Inspired by the magic around us, hidden until is looked for, Jazmin Velasco is bringing a series of ceramic and paper figures looking at the wisdom of ancient cultures, the inner power of men and women, the power that has to be re-discovered, developed and evolved to give something back to the world.
This exhibition coincides with the Day of the Dead celebrated in Mexico since Precolombian times, back then it was celebrated at the beginning of Summer, but once the Spaniards arrived, almost all aspects of life, religion and culture fused and transformed including the date of this ancient ritual.
Otomi Indians make paper from the inner bark of ficus tree and the sorcerers cut out magic figures that could be either benevolent or malevolent spirits to use for different purposes like asking rain from the Gods, or have an abundant harvest or for chasing away spirits or curing a variety of ailments.
Parallel to this show, from the 2nd to the 4th of November, Jazmin Velasco will be working on a three days residency in the GreArt shop in Kingsland Road ( No 1 Art Materials Supplier) currently in partnership with Hundred Years Gallery. She will be sharing this residency with Montse Gallego, a time they will use to endeavour and try to connect with some stories of people they are closed to, make a spirit or a healing figure out of this person, perhaps deal with some difficult social situations ( Brexit, Xenophobia…) or anything that needs healing or help from the paper figures. A hanging display will be built of this floating spirits as a Day of the Dead altar dedicated to them. Montse being from Spain and Jazmin from Mexico will work together and see how through the days talking, discussing and working in the same space will bring alive a celebration of unity.
Jazmin Velasco is from Guadalajara, Mexico, where she studied graphic design and illustration. In Mexico City she studied oil painting and printmaking. Later she moved to London where she studied multimedia and established her work as an artist, printmaker, ceramist and illustrator of books. Currently Jazmin lives in the South West of England.
She is inspired by the work of Jose Guadalupe Posada, the father of Mexican printmaking, and by Leopoldo Mendez who founded the Taller de la Grafica Popular, the celebrated organization which produced the posters and pamphlets that brought the Mexican Revolution to its illiterate masses, and created some of the finest graphic art of the 20th century.
But her real love is and always will be Saul Steinberg.
Jazmin is also a practitioner and teacher of Taoist martial arts. In China, the arts and martial prowess have been linked since ancient times. The martial arts themselves are a kind of fine art for those who understand them.