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Nuñez Rojas

Nuñez Rojas

Nunez Rojas - Chilean Painter

Nuñez Rojas was born cut from her mother’s belly, upside down, with more hair than you can imagine in 1987, in Valley Azapa, Chile. To the sound of her first cry, she reached out to a land where mushroom coloured mountains speak of serpents and lizards. Where olive trees and the remains of ancient cultures submerge under your feet. Her people are a mix of indigenous Chilean, Spanish and African from Kenya. The descendants of slaves are her ancestors, the people who speak to her through her blood. Her mother once told her a story about one of these ancestors, a woman who danced to relieve herself of sadness when she was captured, just to feel free.

So it is with her own body, the culmination of each ancestor before her, that Nuñez uses in her art. Channelling her feelings into dance as they nudge her to paint with her body, she steps inside a white space, to draw curves and lines around her being, until the fluid and undulating marks she makes make no sense at all and complete sense at the same time. It is an ode to that dance of freedom her enslaved ancestor first stepped, and through her dance of art, as she spins with ghosts, she arrives, full circle, freeing herself by movement, to create a piece.

It is not only the landscape of her body, that is present in her pictures, but the landscapes of her homes; you can see those mushroom coloured mountains of Chile, the desert ochres of Arizona, and that blue, blue sea of the Pacific Ocean, the exact colour of her homesickness. It was the desert of Arizona where she migrated to from her homeland, not for anything other than love, of course. Her mother fell in love with a handsome anthropologist, whom she followed and met as she reconstructed and dated textiles of the mummies.

Though Nuñez did not speak the language of Arizona, she was embraced by the desert, the morning dove, the smells of sage bush, the cactus jam and mesquite trees. As a child, she ran through the old homes of the Hopi, the Zuni and the Apache, playing with the desert’s breath whipping at her cheeks. These movements through this landscape, inform her work now. Just as she once ran her hands over desert ruins, so she runs her hands on her canvas, hearing the whispers of inspiration that come from love, dying, birth and humidity.

But it is to the Hinterlands of Byron Bay, Australia, the landscape where she moved for her own love journey, that we see soaked into her work too. Nothing has happened by chance, everything has led her to these parched lands, her history preparing her path. The elements are circulated and placing themselves together here for her, just as the dust of the desert settles on skin. This is the place where she pieces the fragments of ideas and colours amongst spiders, combining moveable, static and emotive art by wielding her paintbrush to paint her rhythms and to capture the dance of her day.

INSIGHTS