Santalma uses her artwork to reflect a positive view of her homeland of Colombia, specifically the Caribbean region of her birth. She uses the passion of her country as a source of inspiration, influenced by its colours, joy, cultural contrasts, biodiversity, flavours and rhythms that resulted from the miscegenation of Indigenous, Spanish and African heritage. With these rich traditions, Santalma portrays the beauty of the Afro-Colombian women, with their deep gazes carrying their history and legacy with pride.
Colombia is a place where joy is in full bloom, and the flavour is in the blood if its people, thanks to the rhythms of cumbia, currulao, porro, mapalé, bambuco, joropo, torbellino, guabina, salsa, champeta and vallenato. This is a county with the world’s largest variety of flowers, birds and butterflies. It is home to 10% of the world’s wildlife. You can try a new fruit every day for a year.
Yurian Karolina Serrano Pabón, known as Santalma, is a Colombian-born artist of great versatility. She was born into a family of well-recognised Colombian artists and sculptors, and trained in theatre arts at the Teatro Libre in Bogotá, before moving to Europe to continue her training at William Layton Laboratorio de Teatro and Studio Corazza, both in Madrid. She has worked in Colombia on various film, theatre and television productions, as well as a professional dancer and choreographer in music videos and performances including the Latin Grammy Awards.
She has exhibited in New Zealand, Colombia and Madrid.
Santalma’s exhibition is part of the Cultural Conversations series that will take place of the coming months.