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‘Gibraltar Our Sacred Earth, Our Sense of Place’ exhibition opens in London

The art exhibition ‘Gibraltar Our Sacred Earth, Our Sense of Place’, was launched in London earlier this month by the Minister for Culture, Dr John Cortes.

“The event at Bermondsey Project Space, which has been around a year in the making, saw a brilliant turnout on opening night, from both Gibraltar and the UK Cultural scene,” said a statement from the Government.

The exhibition organised by Gibraltar Cultural Services on behalf of the Ministry of Culture, showcases the work of nine Gibraltarian artists each presenting a different relationship or reaction to their home, interpreting the title in different ways.

“This multidimensional concept has resulted in a varied and thought-provoking show which gives a snapshot of Gibraltar, its culture, history, heritage, people and community. Artists have produced material depicting a bygone Gibraltar, sacred areas, traditional patios, forgotten corners, nostalgic moments and more through oils, acrylics, photographs, mixed media work and video,” said the statement.

The show has been curated by artist Philippa Beale who is always keen to explore opportunities with the Rock and inspire and challenge artists to continue their development and growth. Artist and critic Matthew Collings who contributed to the catalogue and was able to assist the artists in their journey, spoke at the launch saying he had been impressed by Gibraltar and the artists commitment and work.

Opening the Exhibition, Dr Cortes set Gibraltar’s identity in the context of its history, stressing our connection with our Rock and with our past, and how the Arts define who we are.

“Seeing Gibraltarian Art exhibited here in London, and surrounded by so many of our talented artists and their work was an incredible experience. It is so important to extend our Art and our Culture outside our shores, to carry the essence of Gibraltar to other countries so that they can gain a better understanding of who we are,” he said.

“We have to do this. London is a first step in the journey of projecting our cultural renaissance abroad.”

Exhibiting is Lorraine Buhagiar who is showing two artworks which are inspired by the reminder of the sense of belonging to her ‘homeland and community’. The works evoke previous memories for the artist and are mixed media.

Shane Dalmedo’s sculptures depict her memories, a place she ‘…yearned for, held, remembered…’. Her works feature mixed media sculptures, and a figure, one of which is titled ‘Llévame Donde Naci’.

Naomi Duarte is exhibiting six scannographic photographs. Naomi comments that ‘Gibraltar has an ephemeral quality… timeless beauty and culture.’

Leslie Gaduzo is showing three of his paintings, two of which are of Gibraltar in times gone by. The artist commented’… despite time, we inhabit the same spaces, same streets and feel the intensity of the sun falling as they did then.’

Alan Perez has presented a video installation piece which was a collaborative project with Stephane Dominicy and Aaron Yeandle one of the 2019 Island Games residency contributors. The piece features and is inspired by The Queen’s Cinema.

Monica Popham, in her works, reflects Gibraltar and its densely packed architecture and recognisable features. On each wooden tile, the artist depicts a fragment of sunlight falling on Gibraltar’s urban landscape.

Sebastian Rodriguez ‘s four artworks convey the sacred and sense of space. Most of his works have been painted from life, including Trafalgar Cemetery, his personal place for respite.

Karl Ullger is exhibiting five artworks, commenting that ‘wherever you stand in Gibraltar, you will be showered with cultural diversity’.

Zulaika Vallance has both a painting and video in the show. Her piece ‘Surreal Childhood’ won first prize in 2021 at The Young Artist competition. Gibraltar, she says has always been inspiration for her work, it is where she learnt to draw, paint and think creatively.

The venue will also play host to an evening of music, poetry and discussion later in the month hosted by Gabriel Moreno and featuring some other Gibraltarian artists and creators.

The exhibition will run until the September 26 at Bermondsey Project Space,183- 185 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3UW.