Crashing Waves on Lobitos – Final Exhibit

Crashing Waves on Lobitos – its past present and future.

The viewer’s attention is expected to be drawn towards the intricate design and movement of the waves initially. This is meant to reflect the fact that Lobitos at this age is most known of its surf tourism by outsiders, and unless one have studied or actually travelled to Lobitos, one wouldn’t be aware of its history which makes Lobitos the town it is today, nor the challenges that it faces. As the viewers look more deeply into the details of the piece, they will find out that

My interest in photography and natural scenery drove me to take inspiration from Lobiteños artists Henry Espinoza Panta and Samuel Chapilliquen, who presents the beauty of seascapes at Lobitos through their photography and painting respectively. Through my research process I wanted to present the dynamic range of perspective towards the development of Lobitos, and especially highlighting how the locals’s views stand among them. On discussion with the EWB represent, Katie, the mixed feeling that locals experience as they think about Lobitos’ future – enthusiasm and anxiety – was intended to be brought into attention in this piece.

Photo fragments were chosen from a range of sources and media coverage on Lobitos, which portrays the different perspectives of the creators of the photos. This collage present how all this clash of views towards the future sustainability development decisions for Lobitos might affect the locals and evoke an emotion in viewers too.

 

Plaque explaining the context of the piece.

Crashing waves on Lobitos – its past, present and future

Visitor might be aware of its roller-coaster ride history, of transitioning from a prosperous mini colony for oil development to a malnourished ghost town waiting for opportunities to revive. Meanwhile this piece wants to draw attention also to the dynamic perspectives from different stakeholders on Lobitos’ future development, especially that of the Lobiteños.

The iconic waves of Lobitos are represented here, which consists of layers of colours and flowing patterns to give movement to the piece. While this composition shows waves dancing, the splashing water is also seen interacting with elements in the piece, such as the surfer. The patterns of the piece also seeks to show a depth of the undercurrents, both as the visual flow of water, and metaphorically too. The various fragmented elements are from different sources of media on Lobitos to show diverse and interacting perspectives.

Mixed media (photography, ink marbling on paper, paper cuttings)

 

Gallery guide – further insights.

In the initial research process, the broad range of information on the environmental, social and economical issues of Lobitos was quite striking to me, in which I took as a hint to use this range of contrasting and dynamic views as a theme. Through the building of my artwork direction, discussions with other students looking at the Lobitos case as well as EWB volunteer, has sparked my concern for the Lobiteños’ response to all the projects and inputs to the transitioning town, and their understanding of sustainability in their own home. We figured that as the most affected and involved stakeholders, the locals have rather mixed perspective.

Personally I have a strong interest in photography, natural scenery and patterns, for which I built up my research on Lobitos specifically, though further looking at various media sources, in particular, to focus on how local artists represent their town in their work. I took inspiration from Henry Espinoza Panta, a Lobiteños youth working for WAVES (a NGO programme for surf development) as a professional photographer who is also an active surf enthusiast, as well as a young painter Samuel Chapilliquen, who presents the beauty of the town through his works, education and media. Their perception of the Lobitos’ future as a local gave me insights in both appreciating the town’s complexity and communicating its changes.

Due to the changes in climatic patterns caused by El Niño since the last decade, which yields world-class waves, Lobitos has become noticeably known in surf tourism and the extreme sport community. Surfing has brought Lobitos so many opportunities and is certainly a crossroad for the development of this town. Now the most iconic natural scenery for Lobitos has to be its luscious waves crashing onto its barren landscape, with a striking view of obsolete oil rigs at the back.

Crashing Waves on Lobitos presents the complex feeling of enthusiasm, hopeful and also an underlying worry for the unknown opportunities and challenges ahead posed by the town’s’ development and surf tourism, through a mixed media composition. This is an expansion of the experiment from sketchbook collages.

A series of wave-like Suminagashi patterns printed by pouring ink on water creates a visual movement in the piece by imitating layering of the waves. Although tedious and error-prone the marbling process, the resulted ‘waves’ are delicate and one-of-a-kind organic shapes. Negative spaces are intentionally left on the canvas, allowing room for splashes of water and the reflections of waves to be filled in when one is viewing the piece. The patterns created in the waves also show depth in the ocean. The paper cuttings shows the varying perspectives and ideas that interact with the development of Lobitos.

After elaborating on the ideas I had through research in my sketchbook and moodboard, this artwork sets out to draw out the dynamic perspectives on Lobitos. This piece is an expansion of the fragment collage experiment from the sketchbook, where elements of multiple images from different sources on the same location and issue were put together as a composition.

I hope this piece manages not only to present a visually stimulating impression of Lobitos, but also the complex emotion and feelings through such varying perspectives on Lobitos to resonate in viewers.

 

 

 

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