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Futurismo Ancestral Preview

May 19, 2014

Futurismo Ancestral: An Offering to Peru by Sixe Parades takes place 21 – 27 May 2014 at Somerset House, London.

Last week COVER were fortunate enough to be given a sneak preview of Futurismo Ancestral in progress at the subterranean Embankment Galleries at Somerset House. What we saw there was a tantalising glimpse of what promises to be an exciting cross cultural, and truly absorbing presentation of new multimedia art by Sixe Parades.

Organised by Approved by Pedro, a new model for immersive art happenings and supported by Somerset House, there is a collaborative, creative buzz in the basement of the grand neoclassical building by the Thames. I was shown around by Raissa of A(by)P, whose enthusiasm for their creative endeavours is infectious. On my arrival, Sixe Parades was in the zone, focussed on daubing satisfyingly bright splodges of paint with a roller on to the white walls of three lofty arches by the entrance, while painted wooden structures made their way from workshop to gallery assisted by student volunteers and talented friends.

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Sixe Paredes at work in Somerset House

Sixe Parades vision for this show has been overwhelmingly inspired by his tangible love for Peru. And Peru has a rich seam of textile history that has found it’s way strongly into the street artist’s practice. In a concrete walled bunker a small selection of what will be on display 21 – 26 May was presented. A two sided tapestry made of wool from San Pedro de Cajas, Peru by way of Barcelona was first to grab my attention. The luminous colours have been entirely produced with natural dyes, including cochineal and pigment from the Palo Inca tree, to create a palette akin to that seen on spray paint adorned walls and contained in the Incan wiphala, a traditional, Andean rainbow-hued flag.

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The artist first met the weaving artisans in the town that is a major centre for wool and textile production as an apprentice searching for guidance in the art of weaving. This lead to these same craftsmen crafting the tapestries of unspun fleece in this show, working to his designs. These are backed by a shaggy tufted wool surface produced in Spain. The motifs themselves draw from ancient Peruvian symbolic decorations and also reflect Sixe Parades own artistic language; indeed his time spent in the country apparently provided a strong validation and assurance of his own practice. The gratitude and appreciation felt towards the place are obvious in the works.

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Dimensión, single sided tapestry, edition of 3

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Dimensiones double sided tapestry, edition of 4

A series of quipu magicas, totems and tapestries will inhabit alcoves of the dead house gallery, (originally used for coal storage, but now displaying headstones that were unearthed when the building was extended towards the river at some point in the past). This heavily atmospheric space will be accessed through a series of three dimensional wooden thresholds along the lightwell passages, that take their form from Incan temples of stone. The setting is perfect for the beautifully crafted, large scale pieces that reference offerings, ritual, transcendence to other dimensions and the ancient Andean system of recording stories and information through coded knots. The themes of opposition hinted at in the exhibition title, of new and old, of front and reverse, of flight and grounding are complimented supportively by the historic setting of Somerset House and the innovative creative values of this inaugural event brought together by A(by)P.

Futurismo Ancestral: An Offering to Peru takes place 21 – 27 May 2014, all artwork is for sale, entry is free and a series of events, workshops and lectures will accompany the programme.

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Chullo knitted masks, edition of 15

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Idolo Totem Sculpture, edition of 2

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Knotted tributes on Puerta Tres Dimensional sculpture

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Deadhouse space in progress

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Quipu, edition of 6

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Idolo sculpture (detail), edition of 2

 

 

 

 

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