In October 2013 Sarah Gibson together with photographer Digby Duncan undertake a collaborative artist residency with Obracadobra in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Artist Statement

We are interested in Octavio Paz’s statement: ‘’Death” is not pronounced in New York, in Paris, in London [and Sydney] because it burns the lips. The Mexican is familiar with death, jokes about it, caresses it; it is one of his favorite toys and most steadfast love. It is true that there is the same fear that others have, but at least he doesn’t hide this fear, nor does he hide death; he contemplates her face with impatience, with contempt, irony.’[i]

On this journey we enter the Mexican realm of death and the Underworld. Creatively and conceptually our starting point will be the Day of The Dead rituals and celebrations and to encounter Mictecacihuatl, the Aztec  “Lady of the Underworld’.

We plan to weave into our work in Oaxaca, Digby’s photographic work with the themes of fate and death and decay and Sarah’s film work and painting practice including a character ‘Red Girl’ who expresses her inner emotional psychological journeys. Sarah brings Red Girl to Mexico with a view to experimenting with the interface between video and painting.

From the residency in Oaxaca we hope to return with the seeds of an innovative work that brings together place, story, mythology, dream, and cultural and psychological reflections.


[i] Octavio Paz’ Death in the Mirror’ in The Mexican Day of the Dead (ed) Chloe Sayer. Boston: Shambhala, 1990

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