Graduates 2020: Ursula Vargas: Painting

My work is done based on memories from trips on the road in my country of origin Peru and later here in Europe, been the motorway the conduit to these imaginary landscapes of escapism and to my work.

Extensive research on Peruvian coastal ancient civilisations imagery together with Motorway photographs along the Pacific coastal desert taken by me during trips and memories mixed with cartoons from my childhood, like the Willie Coyote (a great painter of fake tunnels) and the never catch Road Runner, are reflected on my work together with other environmental signs and subjects related to the landscape, like the moving hills, San Pedro cactus, ancient imagery, giving this way a magical connotation to the work.

Have question myself in this process the in between position and the otherness, something that will like to develop further, together with the awareness since childhood of the historical intervention of humanity on the change of occurrence of natural disasters that are a function of climate change like the phenomenon of El Niño (ENSO) affecting the flora, fauna and human population, including cultural heritage of humanity in a very aggressive way, and its consequences, like flooding and drought, producing famine, poverty and therefore, social conflicts and chaos. Like this virus, that is product of deforestation and over population crossing natural boundaries. Reasons why I use in my practice recycled cardboard boxes together with other recycled materials, that have been introducing gradually in the work.

I haven’t got anything on video, but my last piece of work titled “Self Portrait “, was produced in within the lockdown after finishing my canvases with previous works, so got a wood panel from the tip and decided to do work with what I’ve got at hand, left over spray paintings from the Aldi’s mural project in London rd. that we did with other students from university last year, cling film and my own recycled rubbish, portraying through them myself, in a decadent landscape of escapism.


How have you found your course/time at Brighton?

As a mature Peruvian artist studying and living in Brighton, have had the opportunity to develop, create an artist network and exhibit my work in this vibrant community. Have noticed as well, a much faster progress in within the university environment than many years of been solo; the exposure with other artists, tutors and the discipline I acquired by going to the studio every day all day, have result on great progress in my practice, something that I will like to keep on doing.

The studio space offered, allowed me to continue with my painting practice and was able to combine my life experience together with everything I’ve learn at University to produce work. Being surrounded by other artists was a huge benefit to all of us artists and institution, this way we could produce collaborative and individual work, influencing and challenging each other. It gave me also the opportunity to create my painting or artist network for the future participating in Art events and exhibitions being this way fully committed to my work and institution.


What are your plans after Graduation?

 Have applied for a Postgraduate course at the Royal Drawing School in London, to an art studio residence in Miami for next year, and to Phoenix art residence program here in Brighton. My pans are to continue with my work and to look for opportunities here in the Uk and abroad.

Ursula’s website

Ursula’s blog

Follow Ursula on Instagram

See Ursula’s work at the Graduate Show 2020

Find out more about BA(Hons) Fine Art Painting

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