23 June – 21 July 2017
An exhibition of work by Raquel Chinchetru.
The exhibition is located in The Rotunda area at Conway Hall to coincide with Refugee Week (19 – 25 June 2017).
Raquel Chinchetru explores the journeys made by people seeking asylum, looking at both the individual and the collective perspective. She uses real stories and thermal photography of a boy smuggled in a suitcase as well as groups of refugees crossing borders, as the basis for her artworks . Even though refugees are individuals, policy makers and the media tend to treat them as a group, as a collective. This way of categorising refugees then filters down to the host population who see refugees as ‘them/other’, in opposition to ‘us’, with all the threatening repercussions that such a perception leads to.
Raquel’s humanist approach responds to the refugee issue using art, science and the renaissance. She believes that art, using multi-sensory media, can be the means to enable audiences to challenge the process of integration that is rapidly disappearing in our fast-paced world. Her work is willing to respond to, increase awareness of and create a critical thinking about how integration and economic well being needs to be addressed for those human beings who find themselves having to flee their home country and who are ultimately survivors.
“In order to promote the process of acculturation (the process by which both hosts and refugees adjust to each others’ cultures), a more humane approach is needed in which refugees are given the base they need to integrate their experiences, in order to ensure they are treated with dignity and compassion, rather than hostility and misinformation”.
“Syria is the biggest humanitarian and refugee crisis of our time, a continuing cause of suffering for millions which should be garnering a groundswell of support around the world,” (UN High Commissioner for Refugees,Filippo Grandi). In the UK, the Government’s response has been to commit to resettling 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020. Thus far only a fraction of that number have arrived in the UK (2,898 upthe end of June 2016) and the political focus has been on reducing net migration to the tens of thousands. However, this is not new.
Raquel Chinchetru, originally from the Rioja region of northern Spain, lives and works in London. Her interests lie in both Psychology and Art as reflected in her academic career, She has both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in colour theory applied to organisational psychology, a Master’s degree in Health Psychology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art from the Sir John Cass School, London Metropolitan University. She has completed numerous courses in drawing and painting, figurative drawing, portraiture and black and white photography. She has participated in a group exhibition in Zagreb (2013), an exhibition on silence entitled “Interlude” at the Sir John Cass School of Art (2014) and was an artist in residence in Havana, Cuba under the direction of the Riojan painter Luis Burgos (2016).
As well as working as an artist from her studio in Brixton, Raquel is also a Chronic Pain Clinical Specialist, a qualified yoga therapist and is the founder and creative director of Breathing Being providing mind and body therapies. Her interest in the plight of refugees developed and informed her art whilst she was working with clients who had sought asylum and were suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the experiences they had endured.
Please contact Martha Lee – email@example.com – if you have any enquiries regarding the artworks or the exhibition. Should you wish to purchase an artwork, all proceeds will go to refugee charities.