Showing at the LSE GenDen beginning 4 December 2020.
Tickets for the event on 4 December here.

This show has been set up remotely with the support of LSE Generate, the home for entrepreneurship at London School of Economics. The artist would like to thank LJ Silverman and Alice Eddie for so graciously putting the pieces together and embracing art in the GenDen.  

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refuge: artist statement
about the artist
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refuge / artist statement

There are some moments in life when what you need to catch you is a steady, warm embrace. In refuge, I have drawn together a collection of hugs of greeting, of reunion, of comfort, of belonging. You will recognize these hugs. 

I began painting these embraces before we needed to keep our distance from one another. I had no idea then that for this slice of history, even what we thought were mundane parts of our personal lives, would be altered and redesigned on an international scale, for safety, for survival. In this year of the Covid-19 pandemic and of physical distancing – human touch, physical connection, these humble hugs, are for many, more poignant, more special, and sadly for some, achingly out of reach. 

In my process of drawing and painting these works, looking at my hugs in progress would stir emotions in me – of sadness, of nostalgia, of comfort, of joy. What one might call the basic mechanics of a hug, such as the act of putting one’s arms around another, became important elements of telling and discovering a story, wrapped around the embrace. A slight shift in the tilt of a chin, the repositioning of a hand, or the softer angle of a brow’s curve – these changes could alter the emotion, the context behind the embrace. As I brought more detail into the figures, scenarios would develop, not from my mind, but from the canvas itself. Coming to life on the page, I would see friends reuniting or a couple comforting each other.

As you stand in front of these pieces, may they bring you a sense of refuge. I hope a good hug from memory will come to mind and wrap reassurance around you. 

The works in this collection are originally made with oil paint on canvas or ink on paper. All these prints are Giclée prints on Canson Aquarelle Rag. Some are photos of works in progress, others have been finished as digital illustrations. These are pieces that I’ve been working on for the last nine months, from four different houses I’ve lived in during this year. These paintings are a part of an ongoing series of works that focus on embrace.

nathania aritao

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about the artist

Nathania is an artist, entrepreneur and social justice advocate.
As a painter, she works primarily with oil paint, pen, charcoal, and digital ink – on canvas, wood, and paper. Her work is full of movement, texture and story. Her favourite subjects are bodies in motion, dancers, people embracing, portraits of age, and elephants. She sews her poetry into her visual work. 

Nathania is from the Philippines. She studied art in Costa Rica and the United States. She has an MBA from Oxford and now lives in London

Follow her on Instagram at @nathania.speaks

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leave a note for the artist

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purchase a print from the collection

Only available for a limited time.
Price per print from £109 gbp.

Click here to purchase a print or visit: www.bitl.y/refugeprints

  • For orders of 2 prints or more, packaging and postage is free for UK addresses.
  • Charges apply for international shipping.
  • Please allow up to 10 days for UK addresses and up to 16 days for international address. Notify us immediately if the artwork has arrived with any damages.
  • No returns – but exchanges allowed.
  • Prints ordered after 22 December may experience some delays due to the holidays.

For exchanges – buyer covers cost of shipping and price difference, if the exchange piece is of higher value. Art must be in excellent condition for exchange.

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