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Avantia Damberg (1977) is a multi-disciplined visual artist based in Curaçao. She initially created video and animation art and is currently focused on art collage in the widest sense. She is inspired by soundscapes, graphic design, typography and the history of Curaçao and expresses these passions in her installation art, land art, and art in public space. Damberg is known for the Map of Curaçao II at the public register office in Curaçao and the Colorful Steps of Otrobanda.
In addition to her career as an artist, Damberg also worked as project coordinator at Uniarte and curated the Hisa Buta exhibitions at the Curacao Museum. In 2020 she worked from her studio at Uniarte, which will be open to visitors at Dékada.
Hector Raphaela (1975) studied art at the Academie Minerva in Groningen, Netherlands. The work of Hector Raphaela is figurative and is narrative driven. He makes colorful works that point to feelings and emotions. According to him art has the potential to transform energy. He himself calls his work “Intention Art”, because during the process he creates from a positive intention which ignites his artistic inspiration. He also finds inspiration from daily life, his experiences and the neighborhood of Boca Sami, where Raphaela calls home.
The expressive color palette of Antillean culture has a visible influence in his work, most notably in his latest installation ‘Mi Kas Ta Bo Kas’, which he originally exhibited in August and September of 2020 with the support of Uniarte. Raphaela questioned traditional relationships to spirituality and nature, and challenged viewers to reflect deeply on their own power and energy. These themes manifested into a pyramid, kunuku house, and various paintings created by the artist on the shore of Boca Sami. isual documentation of ‘Mi Kas Ta Bo Kas’ will be exhibited at Dékada.
Johanna Franco Zapata (1985) was born in Colombia and has been living in Curaçao since 1993. She studied at the Instituto Buena Bista (IBB) in 2006, after which she studied Fine Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. Since 2014 she has been working at the IBB as a student advisor and artist. Her work is concerned with Western concepts of value and their history, such as skin color, and how these perceptions have affected our society to this day. The same can be said about the island’s perspective on what is art or can be valued as art. In a place where realism/figurative works are celebrated, she explores the value and autonomy of her works through abstraction. She does so by means of creating compositions where geometrical shapes and color play a major role. Although her main medium is painting, Johanna also explores the perception of value through sculpture and performances. Her hard edged paintings and murals can be seen in Curaçao in the inner city of Willemstad and elsewhere.
Johanna will be exhibiting her sculpture installation, ‘Para Perla’, which she originally exhibited at the end of her residency at Uniarte in July 2020. The installation pays tribute to ‘Perla’ a pseudonym given to a Colombian child trafficked by members of her family and community. This sculpture, which features a pearl necklace made entirely of clay masks, explores themes of grief and loss, and healing after childhood trauma.
Kristin McIver’s (1974) multi-disciplinary conceptual practice includes sculpture, painting, video sound and installation. In 2014, McIver completed a Master of Fine Arts (Visual Arts) at University of Melbourne (Victorian College of the Arts), with a thesis You and Me: Models of Self-Representation in Participatory Culture. Her mixed media installations and artworks explore themes of identity, culture, and new forms of representation in the digital age. Recent works examine personal identity and its relationship to social media, and how the participants of digital culture become both the subject and object of the production cycle, as they share their thoughts, stories, images, locations, and identity online. McIver is currently represented by Royale Projects: Contemporary Art (California, USA). Her work is held in public and private collections in Australia, Asia, Europe, UK and North America.
During her residency at Uniarte in February 2020 McIver explored water as a database, and what it reveals to us about social media use and human relationships today. Her observations inspired a series of abstract video sculptures entitled ‘Impressions’, which will be featured at Dékada.
Miguel Peres Dos Santos (1976) is an artist from Lisbon, Portugal who works in a variety of media. By emphasising aesthetics, Peres Dos Santos reflects on the closely related subjects of archive and memory. This often results in an examination of both the human need for ‘conclusive’ stories and the question whether anecdotes ‘fictionalise’ history. His works are an investigation of concepts such as authenticity and objectivity by using an encyclopaedic approach and quasi-scientific precision and by referencing documentaries, ‘fact-fiction’ and popular scientific equivalents. Notable films of his include ‘Voices’ (2015) and Mourning of the Sea (2017).
Uniarte will be screening his most recent film, ‘Geographies of Freedom’ (2020) at Dékada. The film documents the research Miguel Peres Dos Santos and Egbert Alejandro Martina conducted on Dutch Caribbean imaginations of freedom and the insidious ways in which these imaginations are often constructed. ‘Geographies of Freedom’ allows viewers to view freedom through an architectural, legal and geographical framework, implicating colonialism, slavery, and capitalism in its present definition.
Kenneth Engelhardt (1966), who’s love for art dates as far back as he can remember, has been producing artwork sourced from found materials and inspired by natural and man-made elements. With items like rubber tires, tree branches, copper nails and bleached coral in his tool set, Engelhardt has transformed mundane, discarded objects into works of art. He found inspiration from the museums and galleries he visited during his time in the Netherlands, worked for more than a decade in St. Martin as a performer, and since then has been immersed in his work at home in Curaçao. He has performed as a solo musician and with his group Harmony Drumming at Exhibition Djogodo and held workshops such as Avochi Musical, which he held during his 2020 residency at Uniarte.
Engelhardt, presenting as Mishikeiru, will be exhibiting a variety of his sculptures at Dékada, including ‘The Dancer’, ‘Elephant’, and ‘Flamingo’ to name a few. These selected pieces, which span nearly a decade of his work, will be exhibited at Dékada.
