“Yacharuna”, an exhibition by indigenous artist Domingo Cuatindioy opened in the Courthouse Gallery on Saturday 11 September at 5pm by poet Brian Mooney, with music by Michael Hynes and Denis Liddy.
Domingo Cuatindioy was born in 1959 into the Ingano tribe, whose homeland in the foothills of the Colombian Andes is a repository of ancient culture and knowledge. It is here the river Putumayo, a major tributary of the Amazon, has its source. The valley itself, known as the “gateway of the Amazon rain forest”, has a powerful and distinct earth energy as well as a strong tradition of natural healers.
Domingo’s people are subsistence farmers and by eight years of age he was already working as a day labourer to help support his family. With only a few months primary education and no artistic training, he suddenly began to draw and paint in his mid-thirties.
His creative inspiration comes from a deep affinity with the natural world, as well as from his experience in the shamanic arts acquired during twenty years with the Siona tribe in the Amazon rain forest of Bajo Putumayo, where he went to live at the age of fifteen.
In the Ingano and Siona cultures the veil between the natural and the supernatural worlds is gossamer thin. Interaction between spirit beings, mortals and animals is part of everyday reality, and dreams are a highly respected source of guidance. For Domingo the unexpected emergence of the artist within, at the age of thirty four and, a year or two later in 1996, his voyage through time and space from the equatorial rain forest to the edge of the Burren in North Clare, were miraculous transformations in his life equal to any in the history of his tribe. The time away from tribal life proved crucial in Domingo’s development as an artist because it allowed him the personal space necessary for his special gift to blossom.
His work, which consists of paintings, carvings, linocuts, wood engravings and, more recently, mosaics on canvas and bone, is characterised by its innate strength of design and loving attention to detail. Above all each piece has a unique and evocative presence.
Since the very positive response to Domingo’s first exhibition in Ennis in 1999, his work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Ireland, France, U.K. and Colombia and is to be found in public and private collections in Europe and the Americas.
“Yacharuna”, meaning shaman in the Inga language, is Domingo’s sixth solo exhibition. The show runs until Thursday 7 October.
Domingo Cuatindioy: YACHARUNA / Shaman. Mosaics, paintings, prints and carvings.
Courthouse Gallery, Parliament Street, Ennistymon, Co. Clare. T: 065 707 1630
Opens Sat 11 Sept 5pm, runs until Thurs 7 Oct | Opening Hours Tues – Sat 12pm - 5pm