Exhibition Visit: Casa Tomada by Rafael Gómezbarros At The Lowry

It feels like a very long time since I last posted about an exhibition visit, which is odd because I seem to have been going to loads of galleries recently as I am working on my Final Major Project at university. On Tuesday I visited this very interesting (and somewhat creepy) installation at The Lowry gallery in Salford Quays and thought I'd do a quick write up. 

The piece is by Columbian artist Rafael Gomezbarros, and consists of 1000 handcrafted ants, made from fibreglass casts of two human skulls along with twigs and rags, which scramble around the walls and ceiling of The Lowry’s long gallery space. In the installation, Gomezbarros explores issues experienced by undocumented immigrants and migrant workers, often displaced by war and unrest in their native countries and left feeling invisible and ignored by society. The unclean and grotesque visual appearance of the ants seeks to echo how migrants are often seen by wider society as unsightly vermin. Along with this however, the installation also celebrates the hardworking and productive nature of ants and in turn the positive contribution that migrants and immigrants make to society. 

Alongside the artwork itself, there were photographs displayed of Casa Tomada when it has been installed on the exterior of major public buildings across the world. The piece is often placed at points of departure and arrival that are historically significant for travellers and migrants and if you look into the history of the Manchester Ship Canal which The Lowry overlooks, it's easy to see why Salford is the perfect place to display this work due to it's diverse cultural history.

The Lowry isn't a gallery I tend to visit often however I'm very glad I gave this exhibition a look. Part artwork, part political statement, I found the piece extremely powerful and of course, visually incredible. 

Casa Tomada is running until Sunday 26th April @ The Lowry in Salford Quays 

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