Nadia Hernández, Palomita/Soledad 2023, oil, permanent marker, colour pencil, and acrylic on linen, courtesy of the artist and STATION Gallery, Sydney and Melbourne
In this installation Venezuelan-born Australian artist Nadia Hernández expands on her interest in the poetic confluence of visual and written forms and in art as a portal or threshold to a realm of contemplation, celebration and critique. Palomita/Soledad, which roughly translates into Little Dove/Solitude, presents a selection of verse fragments borrowed from a poem by the artist’s grandfather, Ruben Hernández Gil, which invokes the notion of solitude. Arranged across three canvases of layered imagery, the fragments create a textual and visual field that can be read from left to right and front to back, setting up an intergenerational dialogue.
Hernández has also lived in the United States, and her practice is infused with a complex sense of being and belonging, of simultaneously inhabiting and being dislocated from multiple places, cultures and socio-political realities. These diverse experiences permeate one another, enriching and extending the artist’s world view. She has scaled the installation to replicate the windows in her home, thereby conveying both a sense of looking out onto the world and a turning inwards to personal introspection.
Hazy underdrawing comprising indeterminate imagery and whimsical iconography based on everyday observations, alludes to Hernández’s displaced diasporic identity, and acts as markers for the the fleeting nature of things. Overlaid with the poetry, her multilayered compositions can be seen as sensory zones, suggesting a multitude of feelings and a reverie in which we are all free to drift, reflect and ruminate.
Palomita/Soledad has been commissioned by Heide Museum of Modern Art as part of the exhibition Beneath the Surface, Behind the Scenes.
Included with museum admission
In this short documentary, Venezuelan-born Australian artist Nadia Hernández reflects on her creative processes in the lead up to her exhibition at Heide Museum of Modern Art.