Pachakutik, Amaranta Pena, Degree Show
Image courtesy of Amaranta Peña

News 30 July 2020

Degree Show 2020: Meet this year's graduates - Amaranta Peña

Introduce yourself and your work. What ideas and themes are important to you?

I am from Ecuador but moved to London for the MA two years ago. I studied anthropology and have always been attracted to the fields of education and art, both as basis for human development in harmony with life.

My work with ceramics and paintings are embodied in a language that feels more genuine to me with traditional stories and myths that are capable of containing so much symbolism and although we think of them as part of the past, I believe they are guides for the present.

What materials do you use? Why are they important to your practice?

The painting as such is done in a relatively short period of time compared to the time it takes to prepare the mind, paper and pigments. This gestation period needs to be fed with care and materials that are nobles by themselves, like natural pigments provided by our earth in order to generate new stories and memories that will adhere to the art piece.

Describe your studio to us – what would we find?

My studio is quite flexible and improvised, it can be anywhere in my home but only I understand its order. There are little notes everywhere to remind me of ideas or stories.

How has the lock-down influenced your work? What new things have emerged in your work because of the restrictions?

Each work has its own life, so they've changed adjusting the new times. Even though, I could not continue with the ceramic work, it has been a period for intense painting. It is in the process of painting that I have found the tools to deal and understand the current situation.

Although it took me a few weeks to restructure a new work routine for both, me and my daughter who started homeschooling, it has been a very rich experience where I had the chance to remember how the most simple things give sense to life.

What drew you to the School, and what do you want to remember about these last two years?

What drew me to the school was its philosophy and the variety of traditional arts and crafts that are part of its curriculum. Luckily, I have journals of these two years to remind me of the crafts processes but the most valuable memories I will always treasure in my heart are the people I've had the honour to meet, tutors and colleagues; also nice chats during meals...

When we’re all able to be out in the world again, what are your hopes?

I hope to share what I’ve learned with my community and also be capable to capture part of the vast ancestral knowledge of the Andes peoples in art and crafts, so it continues to nurture the new generations.

About this year's Degree Show:

This year, we will be showcasing our graduates' work online from 6 August to 6 September 2020.

Work will be available to buy directly from the students.