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Exhibitions & Events

Mora Brothers: Spotlight Talk

6-200511 February 2009

As part of our ongoing series of Spotlight talks, ESCALA will be focussing on the Mora Brothers' Aggayú Solá currently on display in the Albert Sloman Library. This sculpture references Elian Gonzalez custody and immigration case from 2000, when he and others fled Cuba in a small boat.

Time: 1.00 - 1.30pm
Albert Sloman Library, University of Essex, Colchester campus 

Image: Mora Brothers, Aggayú Solá - the Rescue of Elián, 2005

León Ferrari: Spotlight Talk

7-20024 March 2009

The last talk in our series of talks focuses on León Ferrari's Sin Titulo (Caligrafia: texto de 'Elogio de la sombra', J.L.Borges, 1969) 1997. The work is a transcription of the Borges poem 'Elogio de la Sombra' into a pictorial object. The poem dates from when Borges was losing his sight and describes the process of going blind.

Time: 1.00-1.30pm
Albert Sloman Library, University of Essex, Colchester campus 

Image: León Ferrari, Sin título (Caligrafia: texto de 'Elogio de la sombra', J.L.Borges, 1969), 1997

Eduardo Padilha: Artist Talk

17-20006 May 2009

Eduardo Padilha is a Brazilian-born contemporary artist based in London and Amsterdam whose practice spans drawing, film-making and sculptural installation. In 2006 he set up BalinHouseProjects, an innovatice self-funded, artist-run space for first solo exhibitions in London.

ESCALA Voices is a new series that offers the chance to engage directly with artists, curators, researchers and critics associated with the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America.

Room 5A.106, University of Essex, Colchester campus.
Time: 1pm
Admission free.

Image: Eduardo Padilha, Self-Portrait Portraits, 1995

Florencia Guillen: Artist Talk

3-200919 November 2009

Don't miss the only opportunity to hear Florencia Guillen talk about Editions from an Encounter and Soundscape Stories in the context of her broader artistic practice.

Talk begins at 5pm in the Art Exchange, University of Essex, Colchester campus. Admission is free.

Image: Florencia Guillen, Untitled, 2009

Florencia Guillen: Editions from an Encounter and Soundscape Stories

19 November 2009 - 19 December 2009

Mexican artist Florencia Guillen has been invited to be our artist in residence, developing two projects on campus connected by sound. Drawing upon her travels across countries and continents, Guillen's work reflects on her encounters with everyday people and situations as well as her own internal journeys.


On show in the Art Exchange, University of Essex, Colchester campus, an installation of printed video stills, drawings and a textual sound composition that documents an enigmatic encounter with a Mongolian nomad and his horses during Guillen's journey from Moscow to Beijing.

Limited Edition

ESCALA commissioned Florencia Guillen to produce an artist edition on felt of one of the drawings from Editions from an Encounter. This edition is available for purchase from the Collection through Culture Label. 


Across the campus squares, an outdoor installation with five complementary sound compositions of stories, news and other sounds captured both at the University of Essex and in Mexico between July and November 2009. These sounds are combined with an original musical piece commissioned especially for this work.

Image: Florencia Guillen, Stills from Soundscape Stories 

Show and Tell

2-1995 Front2 December 2009

Come and see original works from the University's Latin American art collection that relate to the theme of 'journeys'. Joanne Harwood will talk you through some of the collection's treasures.

Talk begins at 1pm and lasts one hour in the Art Exchange, University of Essex, Colchester campus. 

Admission is free.

Image: Alfredo Blas Castagna, Puerto Dackar, 1991

1810, 1910, 2010: Ten Mexican Prints

3.2-200116 December 2009 - 28 January 2010

2010 marks the anniversary of the commencement of two major events in Mexican history. The first, the Mexican War of Independence, lasted from 1810 to 1821. The second is the Mexican Revolution, which lasted from 1910 to 1920. To mark this significant year, the ESCALA displayed 10 prints on the Mexican Revolution until 28 January 2010. 

Estampas de la revolución mexicana (Stamps of the Mexican Revolution) was a collection of almost 100 prints by sixteen artists of the Taller de Gráfica Popular originally published in 1947. Most of the prints in this display date from 1974. The Taller de Gráfica Popular aimed to promote political and social awareness through graphic art. As the title suggests, these prints focus on the Mexican Revolution and its aims: educating the illiterate, condemning the stealing of land from the campesinos (peasants), and restoring freedom of speech and of the press.

Four of the five artists featured here were members of the Taller - Leopoldo Méndez (one of the founders), Jesús Alvarez Amaya, Alberto Beltrán and Ignacio Aguirre. Francisco Moreno Capdevila's print was created in 1955, eight years after the publication of the Estampas collection. It is included here to show just how important the aims of the Mexican Revolution were even thirty years after its conclusion. Issues such as the rampant corruption of the Mexican government under Porfirio Díaz are addressed by Jesús Alvarez Amaya and Leopoldo Méndez. Imprisonment and death were inevitable realities of the Revolution; Alberto Beltrán and Ignacio Aguirre address death directly. Aguirre depicts imprisonment while also praising a hero of the Mexican Revolution; Emiliano Zapata. Another Mexican hero, Benito Juárez, is featured in one of the prints by Alvarez Amaya. Capdevila's theatre advertisement proves how strongly the goals of the Mexican Revolution resonated throughout the first half of the 20th century.

Image: Leopoldo Méndez, La revolución vencerá, 1947

Middle America: Visual Culture in Mexico and Central America

20 March 2009

A one-day sympoisum on aspects of art and archaeology in Mexico and Central America supported by JISLAC, Joint Initiative for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean.


20 March, 9.30-5.00, LTB 1, University of Essex


9.30 registration and coffee

10.00 Joanne Harwood(Essex Collection of Art from Latin America): Yo no tengo patria: contemporary art from Central America

10.30 Tamara Diaz (TEOR-éTica, San José Costa Rica): In Central America: Tactics of Intervention in the Public Sphere.

11.00 Susannah Gilbert (University of Essex): Felipe Ehrenberg's Aesthetic Revolution: Conceptualism, form and politics

11.30 discussion

12.00 lunch

1.00 Remembering Tim Laughton

1.30 Mary Scott (University of East Anglia): Examining the Messages of Contemporary 'Tourist Art' in Yucatán, Mexico: A Look at Two Major Production Centres

2.00 José Oliver (University College London): Identity, Personhood, and the Circulation of Cemí Idols among Chiefs in the Caribbean

2.30 Hassan Arero (British Museum): Art and Amerindian Identity in Guyana

3.00 discussion

3.30 tea

4.00 Gordon Brotherston (University of Manchester): Monkey, armadillo, and jaguar: the Popol vuh and Ulua polychrome ceramics from Yojoa.

4.45 concluding remarks

5.30 Talk by Dawn Ades (University of Essex) on exhibition of Mexican artist Francisco Toledo?s Zoología Fantástica in the University Gallery, followed by a reception.

Venue: LTB 1(Lecture Theatre Block)