MITOLOGIA DE LA TIERRA
Curated by Gabrielle Sonabend
15 September – 20 November 2016
The Koppel Project Hive
GERMAN ARRUBLA | OMAR CASTAÑEDA | CRISTA CASTELLANOS | IVAN CASTILLO
MELISSA CRUZ GARCIA | MARIA LEGUIZAMO | JULIANA GONGORA
In 2014 artist and curator Gabriella Sonabend and artist Sol Bailey Barker travelled to Colombia to create ‘From Myth To Earth’ a multi-media research project engaging with Colombian history, mythologies, folklore and landscapes. Throughout their journey and since returning to London, Bailey Barker and Sonabend met and came across the work of a number of Colombian artists, who influenced their perspective and deepened their understanding of Colombia.
In particular these artists are connected by a fascinating and complex relationship to time, history and perception; each finding ways to portray history with a philosophical questioning that highlights the complexities of Colombian identity and expressing oneself, within or outside of the country.
With the support of The Koppel Project and the Arts Council of England, Bailey Barker and Sonabend presented MITOLOGIA DE LA TIERRA an exhibition of 7 Colombian artists who Bailey Barker and Sonabend believe are key voices in understanding contemporary Colombian identity. The decompression room featured ‘Mapping Memories’ an ongoing research project by Veronica Posada Alvarez and Lorena Raigoso seeking the recognition of Latin Americans in the UK, aiming to make visible their cultural practices whilst strengthening community cohesion and sense of belonging to the areas in which they live, work and meet.
This show ran in parallel with FROM MYTH TO EARTH a multi-sensory exhibition of the works created by Bailey Barker and Sonabend during and after their research period in Colombia.
German Arrubla studied Fine Art at the Universidad Nacional (Medellin) & University of Antioquia. He has exhibited widely across Colombia as well in New York, Sidney, Mexico, Montreal, Berlin, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, & Panama city. Arrubla’s artistic language focuses on the body, in relation to space, the non-site & the utopian-site. He collects objects, establishes search patterns, & his finds lead to stories that lead to new searches. The use of archives is a significant part of his artwork, as he builds bridges between the two extremes of the specific & the universal. In so doing he is highlighting what lies at the centre of his reflection – the Here and Now.
Ivan Castillo is a Colombian artist based in Bogotá. His work ties together an emotional & intellectual response to history & memory, questioning how he defines and locates himself within his country’s past. Recent projects include ‘One Night’ a series of drawings of stars on the dates of massacres committed in Colombia’s recent history. Castillo was supported by the Ministry of Culture with a grant for an artist residency at Lugar a Dudas in Cali. He has participated in collective exhibitions in the Museo del Banco de la República of Bogotá, Estudio C45, El Parche Artistic Residency & will participate in an artist residency at The Koppel Project.
Maria Leguizamo studied her BFA at the National University of Colombia and currently is pursuing an MA in sculpture at Tyler School of Art (Philadelphia, USA) under a Fulbright fellowship. Maria has exhibited widely across Colombia & has received multiple awards & grants for her work. Her most recent exhibitions have included ‘The Condition of Place’ in the framework of ‘The Woodmere Annual 75th Exhibition’ curated by Odili Odita in Philadelphia, a solo show ‘Prorogation to the Abyss’ at Claustro San Agustin in Bogotá, ‘De Palmo en Palmo’ at Camara de Comercio de Avendaño curated by William Contreras & ‘Square Eyes Bologna’ at CAZ Project Space in Penzance.
Crista Castellanos is a Colombian visual artist who unearths stories of those who dare to question lifestyles inherited by their culture. Working with documentary & photography she works with various NGOs, whilst collaborating with a wide range of creatives & academics. Her topics vary from the use of sacred plants, African dance in Colombia, to the ancestral feminine ritual called “Lasiembra de Luna” where women offer their menstrual blood to the earth instead of discarding it. Her work focuses on the importance of storytelling.
Castañeda’s work ties together a fascination with the politics of food & trade commodities, examining Colombian history and its contemporary state through very specific industries & their local & global associations. Castañeda studied his BA at The Andes University in Bogota & completed his MA in Fine Art at Central St Martins in London. Castañeda has exhibited his work in London, Spain, Colombia, Argentina, Italy, Bulgaria, Scotland, Brazil with multi-solo & group exhibitions. Recent projects include ‘The new gold of Colombia’ at Chalton Gallery in London & ‘Elucidar: Parte I y Parte II’ at Centro Cultural Borges in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2016 Castañeda had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Colombia and the National Museum of Ukraine.
MELISSA CRUZ GARCIA
Melissa Cruz Garcia studied at the Royal Conservatoire and the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague (2010), graduating with a Masters in Music specializing in ArtScience, she graduated with a BA in Fine Art-Sculpture from the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague (2008). Cruz Garcia’s process involves researching & developing unstable media in order to create immersive multi-sensory works. This results in objects, drawings, collage-installations & interventions characterized by elements of bygone inventions, nomadic contemporary cultures and sustainability. She is interested in artisan and portable way of communicating; searching for unconventional uses of visual technology & other media.
Juliana Góngora studied a BA & MFA in Fine Art at the National University of Colombia, Bogotá. She currently teaches in the sculpture department of the Tadeo Lozano University. Juliana’s work has been exhibited widely across Colombia and has been included in the 2013 Central Bank’s ‘Nuevos Nombres’ & the 2015 Gilberto Alzate Avendaño Foundation’s Young Artists Hall. Recently Juliana’s solo exhibition ‘Labor’ curated by José Roca was exhibited at Flora Space in Bogotá. Recently she was invited to the summer program “The year of the internectaries” at Mildred´s lane led by Mark Dion and J. Morgan Puett at New York, USA 2016, she we will be artist in residence at the Mac-Val Musée (Museum of Contemporary Art, Paris) during the Colombian year at France in 2017.