The curator is Sandra Higgins who has curated exhibitions at the Consulate General of Colombia, London for artists including Ofelia Rodriguez, Piers Calvert and Lucas Posada. In addition, she has introduced for their first shows in London the Colombian artists Carlos Jacanamijoy and Maripaz Jaramillo. She is a guide and lecturer at the Tate gallery, London and a founding member of the Association of Women Arts Dealers, London.
Sandra will be working with Yvonne Velásquez, a Cultural events coordinator and community fundraiser in the organisation of all logistics for this exhibition.
Lorena Cervera Ferrer will coordinate the documentary screening programme.
Omar Castañeda’s Panela: the Golden Age embraces the history of Panela (sugarcane) through the decades from a rare luxury for the few to a national pleasure for all. The work of the Colombian/British artist is featured in paintings, prints and objects all made from panela in his main floor installation.
Piers Calvert will be exhibiting his work The Way We Are Now, using his photographs to illustrate the way contemporary indigenous people still paint their bodies in a traditional manner to retain their customs as well as portraits of the workers from the emerald mines of Colombia.
The basement floor of the gallery will be a Screening Room which will feature a series of films documenting Colombia and its people in many regional landscapes, communities, its charities and arts and cultural events:
Gwen Burnyeat’s video Chocolate of Peace illustrates the changes within the community of San Jose de Apartadó and their cultivation of chocolate which in turn led to creating a local community of peace after years of struggle and displacement.
Claudia Fischer’s video As the tree under the hurricane highlights the story two young Arhuacan women, Ati and Mindhiva, from the Sierra who are enabled to attain a higher level of education to contribute with their people, to preserve their culture and walk in a new path never possible before.
Lorena Cervera Ferrer’s video 2nd UP asks if education can break the assumption that the children’s social class predetermines their future? It portrays the life of 12 Colombian girls who come from underprivileged backgrounds over a period of two years. They attend a special school that hopes to equip them with skills to challenge this assumption.
Erwin Goggel’s video Del Palenque de San Basilio features the musicians, singers, dancers and drummers of San Basilio de Palenque, the descendants of the fugitive slaves who escaped from Cartagena de Indias some three hundred years ago.
In addition, we are currently reviewing submissions by contemporary emerging Colombian filmmakers which will be announced nearer the date of the exhibition opening.
Maria Cardenas’s installation La Guayabera de Paz, also in the basement floor, uses her medium of flax and linen to weave the traditional Guayabera, a white linen shirt worn for many important occasions in Colombia and represents the idea of peace and renewal.
Furthermore, there will be a series of events throughout the three-week duration of the show such as talks, demonstrations, poetry readings and musical performances and charity presentations all revolving around the theme of Colombia, portraying the positive image of a country in change within the context of a visual and artistic language.