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 Artist Statement

Gabriela's current work aims to challenge the relevance of landscape painting in relation to contemporary art practices. Gabriela has developed a particular interest in abstraction and the way it can represent the fracturing of memory, time and space. Her work aims to distort the perception of the viewer by creating the impression of landscapes that do not necessarily represent real locations while still provoking a sense of familiarity. In doing this, she creates tension in what the viewer chooses to focus on and evokes inquisition in regards to what is being depicted, whether it be a real place, or one that is imagined. Themes of memory, longing, nostalgia, displacement and desire for a place or moment that no longer exists are constantly present in Gabriela's work and cycle through her thoughts during her creation process. Having experienced displacement and a fractured identity as a racialized and bi-racial person living in Canada her entire life, Gabriela works to represent her experience with her origins in their past and current cultural, political and traditional realities in combination with her experience as a first-generation Canadian during an age where people strive for virtual connection and united experiences while living in a society that encourages isolation.

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Born and raised in Ottawa, ON, Canada to a Venezuelan father and Chinese-Mauritian mother, Gabriela has spent the majority of her upbringing in multi-cultural environments and was encouraged to explore each aspect of her diverse background through language study, countless visits to each country and cultural submersion through daily life, food, gatherings, music and art. Her post-secondary education was spent studying visual arts. Prior to attending university, she had a keen interest in printmaking and darkroom photography but ultimately drew her focus on painting as her main medium of choice. She graduated from the University of Ottawa in 2015 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a minor in Communications Studies. In 2018, Gabriela co-found Common Ground Collective, an artist collective that focusses on developing the careers of emerging artists in Ottawa, ON, Canada. Gabriela currently works for the Canadian federal government and she continues live and develop her practice in Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Gabriela thanks the Ontario Arts Council for their support of her artistic practice in 2019.