In Greek mythology, the Oceanid nymphs are the daughters of Oceanus, the great world-encompassing river, and a sea goddess named Tethys. Innumerable and present in every aquatic environment, the poet Hesiod described how they “serve the earth and the deep waters,” personifying springs and the sources of marine expanses. For illustrator Sonia Alins, the stories of the Oceanids provide a well of inspiration. “I’m exploring, in a poetic and allegoric way, concepts such as motherhood and sisterhood,” she tells Colossal. Her dreamy depictions of women and children floating serenely in water (previously) evoke maternal care and emotional connection.
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Alins’ ongoing series Dones d’Aigua, which translates to “women of water,” focuses on glowing, full-figured figures who float, bob, and dive unselfconsciously in seemingly infinite expanses of blue rendered in ink, acrylic, and watercolor. Despite the apparent isolation from surrounding land or activity, the figures express deep bonds and a sense of togetherness, security, and tranquility. “I’ve continued creating artworks with clear references to (the Oceanids): motherhood, femininity, feminism, and love,” she says. “Those were the main roles of these Greek goddesses, and I feel linked to them, too.”
Find more of Alins’ work on her website, where you can purchase hand-finished editions and limited-edition prints. She often works with her husband Juanjo Barco, a fellow illustrator, to complete her pieces. You can follow her on Instagram for more updates.
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