Skip to main content
Sculpture (MA)

Albeiro R. Tomedes

My early years were spent in the Colombian Amazon. Much of my current inspiration comes from the complete contrast between the natural environment where I grew up and life in the UK.

Sometimes you can see me in the streets collecting skins of paint from dilapidated walls for my projects or collecting puddles and migrating them from West to East and vice versa, or passing by, walking with my noisy pet made of lots of cans.


Education

​MA in Sculpture Royal College of Arts  RCA, 2021

​Graduate Diploma Art & Design : Fine Art, Royal College of Arts RCA, 2019

​BA(Hons) Painting Camberwell College of Arts (UAL), 2015

Awards/Prizes

Mall Galleries - Federation of British Artists, FBA Futures Award – Winner Raw Talent 2015

Invention Award, Pop My Mind Community, 2015

Residencies

Standpoint Gallery – London, “Prick & Stitch Alliance Together It Seams” Royal College of Arts, 2021

​Standpoint Gallery – London, “Dirty Hands & Revelations – The Great Oxygenation Event” Royal College of Arts, 2020

​DISCTHEART, Private Residency India, 2015

Solo Exhibitions

Celador, Bermondsey Island, “Creator : Wrecker” London (2018) ASC Studios, “Tomedes Open A.R.T. Studio” London (2016) Celador, Bermondsey Island, “SOLO A.R.T.” London (2015)

Group Exhibitions 

Standpoing Gallery, “Prick & Stitch Alliance Together It Seams”, London (2021) Southwark Park Galleries 36thAnnual Open Exhibition (online), London (20-21) Standpoing Gallery, “Dirty Hands and Revelations - The Great Oxygenation Event”, London (2020) Royal College of Arts, MA Sculpture WIP Show (2020) Royal College of Arts, “Parenthesis” Graduate Diploma show (2019) London Bridge Hotel OPEN, Southwark Artist Group Show, London(2019) Lomaka Gallery, Affordable Art Fair Hampstead, London (2018) Lomaka Gallery, London (2017) Lubomirov / Angus-Hughes Gallery, “Summer Salon”, London (2016) Lubomirov / Angus-Hugues Gallery “Sixty”, London (2016) New Ashgate Gallery “Rising Stars Exhibition” Farnham (2016) Lalit Kala Art Gallery, Bhubaneswar (2015) Pop My Mind Community, Ipswich (2015) Ministerio de Cultura Colombia - Proyecto Identidad en Circulación, “15th Salon Regional de Artistas Plásticos” Colombia (2015) Hoxton Arch Gallery, “Raw Talent” Selected Artist, London (2015) Camberwell College of Arts, BA Degree Show, London (2015) International Greek Art Fair “Art Athina”, Athens (2015) Art Lacuna Gallery “Quiet Magazine Exhibition”, London (2015) Peckham Platform “Open” London (2014) Brixton Homegrown Art Festival, London (2014) International Greek Art Fair “Art Athina”, Athens (2014) UAL Art Exhibition “FLESH” London Bridge (2014) Southwark Park Galleries, UAL “UNIT” Second Year Degree Show, Camberwell College of Arts, London (2014) Peckham Space “Peckham Open” London (2013) The Flying Dutchman Exhibition, London (2013) Flat Time House, “The Natural Now” London, (2013) University of Arts London, Camberwell, Year 1 Final Show (2013)

My practice explores the boundaries and new angles between painting, sculpture, installation and woven textiles, merging the practices, exploiting a depth of opportunity to convey meaning through innovative and dynamic forms.

Growing up in the Colombian Amazon has greatly influenced my work and is a source of inspiration. I feel deeply for the natural and cultural riches of the Amazon, which are increasingly threatened by encroaching development as the destructive forces of gentrification and globalisation undermine nature’s magnificent legacy. This brings a driving anger to my work.

Living in the dark and difficult times of pandemic; climate disaster; consumerism; inequality; injustice and social struggles, my projects and art practice challenge and respond to all sorts of global events. Quarantine and the adjustments to a “new normal”, online life have both stimulated and affected how my art practice has developed. It continued to respond in a diverse, original and creative way to socio-political events related to today’s different crises and the uncertainties of the near future, whilst aiming to galvanise an audience towards social change. My practice has been influenced and inspired by the works of artists such as Lucio Fontana, Mark Bradford, Anselm Kiefer, Angela de la Cruz, Doris Salcedo, Kazimir Malevich, Jackson Pollock, amongst others.

The Apple Tree - (As a Flag)

Every apple tree may bear a rotten fruit.

“A tree is a weed if it is in the wrong place.”

I adopted a self-seeded apple tree about four years ago, rescuing it from a construction site where it was about to be destroyed. I decided to give it a chance by planting the tree in a pot. Happily, the tree responded well and has even given me some apples.

