María Magdalena Campos-Pons
Award-winning Cuban artist María Magdalena Campos-Pons works across a variety of mediums, including photography, performance, and sculpture, exploring themes of history, gender and religion in relation to identity. Her work draws on her Afro-Cuban heritage, incorporating stories of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade, revolutionary uprisings, and her experience as a Cuban expatriate. In two of her most recent solo exhibitions María has used nature as a vehicle to explore these themes.
Last year’s Self and Sea exhibition, hosted by Rutgers University to coincide with María being named the 2019-20 Estelle Lebowitz Endowed Visiting Artist, examines her use of the sea throughout her career. As a prominent feature in Caribbean imagery, María explores the sea as a site of loss and memory for the enslaved Africans who were forced to cross it, as well as a giver and mother which is increasingly under threat.
More recently María’s In the Garden exhibition placing nature as a site of meditation and spiritual significance through a mix of watercolour, drawing and gouache. Once again, however, the temporary site that housed this exhibition points to the environmental crisis that is facing the world.