The RMIT School of Art has had many rich exchanges with Mexico over the years.
The Garland journey now ventures across the Pacific to the region of Oaxaca, legendary for its crafts, festivals and cuisine. Mexico appeals globally as a culture of colour and celebration, even in death. But what principles underpin this? For this issue, we’ve been offered the Zapotec concept of Guendalisaà, as the process of “crafting kinship” by making costumes, decorations and installations. Our quarterly essayist Tessa Laird takes us on her journey to understand the way animals inhabit the creative lives of artisans in southern Mexico, underpinned by the concept of nagual, or animal spirit. There’s a feast of stories and beautiful objects. Enjoy lives well made! Read on.
This issue features stories of an Australian love affair with Mexico. Why is this so? According to RMIT’s Damian Smith, “anyone coming from an ordered and well-regulated culture like Australia might also be inspired by the sheer exuberance of a culture that seemingly sets no limits on where, when or how, art and culture might manifest.”