Mapuche & Cecilia Castro


I was born in Santiago Chile and I now live in Sydney Australia.  My Chilean education stopped when we left Chile for a better life in Australia in 1977.

I am now studying Bachelor of Visual Arts at The University of Sydney, Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) as a mature aged student.  In my studies I began to write about topics that interested me such as Female genital mutilation and others but I felt like this was not part of me.  I had worked for Red Cross and I had come across this topic during my work with them.

Previous to starting at SCA, I was painting with oils.  I was obsessively painting the Australian landscape, places that had a history, places that stood out to people in my  local community, but they did not mean anything to me.  I did not experience those stories. I needed to write about me, my life and my world.

Nepean River Menangle

Nepean River at Menangle is located near Campbelltown NSW, AUSTRALIA.

I notice that in a few of my works I had made or written at SCA, I wrote about my roots, where I came from, my history as a person, as an individual. I began to research the Mapuche.  My mother has often told me that she had never meet her father but she also said that her aunties had told her on many occasions that he was an ‘indio’, a Mapuche.

The Mapuche are the largest indigenous group in Chile and are also the most disadvantaged.  They live under the poverty line with little or no education at all.  They are discriminated against and unfairly treated.  The dispossession of traditional Mapuche land continues to be taken from the Mapuches as they desperately try to regain land rights from one of the most unequal countries in the world, Chile.

These pages will explore the Mapuches as my research takes me closer to becoming a contemporary artist.

To view other oil painting go to www.ceciliacastro.com

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