To develop the shape of the tree as a flag, I cut some branches and wired others so that they would grow in a direction that reinforced the shape. This flag is alive, but at the same time it was being manipulated to take the direction I wanted. I feel that the wired branches are how many people in the world experience their lives: they are wired and tied, their growth controlled and manipulated. Their roots are constrained and are not allowed to expand. The cut branches represent those people that want to be free, that want to express themselves and have a say, visibility, a chance, opportunities. But they are silenced by being cut.

The Apple Tree is being manipulated, both its visible branches and also its invisible roots. Each of our personal landscapes are being shaped, depending on the society we live in and its politics, government and the Establishment.

The Apple Tree has many connotations: Religious, Sexual, Health, Nutritional, Industrial, Environmental, Political, Social.

I will continue to prune and train the tree into a flag-like shape so that finally it will form a flag on a flagpole - a symbol representing the lack of inter-governmental agreement on policies to address climate change. Governments adopt a symbolic position – like this flag – but they only talk, without taking meaningful action. Yet, actions are urgently needed before is too late. Our place in this world is on a countdown.

Some of the artists I researched to get inspiration from supporting my ideas and work are: John Gerrard who created a simulated flag of black smoke as a symbol of climate change. Abraham Cruzvillegas in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern: The Site for Empty Lot.

Anselm Kieffer installation: Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow.

https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/507264121

Medium:

Video - The Apple Tree

Size:

1 min. 30 sec
Walking My Pet
Walking My Pet

Walking MY PET highlights pressing socio-political and environmental issues whilst challenging entrenched perceptions of reality.

We live in a time of devastation. The destructive consequences of industrialised societies and impacts that are progressively destroying the planet inspired me to create Walking MY PET. The work reflects upon humanity’s blindness and deafness to the devastation being wreaked on our very own home – Planet Earth - due to our negligent behaviour and ignorance of environmental consequences. Although governments cannot agree on how to address today’s emergency, hope remains as long as we can recognise the problem, identify solutions and take action. A seismic shift is required in our consciousness about the world and the way we live in it, with a global effort to defend and heal our planet from the damage caused by human activities such as mining, agriculture, deforestation and consumerism. Changed interaction with the natural world is urgently needed before it is too late.

Francis Alys and Alastair Maclennan inspired this walking performance. Gustav Metzger’s concept of Auto-destructive Art and Donna J. Haraway’s book “Staying with the Trouble” invite us to reconfigure the relationship between the Earth and all its inhabitants.

Our planet is making a noise.

It is shouting at us in a multitude of ways: there is a desperate need to take action. The planet’s voice is disregarded and ignored.

We must listen and urgently engage with solutions.

Our time is counting down.

Walking MY PET video was made before lockdown in London and during lockdown in Hertfordshire.

Medium:

Video

Size:

1min 20 sec
— The walls are witness to the grief of thousands and witness to the criminals and their victims walking past.
— When collecting this skin of paint, I am collecting people’s sorrow. I feel exposed, very uncomfortable, unsafe. However, I feel a need to protect this evidence as the paint contains a truth somewhere within the multiple layers. It is a part of Colombia’s violent history.
Weeping Walls series (Falsos Positivos \ False Positives)
Weeping Wall series ( Nos están matando \ They are killing us )
Weeping Wall series (Quien los mató? / Who killed them?)

Graffiti vents the pain and protest of thousands of people all around the world. In Colombia it is no less so. Years of society and politics being ruptured by corruption, injustice and exploitation by the establishment have meant people take to the streets, begging for justice as a last resort. Desperation and anger are painted on the walls, expressions of frustration and rage. These are the “weeping walls” of the oppressed.

In Colombia the walls are the witnesses of massacres, kidnappings and death. The walls are witness to the grief of thousands and to the criminals and their victims walking past. I wish the walls could talk. Some of the worst cases are perpetuated by the state’s army, victims the product of a corrupt system. No justice has yet been forthcoming despite the families’ campaigns. They are not heard, so they take to painting messages on the street walls... only for their cries to be painted over by the army.

The walls cry, shout, weep with people’s pain as the paint deteriorates and peels whilst waiting for another layer to cover the previous lament. The walls carry a multitude of desperations. When the burden is too heavy, the paint falls.

This painting is made from skins of paint flaking from the protestations on the dilapidated walls along the streets of Colombia. It is a testament to the enduring grief, sorrow and pain of my broken country.


https://justiceforcolombia.org

http://www.indepaz.org.co

https://www.temblores.org

Medium:

Skins of paint collected from walls in the streets of Colombia

Size:

170x160cm approx
W | E — Collected puddles in jars 80x50 cms
W|E (West | East)

W|E

West | East

My journey across London from West to East revealed the diversity of communities differing dramatically in ethnic mix and cultural identity. This coexistence contrasts with many historical conflicts between West and East, often fuelled by the purposeful exaggeration of differences between peoples or cultures, as Samuel Huntington described in his controversial article “The Clash of Civilisation” [1]

Conflicts and strife generate vast waves of migration globally, putting strains upon receiving communities where difference, rather than commonality, becomes the paradigm.  However, alongside the many contrasts across London, commonalities are easily observed. Sometimes the more abstract banalities of the quotidian, common objects and experiences emphasise the diversity of peoples coexisting in a city.

