May 31, 2014

Guayaquil and the Squatters - Equadorian Monoprints at the Rose & Crown

Could you tell us about the work you will be showing during this year's E17 Art Trail?
The work that I produced for this E17 Art Trail started in Ecuador almost a year ago on my Artist in Residence at the Walterio Paez printmaking workshop. The title of the exhibition at the Rose and Crown is “Guayaquil and the Squatters”.

Guayaquil, my city, is very noisy, hot and vibrant. It has a community full of music and friendly people. However, if you leave something unattended it will disappear very quickly, I guess like in any other place. My family has some land that was overlooked after my Father's death. When I went to visit it a year ago, I found that somebody else claiming to be the owner was squatting on our land. I hate fights and confrontation, but I had to put up with this unpleasant situation and deal with it. I had to go through loops of bureaucracy, walk miles up and down from solicitors to lawyers, visit several public institutions registering and making payments to be able to prove that it was ours.

I am used to doing everything by myself, but I had to ask for help. I received it from people I would not have imagined. I had to learn new skills to deal with this new situation and discovered a lot more about family and friends. In the end, we won the case. Even though it was a nightmare, I came through it and now I really appreciate the value of the land and how important it is to take care of it.

My monoprints bear witness to this process. They reflect my fears, my learning, the places I went, the people I met on the way and the experience I gained. As you can see they store the colours, warmth and the spirit of my Ecuador.

How have you been preparing for this year's trail?
I got commissioned by Bestowed Kitchen to create an “art surprise” for their lunch boxes during the E17 Art Trail. I thought it was a very good idea, because most of the time you are so busy looking around that you end up having something not very nutritious. With the lunch boxes you get a delicious meal plus a screen print and a hand painted  limited edition print with an image from my exhibition “Guayaquil and Squatters”.

How does inhabiting a community like Walthamstow help your practice?  

Lots of my friends take part in the E17 Art Trail, it feels like a big family party. It is a great environment for creative people and if you are not one of them, you get inspired by the activities and shows that are all around Walthamstow. I feel very lucky to be in Walthamstow and having the opportunity of showing and more importantly sharing my work.

Listing no.88 in the guide: Click here for more information

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