Throughout 2018 Alicia Reyes McNamara will be working with Church Street children and their families through the FLIP programme at The Portman Family Centre and Gateway Academy.
The work and conversations with FLIP will address storytelling through explorations of making. Workshops will investigate ideas of identity, along with personal and cultural mythologies. These collected stories will be realised through text sculptures, which will be installed publicly to encourage connections and dialogue out of the workshop setting. The processes developed and adapted will then move to a second stage working with Gateway Academy School.
Gateway Academy is the largest neighbourhood primary school, it actively promotes a positive approach to the development of bilingualism. Children who are learning English as a second language have access to a full curriculum and are encouraged to use their home languages as well as becoming fully competent in English.
Responding to the culture of the school the project will draw on Alicia’s own lived experience growing up in a Mexican household in Chicago. Previous works aim to challenge incomplete identities constructed by two-dimensional ideas of Latino culture, translating the Mexican American or Chicana identity through her explorations of language, radical code-switching, while weaving elements of Latin American folk art and mythology into multi-layered works of art.
The project will result in a permanent large scale artwork installed in the school alongside other outcomes at The Showroom in Summer 2018.
Alicia Reyes McNamara received her MFA from the University of Oxford’s Ruskin School of Art, after completing her BFA at California College of the Arts. Her work has been included in Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2016 exhibition at the Bluecoat and later at London’s Institute of Contemporary Art. Reyes McNamara was awarded the South London Gallery Graduate Residency 2016-17 and her exhibition ‘Nowhere Else’ was exhibited in the first floor galleries in late spring 2017. Her work was included in the exhibition ‘Language of Puncture’ at Gallery101 in Canada. She is a part of Artquest’s 2017 PEER FORUM at Camden Art Centre. Alicia is originally from Chicago and is currently based in London.