The Cabinet of Curiosities was commissioned by the Coordination of Communities & Cultures of Casa Latinoamericana with support from the National Lottery Community Fund as part of our 40th Anniversary celebrations. Renowned artist Joana Galego, who was already part of our charity’s user community, generously agreed to design and execute this mural located at the interior entrance of our Kilburn community center with the kind assistance of several volunteers who offered their time and talent over the course of four days to make it happen.
The inspiration for our mural comes from the infinite wealth of creativity and craftsmanship of our Latin American artisans, who work with their hands to create beautiful utilitarian and decorative pieces that are part of our material heritage and our daily lives when we are in Latin America. In the mural you can see representations of artisan techniques such as basketry, ceramics, weaving, embroidery, carpentry, papier-mâché, hat making, pottery and more.
Joana was also inspired by the botanical biodiversity of Latin America, including the following endemic flowers:
- Peristeria elata “Flower of the Holy Spirit” (Panama)
- Ipe-Amarelo Handroanthus albus (Brazil)
- Guarianthe Skinneri “Guaria Morada” (Costa Rica)
- Copihue Lapageria rosea (Chile)
- Patuju Heliconia rostrata (Bolivia)
- Plumeria rubra “Sacuanjoche” (Nicaragua)
- Pereskia quisqueyana “Rosa de Bayahibe” (Dominican Republic)
- Yucca elephantipes “Flor de izote” (El Salvador)
- Cattleya mossiae “Venezuelan Orchid” (Venezuela, Colombia)
- Dahlia pinnata (Mexico)
Joana hopes the mural will bring joy, warmth and a sense of familiarity to the Latin American community that visits the center. We wish to appeal to people’s memory, inviting them to identify familiar elements that transport them to their countries and cultures of origin.
The Latin American House staff members, trustees and volunteers thank Joana Galego for so generously sharing her enormous talent with the community, as well as Jessica Panchi, Cesar Muñoz and the anonymous volunteers who assisted Joana during the process of painting the mural. We are excited to celebrate our 40th anniversary with the Latin American community and hope that many generations of Latin Americans will enjoy this lovingly made piece of art.
The mural can be visited from Monday to Thursday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm at 10 Kingsgate Place, London NW6 4TA.