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Todo Sobre Mi Padre

In August 2010, Discovering Latin America successfully raised more than £4,500 for the building of a primary school in Costa Rica in association with sculptor Nicholas Arroyave-Portela and London's Contemporary Applied Arts gallery.

DLA was delighted to organise an exclusive fundraising auction and gala evening with Nicholas Arroyave-Portela as he presented his solo exhibition, 'Todo Sobre Mi Padre' at London's Contemporary Applied Arts gallery.

Nicholas Arroyave-Portela

To mark this important personal exhibition, which referenced the artist's mixed Colombian background, Arroyave-Portela chose to support Discovering Latin America by donating three ceramic pots for auction to raise funds for the vital programmes of development we sponsor across Latin America.

About the exhibition

Arroyave-Portela's highly original and emotive work focuses on intimate relationships with people, memories, time and place. The pieces in 'Todo Sobre Mi Padre' loosely map the various migration routes the artist’s father took through the course of his life while dealing with what it is that most drives our (often fractured) sense of identity as human beings.

For more on the exhibition, which has now passed, please see Contemporary Applied Arts' exhibition page

DLA auction and gala evening with the artist

In addition to the works being exhibited, the artist generously created three unique ceramic vessels exclusively for DLA to auction during the exhibition. Through this auction, we were able to raise a £4,800 donation towards the buildling of a primary school for the children of Ximiri in the Chirripó Indigenous Reserve in Costa Rica through Raleigh International.

Nicholas Arroyave-Portela ceramic vessels

The vessels were inspired by Uruguayan Artist Joaquin Torres Garcia (1874-1949), who created the Escuela Del Sur in Montevideo in 1935.

"Our north is the south. There shouldn't be a north for us, only the opposite of our south..... This rectification was necessary and as a result we now know where we are."

To celebrate the exhibition DLA also organized an exclusive gala evening with the artist at the gallery on 28 July. The evening featured a reception and panel discussion on the topic, As the Latin American Continent gears up to marking 200 years of Independence from Spain and Portugal, how has a sense of their national identities evolved into the present day?   

Speakers included:

  • Nicholas Arroyave-Portela, artist, discussing the evolution of his own sense of identity during the making of the work for the exhibition
  • Professor Valerie Frasier from the University of Essex, Director of the Latin American Centre and Co-Director of the University of Essex Collection of Latin American Art (UECLAA), discussing the role played by art and architecture in forging the new nations of Latin America post-1810 and considering whether it is possible or desirable for art to continue to have any such role today
  • Oscar Guardiola Rivera, author of What If Latin America Ruled the World?" a thought-provoking book demonstrating the ascending international importance the countries and cultures of Latin America are claiming by being unafraid to turn their back on commonly-held economic views which have lost their currency

To read more about the auction and evening, please visit out blog. Both the events were a great success and we would like to thank Nicholas, our speakers and CAA for their generous support!

More about the artist

Nicholas Arroyave-Portela

Nicholas Arroyave-Portela was born in Oxford, England to Spanish and Colombian parents. As a fine-art ceramicist, his work has been featured in group and solo exhibitions across the UK, Europe, and USA, including a major solo traveling exhibition, 'Throwing Lines' in 2002-03. His work often addresses the issue of identity and expresses ideas about connectedness to the land of our birth or ancestors. He has been the recipient of several awards and grants, including the Young Achievers celebration at Buckingham Palace, an award at Talente, Munich, and first prize at Nache, Ceramic Contemporaries 2, at London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

For more visit

This event has now passed. However if you would like to stay up to date on future events please contact us to be added to our mailing list. Thank you for your interest in Discovering Latin America. 

Exhibition details

What: Nicholas Arroyave-Portela, 'Todo Sobre Mi Padre' solo exhibition
Where: Contemporary Applied Arts, 2 Percy Street, London W1T 1DD
When: 23 July 2010 - 21 August 2010 

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