraging a dialogue between our properly “human” characteristics -such as art and poetry-, and nature… something we often consider distant and different to our “humanity”.
The illustration process can be understood as an act of exploration. Pencils and brushes become instruments to explore the “otherness”, and the artist's step-by-step process of observation, abstraction and re-interpretation appears as a humbling approach to Nature born out of curiosity and resulting in the purest form of admiration.
_ Antonia Reyes Montealegre
Momot is a part of the results of a three week residency in Monteverde, Costa Rica. The artist set out to explore and document the Cloud Forest with a refreshed intake of the first explorers of the neotropics. The short film was shot and edited taking advantage of the limitations of a homemade movie; using bird and frog songs recorded in the forest and documenting real life stages of the sketching and painting process in the studio.
"At this critical juncture in human history, where the clash between civilization and the natural world intensifies, Antonia finds herself at the forefront. Her intimate portrayals of biodiversity skillfully capture visible elements while delicately tracing the invisible threads of the unseen. Immersed in her surroundings, her art becomes a conduit, conveying the effects of rain, wind, and scents on her subjects. With Monteverde’s cloud forest as an alluring wonderland awaiting exploration, Antonia harnesses her artistic voice to draw attention to the interconnectedness, fragility, and inherent beauty of nature. Her creations serve as a resounding call to understand the political implications that either foster or hinder sustainability, and by extension, our own survival."
LOCATION Monteverde, Costa Rica YEAR 2023 Shot with Sony Alpha SCRIPT & CONCEPT Antonia Reyes Montealegre ORIGINAL LANGUAGE Spanish BACKGROUND SOUNDS Bird and frog songs collected from the forest ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Hotel Belmar, Savia Monteverde