Nadia Hernández, Cosas Antes y Después

Photo, Kurt Davies

SydneyArt & Culture

Nadia Hernández, Cosas Antes y Después

Sydney-based Venezuelan artist uses folklore as a filter through which to distill her nation's problems...

As her native Venezuela lunges from one crisis to the next, Sydney-based artist Nadia Hernández looks to the folklore of her home country for ways to enact positive change. ‘It’s the binding core of a culture,’ Hernández says of these cultural traditions, ‘its customs, art forms and beliefs are there to bring people together — my work is about finding oneself through folklore in order to call for reflection, solidarity, and union.’

Nadia Hernández, Cosas Antes y Después (Things Before and After) at Mild Manners Gallery, Sydney

In an extension of the body of work she presented at Sydney’s Mild Manners gallery in 2015, 100% Certain, Cosas Antes y Después (Things Before and After) sees Nadia Hernández once again informed by Venezuela’s tumultuous political climate and the world’s wider issues at large; this time after returning to visit her homeland following an eight year hiatus.

‘While in Venezuela I was hyper-aware of what was happening,’ she recounts, ‘I felt frustrated, angry and sad, sometimes wondering if it was all a nightmare … I wanted to take in the beauty and the decay, the hope of change, and document it in my work; expand on that story, continue to use symbols and continue to build that visual legend which commenced with the work in 100% Certain. To tell a complex story, never normalising the situation, aiming for relatability, reflecting and linking it to current worldwide events, seeking a solution regardless of the length of time required, aiming to inspire a breath of action, an idea, a conversation.’

The frenetic difficulties she encountered are translated to images of hope in Cosas Antes y Después; the filter of folklore and Nadia Hernández’s own positivity shaping a body of work that is informed by troubles but buoyantly optimistic. Employing traditional techniques from Venezuelan folk art with her signature use of paper, the works in this series call for political and social change through bold, brilliant colour and potent referencing of her nation’s cultural heritage.

Nadia Hernández, Cosas Antes y Después is presented by Mild Manners, and continues at Special Group Studios, Sydney, until 4 April.

@mildmanners_

Nadia Hernández No Más Miseria

No Más Miseria (No More Misery)
Paper construction, framed with Tasmanian black wood. 41 cm x 41cm

Nadia Hernández Vía Al Páramo

Vía Al Páramo (Way to El Páramo)
Paper construction, framed with Tasmanian black wood. 41 cm x 41cm

Nadia Hernández
Nadia Hernández Mercado Principal

Mercado Principal
Paper construction, framed with Tasmanian black wood. 41 cm x 41cm

Nadia Hernández Jugo De Naranja Tinjaca

Jugo De Naranja Tinjaca (Orange Juice Tinjaca)
Paper construction, framed with Tasmanian black wood. 41 cm x 41cm

Nadia Hernández BLAH

Preservando Y Promoviendo Tradiciones Populares
(Preserving And Promoting Popular Traditions)
Paper construction, framed with Tasmanian black wood. 70cm x 90cm

Nadia Hernández Ya Pronto Volveremos

Ya Pronto Volveremos (Soon We Will Return)
Paper construction, framed with Tasmanian black wood.
84 cm x 64cm Photo, Kurt Davies

Nadia Hernández No Es Arte, No Es Cultura, Es Tortura

No Es Arte, No Es Cultura, Es Tortura (It’s Not Art, It’s Not Culture, It’s Torture)
Paper construction, framed with Tasmanian black wood. 84 cm x 64cm

Abraza Las Montañas

Abraza Las Montañas (Embrace The Mountains)
Paper construction, framed with Tasmanian black wood. 53 cm x 64cm

Lléname De Algo

Lléname De Algo (Fill Me Up With Something)
Paper construction, framed with Tasmanian black wood. 53 cm x 64cm

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