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Inhabited: A Magical Realism
February 2, 2016 @ 11:00 am - February 13, 2016 @ 5:00 pmFREE
“Colombian artists Katherine Gailer and Maria Peña evoke the dreams and realities of intercultural Australia.” – Dr Kevin Murray, RMIT
‘INHABITED: A Magical Realism’ is a group exhibition by Colombian-Australian artists Katherine Gailer and Maria Peña comprising over 20 oil paintings and drawings forming a collection of visual metaphors representing identities in transition, disintegration and reconstruction. It presents a body of works aiming to uncover the magical realism, which inhabits Australia’s multicultural landscape. The artists reveal a mythical dimension, which embraces visions of fragmented memories and dreamlike sates arising out of the journeys of people migrating, being displaced and travelling around the globe. These experiences of dislocation give birth to new identities and generate unique cultural connections. Moreover, INHABITED holds deeper meanings inspired by a shift of consciousness, a spiritual awakening, and presents art that facilitates the depiction of new interconnected realities. The works presented are strongly concerned with the intrinsic relationship that exists between nature, the human spirit and identity.
While exploring stories of diaspora and myths in Melbourne’s demographic, it became evident for the artists that experiences of relocation unfold deep spiritual and social transformations that affect the public consciousness. Hereby, Peña and Gailer are drawn to the possibility of creating art that serves as a window to alternative realities, which enables processes of reconciliation with past memories, the self and our natural environment – as Marc Auge described, “humankind is not in ruins it is in reconstruction”. Moreover humans interacting with flowers, water, animals and other natural forms – as well as overlapped spaces – are often encompassed in this body of works as a way to express the complexities of beings navigating the in-between places, that exist in the past and present.
As immigrants in Australia, INHABITED is a fascinating platform for Gailer and Peña to explore identities in transit, restore myths, awaken memory and open new spiritual spaces. . INHABITED invites the audience to imagine, reconstruct and decipher their own magical realism.
Exhibition opening: Tuesday 2 February, 5pm-7pm
Exhibition opening hours:
Saturday 6 February, 12noon-4pm
Saturday 13 February, 12noon-4pm
Two afternoons offering the opportunity to meet the artists, have a conversation about their artworks and enjoy the exhibition on a Saturday afternoon.
María Peña completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in painting and ceramics at the Art School Academia Superior de Artes de Bogotá and holds a Masters of Fine Arts by research at RMIT University, School of Art. Her works explore the themes of diaspora and hybrid identities across oil paintings on canvas, sculptural fabric works and installations. Her practice has grown between Australia and Colombia with solo and group exhibitions, artist-in-residencies and specific projects. She has participated in solo and group shows in Colombia, Australia, Mexico, China, Italy, India and the United Arab Emirates.
Katherine Gailer, originally from Colombia and currently working in Australia, draws on her diverse background to combine elements of sacred geometry, mythology, animals, and the spiritual realm, aiming to pave the way for the development of a new archetypal imagery, steeped in primal feelings and strongly rooted in cultural and spiritual identity. Her work incorporates painting, drawing and printmaking. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Masters in Arts Management. Gailer won the 2011 Tolarno Hotel Annual Award, the 2009 NMIT Printmaking Award and was recently awarded the 2014 Chelsea International Art Competition.
Image: María Peña, What are the colour of your roots, 2015, oil on canvas, 122 x 101.5 cm, courtesy the artist