Profile: Nadia Hernandez

AUTHOR:  
Published:  February 19, 2015
Katia Pase

Nadia Hernandez is a multidisciplinary artist and designer living and working in Sydney. Her latest solo exhibition 100% Certain, opening tonight at Mild Manners Project Gallery, explores the folklore of her home country Venezuela. Her energetic and fluid works reflect on ideologies of social and political change.

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What connection (physical, familial, artistic) do you still have to Venezuela and its modes of cultural expression?

I think that a connection to a place and an interest in a place and culture always remains, regardless of distance. This is a tough question to answer as I feel I’ve never not been connected to the country and its mode of cultural expression; it’s sort of naturally a part of me and my work.

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How does this connection to Venezuelan culture, craft and expression inform your practice?

Venezuela is a pluricultural country formed by a combination of ethnicities which has led to the creation of a very diverse and rich culture. Its music — from the likes of the great story teller Simon Diaz, to the works of folk artists such as Feliciano Carvallo — as well as memories, traditions, festivities, food and proverbs all influence my work, through colour, form and content.

As both a designer and an artist I think it’s important to develop a unique visual identity, and for that identity or style to always be powered by a strong concept. My Venezuelan background influences my practice because it has shaped my identity. The wealth of culture, tradition, landscape and folklore explicit to Venezuela, in combination with the current dire political situation which affects the daily lives of Venezuelans, has led me to develop a narrative that crosses between past and present, symbolic and literal – to present work in a style that pays homage to Venezuelan and Latin American Folk Art.

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What concerns underpin the work in 100% Certain

The principles of the exhibition are based on union and solidarity. I really wanted to create a body of work that was political and socially conscious but I wanted it to be positive and uplifting. I want to raise awareness about the issues faced by Venezuelans everyday, such as having to stand in line for hours to buy toilet paper and milk (‘El Pueblo Pone y El Pueblo Quita’), and the high levels of insecurity plaguing the entire country (‘El Mal Tiempo Pasará y el Sol Sadrá’). I also wanted to continue to explore the richness of culture and folklore, as I believe this gives people back their dignity and strength, and in the end, binds everyone together.

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El Mal Tiempo Pasará y el Sol Sadrá

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El Pueblo Pone y El Pueblo Quita

100% Certain opens tonight at Mild Manners Project Gallery and runs until February 28

www.nadiahernandez.com

Studio photos by Isabella Moore

Artwork photos by Jack L Dunbar

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