Nash Caldera (1991) graduated with a BA in Fine Art (2018) from Willem de Kooning Academy (WdKA) in Rotterdam. In her graduation year she was nominated for the Drempelprijs and the Maaskantprijs from the WdKA. After graduating, she performed and exhibited at several institutions in the Netherlands such as Het Nieuwe Institute (2018/2020), Galerie Lecq (2018), Temporary Art Center (2019) and the Worm S/ash Gallery (2019). Caldera is best known for her works ‘Di Tera Nos Ta Bin Di Tera Nos Ta Bai II’ , ‘Mansa’ , ‘My Broken Tongue” and “Adorá Yemayá Tapá”. In 2020 she participated in ‘WHO AM I BECOMING’, which was screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.
At Dekada, two of Caldera’s performances will be exhibited: Distansia, Distansiá, and ‘Hopi Pretu’, a subversive piece on sainthood and the value of Black queer life. Both were originally performed during her residency at Uniarte in May of 2020.
Nelson Gonzalez (1979), who has lived and worked in Aruba since 2003, was originally born in Maracaibo, Venezuela. In Maracaibo he studied film and photography. His work harmonizes installation, performance, and audiovisual documentation. He proposes artistic processes under a method he refers to as ‘civic participation as art’. His work is related to the subversion of geopolitical and cultural relations that integrates individuals, the exchange of knowledge and new intercultural mediations. He has held collective and individual exhibitions in countries such as Venezuela, Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, the United States, South Korea, Belgium and Colombia, among others. He is represented in private and public collections and has been awarded various production grants by UNOCA, PBCCG and Mondriaan Fonds. He is currently developing two curatorial and artistic investigations, Curaduria Malandra and Three Corner Table.
Uniarte will be exhibiting at Dékada Gonzalez’s video, ‘Love me South Korea’, which was originally exhibited in May of 2020.
Raily Stiven Yance (1989) graduated with a degree in Visual Arts from the University of Zulia and has been developing his artistic career since 2010, participating in various individual and collaborative projects in Venezuela and abroad. Yance was awarded the Regional Prize at the XII Salon of Youth Artists from Zulia (2016), The Youth Prize with FIA at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Zulia (2016), among others. In 2016 he created the independent artist space Consul Toria-Rota in a room in his residence in Maracaibo. His work, explores In 2018 the artist was part of Caribbean Linked, a residency program for artists from the Caribbean in Aruba. That same year he exhibited his individual work in the Abra Gallery in Caracas and the Contemporary Art Museum of Zulia. He also participated in the Canibal Residency in Barranquilla, Colombia and at Uniarte. In 2019, Yance realized various artistic productions in Bucaramanga, Colombia (2019). His work explores the broken ontologies of objects that surround us and the implicated social conventions they carry. In his most recent work he studies objects from Curaçao, where he currently resides, in the form of drawings and paintings.
Raily Stiven Yance will be opening his studio and sharing his recent work and artistic process with visitors at Dékada.
Sharelly Emanuelson (1986) is a filmmaker & visual artist. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Audiovisual Media School of Arts Utrecht and a Master’s in Artistic Research from the Royal Academy of the Arts in The Hague. She has also received international and public nominations and awards, such as the Audience Award of the Africa in the Picture Film Festival (2012), Master Artistic Research Award of the Royal Academy of the Arts in The Hague (2014), the Black Achievement Spotlight Award (2018) and recently the Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Publieksprijs (2020). She experiments with aesthetic signatures to represent the many stories that are rich in the Netherlands Antilles and the Caribbean region and adds a new visual narrative to this from her own Caribbean perspective. She questions the (im)possibility to visualize the current Caribbean reality and sensibility and her work reflects this struggle from an opinionated artistic perspective.
In addition to her own practice, she founded Uniarte: an artist-run organization that promotes the visibility and development of emerging and professional artists in the Caribbean. She was a guest lecturer at the University of Sint-Maarten, Ateliers ’89 and is now a guest lecturer at the University of Curaçao. In 2020 she had her studio space at Uniarte and will be opening her studio for visitors at Dékada.
Sharnice Leonora (1995) has been working at Curaçao Creations, a local artisan shop and studio space, for more than a decade. This novice artist, who employs materials like glass, clay, wood, and fabric has only recently begun to use art as a creative and emotional outlet. Her work ranges from utilitarian to decorative to purely creative in nature, and often features elements of the local landscape and culture. In 2020 she completed a residency at Uniarte, in which she began the process of shaping her individual and artistic identity. At Curaçao Creations, she is currently experimenting with leather and laserwork.
Leonora will be presenting a variety of her pieces at Dékada, including ‘Neighborhood with a Bridge’ and ‘Landscape of a Sea’. Her piece, ‘Vulkan’, which brings to the surface the artist’s unearthed emotions, will also be exhibited.
Zurishaddai Tremus (1992), also known as ShaddaiiT, is a self-taught, multidisciplinary artist based in Willemstad, Curaçao. As a native of this Caribbean island, her pieces pay homage to her ancestry, homeland, and self-identity. Her peculiar personal style conveys the vivid spirit and atmosphere of the Curaçaoan culture. Her practice translates into expanding her insight into digital media, traditional art forms (painting, drawing, photography), and oral and written expressions. She brings her works to life with bold and harmonious colors, mainly portraying a mix of nature and the human body. Her works often explore themes of personal significance, narrating the stories she wants to share with the world. She loves to work with primarily acrylic and watercolor paints, graphite pencils, inks, alcohol markers, and digital media. Recently she took part in the local residency program at Uniarte to further develop her career as an artist.
Tremus will be exhibiting her new series ‘Samia’ which was created during her residency at Uniarte, at Dékada. Using primarily watercolor, combined with other materials, Tremus explored in ‘Samia’ her relationship with the sea and its significance in her life, through which she addressed personal and familial stories and memories.