By Paige Bromby, GAC Staff

20 YEARS TODAY is a Solo Exhibition by Colombian-Canadian artist Adriana Rosselli Londoño at 10C Shared Space. The exhibition features 20 (20”x20”) encaustic paintings created over the period of two years in anticipation of the 20-year anniversary of Adriana’s move to Canada. Each painting has been created after an extensive exercise in remembrance, journaling and experimentation of form and technique. The body of work attempts to capture the many emotions associated with the continuous process of migration. Using abstraction, colour and texture to represent embodied emotions related to anticipation, adaptation, grief, struggle, commitment, realization, joy, fulfilment and nostalgia enabled Adriana to externalize fragments from two decades of life which have seen not only an ongoing process of migration, but also a process of growth. 

GAC Staff member Paige Bromby recently got the chance to interview Adriana about her exhibition.

Paige Bromby: You have spent the last two years on this body of work, when did you first decide to pursue this retrospective project? 

Adriana Rosselli Londoño: I think it was about three years ago that I realized I was coming close to my 20th anniversary in the country. At that time, I was beginning to make a little bit more artwork. It just occurred to me one night when I was unable to sleep, the idea that I wanted to do something special and take some time to reflect on the last 20 years, maybe make some paintings around that. 

Paige Bromby: It is quite nice that they are twenty 20”x20” works, there is some beautiful rhyming in that. 

Adriana Rosselli Londoño: It ended up that way but it kinda started with wanting to do something for the 20 years and  then the idea to do a painting for each year came to me. The actual size of the paintings came much later, even after I decided what medium I wanted to use. It was the last bit, but you know it worked out really well together. 

Paige Bromby: What drew you towards the use of encaustic paint as your medium?

Adriana Rosselli Londoño: I have painted in encaustics, acrylics and oils mainly for a while. I really like encaustic because it creates a lot of really fun textures. Working with encaustic,  it’s a warm medium and you have to work quickly. It is sometimes really hard to control on the board. It felt appropriate also because it opened myself up to a lot of uncertainty and a lot of possibilities in terms of what I could do in the painting, which mirrors really nicely the process of migration and all that comes with it. 

Paige Bromby: I noticed that you use the circle motif, along with infinity signs and spirals often in your work, do they hold any particular meaning to you? 

Adriana Rosselli Londoño: That’s an interesting question, I guess they do. I really believe in cycles, so yes the circle and the spiral represent that, the different cycles of nature and in our lives and how things come and go and repeat themselves but never in the exact same manner. It wasn’t intentional, but it does appear in my other work as well. 

Paige Bromby: You have one white monochromatic painting in the series, can you talk about that work more? 

Adriana Rosselli Londoño: Sure, so over the last couple of years I have seen a lot of transition in my life and that white painting represents a clean slate. A lot of transitions have happened here with new opportunities. This past year has seen both the closing of a lot of those cycles and opening up to new opportunities, what the future may bring. It also works really nicely with the theme of the exhibition because a cycle is the other end of the beginning, it’s not clear cut, it’s intertwined, some things happen at the same time. So I wanted to do the white painting, even though it’s monochromatic it has a lot of texture, and a lot of different elements to it. What you see is the white but underneath the white, there are other things happening that are invisible to the eye. If you scrape away the white you would actually see these other things.

Paige Bromby: What was your creative process for this body of work?

Adriana Rosselli Londoño: The process of creating the work is something I don’t speak about a lot. What it was like and what each painting means. It took two years to make this exhibition. I started with a lot of journaling and doing a lot of memory work and going back to the last twenty years of my life in a really intentional way. Looking at where I was living at that time, who were the important people in my life, what activities I was doing. Was I in school, was I working, what was important. Another thing I did was listen to alot of music during that time. I often listen to music while I work, so I went back through my music collection, figured out what type of music I was listening to during university or when I first moved here and the last few years. That helped trigger a lot of memories for me as well. I used to take a lot of pictures so I went through some old photo albums I had when I first moved here. I have thousands of photos digitally too, and all of that process went into the paintings. It is a difficult process because I was faced with my past and all the things that have happened. Migration always comes with a lot of challenges but it is also a really beautiful process to see. Remembering all of the things that brought me to where I am today. Each painting is a highlight of the things, places, people or emotions that were significant or relevant to me in that given year. 

Follow the artist on instagram at @adriana.officiant, visit their website at https://aguaross.wixsite.com/aguarosspaints and make sure to stop by the closing reception August 31st 6:00pm-8:00pm at 10C Shared space (42 Carden St. Guelph – Limited Gallery Capacity, Masks Required) 

For more information about the GAC’S 10C Exhibitions visit https://guelpharts.ca/exhibitions-10c/

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