Informed by her experience as a Venezuelan woman living in Australia, and positioning herself both within and outside the Venezuelan diaspora, Nadia Hernández makes art as a means to connect with a sense of place that exists beyond psychic and geographic boundaries.
She negotiates complex narratives, weaving the personal and the political, to create a highly recognisable visual language expressed through painting, installation and sculpture. Her works weave together the complexities of memory, despair, hope and reconciliation, reminding us that these opposing sensations often co-exist.
Can you tell us about your approach to interpreting Ben Shewry's Jelly Bean Ice Cream for your Food For Everyone poster?
I've always been a fan of Ben Shewry, since I first saw his episode on Chef's Table. I'm also a big lover of all iced desserts, specially ice cream. The thought of Jelly Bean Ice Cream immediately filled me with joy and I knew that the correct approach for the artwork would be to use oil sticks, so that richness of the pigment could capture the essence of the ice cream. The work is an ode to the ingredients and process, dancing together like characters in a story book, colliding in the center in the form of a luscious red cone!
What was it like using a food as a subject?
It’s one of my favourite types of inspiration, as recipes and food have inspired me in the past. In 2020 I did a whole body of work which was dedicated to my mom’s recipes, it was called con la punta de los dedos (with the tips of your fingers)
What is one of your happiest food memories?
One of my happiest food memories was making hallacas – a traditional Venezuelan Christmas dish, with my family, all together in December 2019.
What do you cook for the people you love?
If we were to peer into your pantry and fridge, what are 5 things we would always find?
You would always find, berries, coconut water, Harina Pan, frozen mango, and kimchi!
What sort of food did you eat growing up?
I was very lucky to grow up around an incredible cook, my mom! I know everyone always says this about their moms, but she’s given me so much insight into our Venezuelan cuisine, always maintaining our traditions alive through food and music.
Portraits by Gavin Green, Michael Pham
Attica's Jelly Bean Ice Cream by Ben Shewry & Nadia Hernandez