Original Drawings & Prints by - DANILO RODRIGUEZ REYES

I find inspiration for my work in many different places, often in the most unexpected ones. I think one of the most random things was my cane laundry hamper, the woven pattern providing intrigue! I am passionate about pre-Columbian art and have often used these as inspiration for making work. The main thing which inspires me, and underpins the vast majority of my work, is that of my experiences as a former refugee. I’ve seen a growing number of articles and social media posts recently with strong anti-refugee sentiments. I think of the struggles that myself and my family went through on our journey to New Zealand, constantly living in fear, the overwhelming feeling of desperation and helplessness, simply so we could live in safety. Views like these inspire me to keep producing my work so that I can raise awareness around the importance of countries like New Zealand accepting refugees, and to connect with others that have shared similar experiences to mine.

When I am creating art I am thinking about the connections and threads from Colombia to New Zealand. The family journey to be in New Zealand with other members of the family in different places of the world – the conversational threads that keep us connected make important entries into my art work. Depending on how I’m feeling or what I’ve got on my mind dictates what the finish product will look like and where the next work starts. My lived experiences in Colombia and the current social issues that impacted on our living situations, friends, neighbours and family often provide subject matter and motivation to create. What’s on my mind literally comes out onto the paper: my work is a visual diary and each work is a moment in time.