Colombia State Visit: Cultural Programme

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Pedro Ruiz Birds (details) 45,5X 41 X 6,5 cm. Acrylic on wood 2009

On the occasion of the State Visit of the President of the Republic of Colombia, Mr. Juan Manuel Santos Calderón and Mrs. María Clemencia Rodríguez de Santos, to the United Kingdom, the Embassy of Colombia in London presents COLOMBIA GOLDEN SEASON IN LONDON, an informative brochure that contains the details of the different art exhibitions taking place during the State Visit, from the 1st to the 3rd of November 2016. The exhibitions show different projects and points of view of both Colombian and British artists whose contemporary perspective focuses on nature, history, myths and memory, amongst others. Such is the case of “ORO – Spirit and nature of a territory” by artist Pedro Ruiz, an installation comprised of thirty-five small-format paintings inviting spectators to discover the beautiful landscapes of Colombia.

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With thanks to Maddox Gallery, Elena Shchukina Gallery, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, The Koppel Project, Art Bermondsey Project Space, Sandra Higgins and Rodrigo Orrantia for their joint collaboration to highlight Colombia’s nature, identity and diversity through the arts.


When: 15 September to 5 November Where: The Koppel Project, 93 Baker Street, London, W1U 6RL Nearest tube station: • • •• • Baker Street

Brings together the works of seven Colombian artists 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. Artists Germán Arrubla, Omar Castañeda, Crista Castellanos, Iván Castillo, Melissa Cruz García, María Leguízamo, Juliana Góngora present through their pieces their views about contemporary Colombian identity.


When: 8 September to 29 October Where: TThe Koppel Project Hive, 26 Holborn Viaduct, EC1A2AQ Nearest tube station: • Chancery Lane

Further to their artistic residency in Colombia in 2014, British artists Gabriella Sonabend and Sol Bailey Barker created From Myth to Earth, a multimedia research project engaging with Colombian history, mythologies and landscapes. Throughout their journey and since returning to London, Sonabend and Bailey Barker came across the work of a number of Colombian artists, who influenced their perspective and deepened their understanding of Colombia. From Myth to Earth runs in parallel with MitologĂ­a de la Tierra.


When: 29 October – 6 November Where: Maddox Gallery, 9 Maddox Street, Mayfair, W1S 2QE Nearest tube station: ••• Oxford Circus

To mark the occasion of the State Visit of the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos Calderón and Mrs. María Clemencia Rodríguez de Santos, and as part of the Promotion Plan of Colombia abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of Colombia in association with Maddox Gallery presents ORO - Spirit and Nature of a Territory, an exhibition by contemporary Colombian artist Pedro Ruiz. Pedro Ruiz’s works illustrate the essence of Colombia’s spirit and the elements of the country’s cultural patrimony. Ruiz exquisitely captures Colombia’s exuberant flora and fauna, each brush stroke and colour making his paintings as precise and genuine as possible.

Pedro Ruiz Birds (details) 45,5X 41 X 6,5 cm. Acrylic on wood 2009

In this exhibition, Ruiz serenely invites one reflect and meditate upon the different values that throughout the centuries have shaped our nation, challenging spectators to look beyond the initial impression, through the multifaceted layers, and into the heart of a rich and complex identity. Conceived as a travelling exhibition of 33 miniature works, tow have now been transferred into a larger format, reflecting a collective identity that leaves behind the sweeping stereotypes which originated from violence and conflict, to encompass a clearer definition of who Colombians truly are. Ruiz has obtained many awards and distinctions for his unique perspective and talent. Most recently, he was conferred the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) by the French government for his contribution to Colombian art.

When: 29 September to 12 November Where: Patrick Heide Contemporary, 11 Church Street, London, NW8 8EE Nearest tube station: • Marylebone

MEMORIES OF AN UNREVEALED DISASTER Colombian artists, Milena Bonilla, María Isabel Arango, Luisa Ungar and María Isabel Rueda collectively exhibit their works in London as part of ‘Memories of an unrevealed disaster’. These four artists have entangled practices, each addressing common issues from a unique perspective. Drawing is presented as the leitmotif of these four parallel projects, generating a sense of continuity and charting interrelated questions; the representation of landscape:the nature-culture dichotomy, the irreversible effect of humans on planet earth.

the Jardin des Plantes’ Grand Serres conservatory in Paris where tropical plants are kept and cultivated within a precise artificial environment. El Libro de las Hojas -The book of leaves- compiles a series of drawings by María Isabel Rueda in which she documents the fallen leaves of a Croton tree in her backyard. María Isabel Arango has been collecting fragments of dead tree and abandoned bird nests in the forests of Devon (UK) and Medellín (Colombia). Both her installation and works on paper are an attempt to evoke the soul of these trees and to tell the stories of the birds that once inhabited the nests.

Luisa Ungar’s work focuses upon animal-human relationships, raising questions about how animals are often treated as objects and examining the language commonly used to refer to, and represent them. ‘Memories of an unrevealed Milena Bonilla’s project departs disaster’ is curated by Alba from a series of found images from Colomo.

When: 22 September to 3 November Where: Gallery Elena Shchukina, 10 Lees Place, London W1K 6LL Nearest tube station: • Marble Arch

CANTO RODADO (BOULDER) MARIO VÉLEZ Canto Rodado, an exhibition of abstract and expressionist art by Colombian painter and sculptor Mario Vélez, highlights the tradition of geometric abstraction, pioneered by Kandinsky, with idiosyncratic motifs and colours inspired by the environments of Colombia. Vélez balances a cerebral focus on formal geometry with a playful, organic use of shape and colour. His geometric figures are characterised by an indeterminacy that draws from the enigmatic beauty of indigenous art. The textured ellipses that fill his work refer obscurely to the natural world, but they might equally denote seeds, boulders, or planetary arcs. Mario Vélez revels in the tension between the rigid and the dynamic, using the coordinate grid as a starting point from which to investigate patterning and spatial relationships. The unruly shapes in the foreground seem to break free from the lattice behind them to float inscrutably across the canvas, with some shapes clustering together while others hang alone.

When: 1 – 19 November Where: Art Bermondsey Project Space, 183 - 185 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3UW. Nearest tube station: • London Bridge


When: 2 - 8 November (9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) Where: London Eye, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street, St. Paul Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace and many more.

The ‘Colombia is Magical Realism’ bus will be weaving its way through the streets of London during Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos’ State Visit to the UK. This giant, motorised billboard will be stopping in symbolic places throughout the city so that Londoners can find out more about Colombian products, such as exotic fruits, coffee and chocolate. In addition, a team of cyclists will be handing out more than 5,000 Colombian flowers, including roses and carnations in parks and squares along with special vouchers for discounted travel to Colombia. They will also provide information on where you can buy Colombian products within the UK.

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