Passion for Freedom are pleased to announced this year’s Guest Artists. From Venezuela to Turkey, to the United Kingdom our invited artists ceaselessly are showing the restrains imposed on their art by their societies and questioning the limits of freedom of speech and information in their own countries. This year their statement will be heard at La Galleria Pall Mall & The Royal Opera Arcade Galleria.
Oscar Olivares, Venezuela
Art is my passion, that’s why every time I am painting I look for the viewer to feel the same passion I felt during the creative process. In a context like Venezuela, where people live surrounded by darkness, I have sought to go beyond the darkness and show a light that is not in the political leaders but in the conscience, attitude and spirit of everyone, remembering that the human being is much more than the problems around him and that the fundamental root in the development of a country is in its citizens.
I like to use vibrant colours to express all the emotions of the moment and the focus of light that I put on each stroke, in some way is like transforming every brushstroke in hope. In all my paintings the sun is an arepa, that is the most typical food of Venezuela, a food that is prepared with our hands and in the same way, I feel that light is also created by our hands. In my artwork I work classical techniques with modern techniques in digital art, as well as post-impressionist influences and pop artists and comics.
Every time I make a painting is not just for the present, but so that in the future people will see this paintings and know what happened in my country and in the world, but on top of that, they’ll see the potential that exist within the human being, because to achieve Freedom in the world we must first be free in our interior, connecting our mind and our heart.”
Andreea Medar, Romania
“The works of Andreea Medar can be, at a first glance, lectured as investigating the drama of the human existence, but there is a playful dimension in the expression that opens towards a different interpretation. The ciphering and the hiding of the message are not emphatic or rhetorical – in spite of the dramatic expression, but they translate in the most direct way the visual sublimation of the personal experience and sensitivity, a visual expression which, with its entire emotional charge of an extreme reactivity, transmits the complete freedom and the play with the infinite possibilities offered by (only) the artistic expression”. (Mălina Ionescu)
Öncü Hrant Gültekin, Turkey/Germany
Conﬁscated Armenian Cemeteries
Öncü Hrant Gültekin (b. 1989, Istanbul) is a visual artist based in Hamburg. He got his BA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at University of Applied Science and Arts Hannover. Currently he is a master’s student in Culture & Identity class of Prof. Peter Bialobrzeski at University of Arts Bremen. His personal projects mainly focuses on historical, social and political subject matters.
Mimsy, United Kingdom
“I wish people had more of a brain. This isn’t about the bloody Sylvanian Families or ruining the world of something that’s lovely. I’m using the toys as a way to discuss wider social issues — such as terrorism!” Mimsy
Emma Elliott, United Kingdom
Emma Elliott MRBS is a British sculptor working in mixed media. In her work she looks at the incongruous and hypocritical aspects of humanity, explores the physical and the spiritual, subjects of social order, gender equality and freedom of speech. Aiming to highlight the precarious and fragile nature of human rights and take a stand against totalitarianism.
‘Artists have a special position to form non verbal connections, reaching people’s emotions, which helps to foster dialogue that can hopefully bring about action.’
Emma was classically trained in painting and figurative sculpting both in the UK and Florence. Her excellence in craftsmanship and technique is matched by a fearless questioning of ideologies, religion, ancient and modern society – the Universe. Emma was the 2016 Freedom Ambassador for the Passion For Freedom Festival, and her work is held in both public and private collections.
Jana Zimova, Czech Republic/Germany
Jana Zimová was born in the Czech Republic in 1987 and now lives and works in Germany. In the tradition of Magical Realism, her works present unreal and impossible events taking place in the real world. The impossible or supernatural happens in her paintings. The artist uses imagination in the frame of natural environment and social realities, thus searching for a truth that goes beyond what is visible in everyday life. In those so-called “magical happenings” in her paintings, reality and dream melt into a superordinate totality that needs to be interpreted.
Agata Strzalka, Poland
My work was always strongly related to woman’s body. I explore it and use it as a medium to analyse and express the mental and emotional states of mind. Thus I describe the bonds and relations between the artist’s values and perception with reference to so called “the outer world”. Specific states of mind as self-perception are like a mirror showing the inseparability of what seems to be outer world and our inner perception of self.
In the series of the portraits I am showing the female body very openly, but at the same time it is not very easy to guess what is hidden behind this physical appearance. The spectator may want to try to discover the inner world of the woman, but he may sense something like a glass in between, nothing to grasp to in order to get to deeper levels of her unconsciousness.
There is a lot of movement in my work, intense emotions, rich and dynamic inner landscape, strong possession by sexual energy, but at the same time there is a big mystery about who is the woman in the picture. There is a tension between showing her body openly, playing with herself and hiding or reflecting her secrets.