Leonardo Uribe is a Colombian emerging artist currently living in Wentworth Falls, NSW. He graduated from Universidad Industrial de Santander with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2004 in Colombia. He has been exhibiting for the last twenty years with more than 25 shows in galleries in Colombia, Venezuela and Australia.
In 2010 Uribe won first prize at the 4th annual Pyrmont Art Festival and received an Honourable Mention in “the secret life of the city” at the 69 Smith Street Art Prize in Melbourne. In 2002 he won first prize at the 4 Salon de Arte Novel in Bucaramanga, Colombia.
Leonardo Uribe explores his past through family and memory and his present through issues around immigration. His drawings, paintings and sculptures feature symbolic materials and objects, including his own hair – referencing his life in Colombia and his current status as an immigrant in Australia.
I work with a mix of symbolic materials, items and objects - including my own and my family’s hair - that remind me my childhood and that reference my Catholic past, my DNA and my connection with my family. Hair in particular is symbolic since I grew up in and around a hair salon. Religious elements appear both consciously and unconsciously throughout my work. I commonly use wood as a material to create my assemblages; I am attracted to worn wood, rusty metal, peeling layers of paint: symbolic materials that remind me of my hometown in Colombia.
As an immigrant in Australia, my work has moved towards focusing on both my past in Colombia and my present in Australia. My past - my family, my house, my town, my religion, and my stories. My present - my status as an immigrant.