Sanctuary, By the River: Exhibition by Ismael Rodriguez

19/07/2024

19:00

Sanctuary, By the River: Exhibition by Ismael Rodriguez

"Sanctuary" is a deeply personal journey where Ismael Rodríguez pays homage to his indigenous and Afro-Caribbean roots. Through natural elements and found objects, Rodríguez captures echoes of memories, myths, and voices, resonating throughout the exhibition.

“If it’s useless or not depends on the individual who’s looking at it.”
— Ismael Rodriguez

The exhibition explores themes of the Afro-Caribbean diaspora, Yoruba myths, Palero deities, and the intricate connections between Caribbean and African cultures. Rodríguez addresses historical and contemporary issues, such as the transatlantic slave trade and modern-day slavery, highlighting the complex influences between these worlds.

"Sanctuary" is a space for critical thinking and contemplation, challenging established structures and encouraging visitors to unravel ongoing imperfections. Through installations, paintings, drawings, collages, and clay pieces, Rodríguez invites visitors to reflect on their own identities and heritage.

Curator: Elizabeth Marin @elizabmarin
Production : Sofia Lykou @itssofia_re

Don't miss the chance to experience this profound exploration of identity, culture, and history.

Fusion Arts, 95 Gloucester Green, Oxford, OX1 2BU

Opening on Friday 19th July from 7pm

Exhibition open 20th July - 3rd Aug, open Tues - Sat, 12 - 8pm

Special Events

Capoeira: Sat 20th July, 4pm drop-in

Lost Communications: Tues 23rd July, 8.30-9.30pm Book Tickets

Sip & Clay: Weds 24th and Weds 31st July 6.30-8.30pm Book Tickets

About the Artist:

Ismael Rodríguez, born in Venezuela, has been captivated by the art of creation since childhood, expressing himself through play. His art is a harmonious movement, reflecting the deep connection between his body and mind. Rodríguez's calm and humble demeanour contrasts the dynamic nature of his surroundings, where nothing remains still.

This duality is evident in his latest collections, primarily crafted in the UK and deeply rooted in his South American memories. Many of Rodríguez's pieces are created from recycled materials, transforming perceived uselessness into new significance. "If it's useless or not depends on the individual who's looking at it," he asserts. Rodríguez’s work has been showcased in numerous exhibitions globally. Notably, his solo exhibition, "The Breathing Island," at the Copeland Gallery in London in 2023, garnered significant attention. The show explored the intricate and often unseen semiotic relationships among living beings—both animals and plants—blending memories from Venezuela with his experiences in Oxford to create a unique, immersive artistic narrative, further cementing his place in the contemporary art scene.

In addition to his exhibition in London, Rodríguez participated in the prestigious Sixth Tao Hua Tan Artist Residency in China in October 2023. This residency allowed him to explore new artistic landscapes and techniques, enriching his creative repertoire and influencing his subsequent works. Most recently, he has participated at an exhibition in Berlin, called "Walking over abysses", joined by other Latino artists whom he met in that residency. During this exhibition, Rodriguez was able to bring to life more of the ideas he started developing at his time in China.

Rodríguez's dedication to his craft has earned him several recognitions, including an Honourable Mention at the National Biennial of Drawing and Printmaking in Venezuela (2015) and the 1st Prize at the Exhibition Emiro Lobo for his work "av.2 con calle 25" (2013). Finally, as he is permanently exhibited with the installation "Tabata" at the Museum of Modern Art Juan Astorgas Anta in Merida, Venezuela since 2015 while also being represented by UNREPD Gallery in Los Angeles, his ability to transform the mundane into extraordinary art continues to inspire and captivate audiences worldwide.



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Sanctuary, By the River: Exhibition by Ismael Rodriguez
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Supporters of Fusion Arts

Oxford City Council Arts Council England National Lottery Funded Project Grant National Lottery Community Fund Oxfordshire Community Foundation Here for Culture Doris Field Charitable Trust BBC Children in Need Levelling Up South Oxfordshire District Council Christ Church College Jesus College