My abstract paintings are about the relationship between natural elements and humans; they also make a strong statement about social justice. “My Memories of Home” series evoke childhood memories of places I lived in or visited in my birth country Chile. They convey rather than depict subjects such as the neighborhoods with houses painted in bright cheerful colours, the harbor, the hills with their impressive views of the sea, my grandmother’s garden, the beaches, the ocean and much more. In my canvases my memories become alive again.
Although my paintings are cheerful and colourful with a child-like appearance some of them show the social aspect of everyday life in Latin America where poverty is something we live with everyday and become accustomed to somehow.
Sad places full of misery and human suffering such as shanty towns or as we call them “Callampas” or mushrooms; because they sprout after a heavy rain, seem happy and cheerful with their own imperfect beauty, or the city’s brothel “Las Luces Del Puerto” “The Harbor’s Lights”, which I was not allowed to even look at but that my child curiosity found to be fascinating with its bright red lights and shadowed figures standing by the open door.
The painting “The Higher, The Lower” represents the living conditions of the lower class which in contrast to developed countries live higher up the hills but are the most vulnerable and often forgotten since making them the lower in the social scale.
“Viene la LLuvia”,The Rain is Coming is another allegory to being poor because sometimes rain is a cause for worry for some people since it means the roof is going to leak or the hill could be washed down in an avalanche of water and mud.
“Dichato under water” is a painting I did of a coastal town called Dichato that practically disappeared after the 2010 earthquake and tsunami which have been a constant fear of the population in Chile.
I remember with nostalgia the view of the Pacific Ocean and it is a constant element in my paintings, “Tide Pools” came about remembering a trip to a relative’s house by the beach and I falling down when jumping from rock to rock trying to catch crabs and other sea creatures living in the tide pools, something I do not get to experience in this far away city of Toronto which has been my home for over thirty years.
When I start a painting I get attuned to my inner child and my memories take over, I let the places and the memories of that day come alive in my head, the paint does the rest, and when I am finished, the images are there to be shared with the viewers and hopefully they can get a glimpse of what makes me who I am; a proud Canadian with Chile in her heart.
All Images Are © Tania Iraheta
Tania Iraheta Artist Bio
Tania Iraheta was born in San Antonio, Chile and immigrated to Canada in 1980.
She is an Art-Educator and has a Diploma in Graphic Design.
She have been practicing art for about thirty years and teaching for seven years.
She is the Visual Arts instructor for Pinceles Latinos Art Studio, a project that teaches Visual Arts to the Latin-American community.
In the year 2010 she was awarded an Access and Career Development Grant by the Ontario Arts Council which allowed her to attend the Toronto School of Art.
In 2012 she was a recipient of a grant from the Ontario Arts Council that financed a painting workshop for the Latin-American community.
She is intrigued by the many ways to make art, the possibilities are endless and she enjoys exploring different mediums and techniques.
For the past three years she has been painting a series of abstracts in acrylics and mixed media inspired by memories of her country of birth, Chile. Her abstract paintings are created intuitively by the evolving interaction between shape, line, colour and texture.
Blog / Website: TaniaIraheta.com