Blended Realities: healing cultural scars

Relationship. Control. Agency. Hope.

At the core of Tamires Para's creative process lives a relationship between artist and model that pushes beyond visual representation and opens up a space for healing to begin.

The relationships that Para develops with the subjects of her paintings begin with personal connection, as survivors of insidious trauma. As mutual trust grows between model and artist, the images begin to take shape.

A crucial aspect of this relationship is the control that the model has over the image. It is important to Para that her models possess and maintain agency over how their bodies are being represented at every stage. Para invites the models to pose in any manner, then reviews each sketch, photograph, and painting with them, only using the images that are OK'd by the models.

The paintings that are currently on display at the Bleeding Heart Art Space are products of a partnership. The works are not only visually compelling in their own right, but they testify that art can be a powerful social, emotional, and mental tool for building bridges between people of different cultures and establish pathways out of self-loathing and feelings of deep shame.

We are honored to be hosting Blended Realities: healing cultural scars in our Space until May 4th, and invite you to come see it for yourself.

Following this exhibit, Tamires Para will be showing a larger body of paintings and process material at her MFA thesis exhibit at the U of A's FAB Gallery, May 14 - June 8. Exhibit description: Tamires' art depicts the multiple facets of her experience growing up in Brazilian patriarchal society. Her painting practice focuses on reflections about the scarring that patriarchal society has imprinted on herself and how it shaped her world views and self-esteem; a small sample of the sustained trauma women have to endure under patriarchy. This body of paintings is the result of working from the imagery of herself and from the model. She sees their bodies as clay for her to digitally shape, distort, and scar; they are the bridge that gaps our experience of trauma. Through art, she seeks to engage in a cathartic process which she shares in this exhibition.

image credit: Their Body Through Me by Tamires Para, courtesy of the artist

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