My project focuses on banal objects. Collecting, cleaning and migrating these items between West and East, I aim to capture unifying features of places whilst also acknowledging the migration of people. Puddles of dirty water and patches of grass look the same regardless of location. Objects found along the route were symbolically cleansed. Parted of their long-held possessions and with their substance revealed beneath, they looked equally at home when relocated.

My art installation displays puddles and grass collected on my journey West to East across London. Recognising they are indistinguishable, the central exhibit of each is a fusion of both sides. The symbolism aims to cut through the many judgmental perceptions of migrants. All humankind – as Yoko Ono captured in her poem “We Are All Water” - should have an equal place in society, regardless of location.


water talk


you are water

I’m water

we’re  all water in different containers

that’s why it’s so easy to meet

someday we’ll evaporate together


but even after the water’s gone

we’ll probably point out to the  containers

and say, “ that’s me there, that one.”

we’re container minders


Yoko Ono

For  Half-A-Wind Show, Lisson Gallery,

London, 1967



[1] “Differences among civilizations are too basic in that civilizations are differentiated from each other by history, language, culture, tradition, and, most importantly, religion. These fundamental differences are the product of centuries and the foundations of different civilizations, meaning they will not be gone soon.”

https://web.archive.org/web/20110720165019/http://edvardas.home.mruni.eu/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/huntington.pdf

Medium:

Collected Puddles in Jars - Art Installation and Video

Size:

80x50cm / 1min :38sec
The Renaissance
The Renaissance
The Renaissance

These shared images reflect my experience of being ill with Covid19 as well as participating in the RCA program residency, “Prick and Stitch Alliance”, at Standpoint Gallery.

I reflected during my time in hospital, thinking that being pricked with needles was in some way related to the residency. My body was a lab for all sorts of remedies. I made a piece for the residency’s exhibition during my 11-nights' quarantine stay at the Renaissance Hotel upon returning to the UK. I was still recovering from Covid 19 some weeks earlier and my lungs were still affected. As backing for the work, I used the material that had wrapped my medicine for transport on the flight home. Pricking and stitching this material was a fragile undertaking. I viewed the scan of my lungs taken in hospital in Colombia and copied the image onto the work. The needle piercing the material felt like the pain in my lungs, a feeling I infused into the work.

Unexpectedly, books on medicine, body and health influenced my work. I was stimulated in a new way and my own body, habits and routines became a focus of discussion, whilst also containing reflections on today’s pandemic and the idea of a collective infection due to our nature as a social species. Being alone also shaped my work, seeing how fragile but at the same time how strong our body is to fight on.

Medium:

Foam wrap, wool and thread

Size:

120x100 cm
Sneeze (Lungs), 2020

Sneeze (Lungs) reflects upon not only the Covid 19 pandemic but also the impacts of human beings’ avarice. The image resembles lungs infected by more than just Covid – a wider disease that takes away our breath and leaves us without oxygen. 

Bottle tops were collected from the streets - throw-away items that epitomise modern consumerism: mass-produced, ordinary, used, worthless, then discarded. The insidious effects of money, saturation advertising and constant exposure to images pressurise us to buy products, manipulate desires, influence expectations and diminish our contentedness. Consumerism impacts survivability of both the individual and increasingly fragile cultures across the world. 

Medium:

Bottle Tops Installation

Size:

80x200 cm
Another World is Possible

This installation of plants planted in plastic or branded tins, positioned upon sections from a felled tree, represents industry, consumerism and capitalism that together are impacting most on climate change and the natural world. The work examines the contrast between the suppression and destruction of the environment in places like the Amazon, with the artificial environment of indoor plants, where we strive to control and constrain houseplants manipulating them in pots. Is this similar to our lives being controlled by invisible pots and wires?

The work relates to Donna J. Haraway’s book “Staying with the Trouble”, in which she proposes reconfiguring our relationship with Planet Earth in times of increasing ecological devastation. Rebecca Tamas also questions the relationship between human and non-human beings. Her book of essays, “Stranger”, is also a reflection on how to reconnect with our currently unloved world in this critical time of rapid extinctions.

The viewer is challenged to reconnect with our origins in mother nature. As the environmental philosopher, Timothy Morton, says “it isn’t hard to love nature as an awe-inspiring open space”. Many interdependencies support life, forming a dynamic balance for the continued healthy existence of the world that depends upon how we interact with the natural world. In this very moment, the planet demands respect, honest attention and vigilant care, but that is being prevented by a damaging, rampant consumerism. This is urgent: death stalks and life is a privilege that we should celebrate.

Medium:

Plants in pots