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Lorena Ancona, K`awiil, 2018. Low temperature ceramics, organic and mineral pigments. 9 x 45 x 6 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Lorena Ancona, Imix, 2018. Limestone, low temperature ceramic, tropical wood (Tzalam), mixture of earths and mineral pigments. 164 x 155 x 32 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Lorena Ancona, Yu'um lu'um, yu'um ka'an, 2017. Installation view. Sculpture, ceramics, painting and textile. Variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Agustín Estrada.

Lorena Ancona, Cohune Dance, 2017. Limestone stucco on canvas, pigments. 38 x 32 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Lorena Ancona works across sculpture, ceramics, painting and textiles to speculate on and retrace techniques and materials associated with Mesoamerican craft traditions. Of particular interest is the use of the pigment Maya blue, a composite of organic and mineral constituents that features in the artworks of several Pre-Colombian cultures. Through a hypothetical approach to ancient techniques and methodologies, her work aims to bridge the intangible displacement of forgotten traditions and to re-imagine materialities that would otherwise be lost to history.

During her residency at Gasworks, Lorena will continue her research on Mesoamerican iconography by studying the writing, photographs and casts of ancient Mayan sites made by the Victorian explorer and archaeologist Alfred Maudslay, held at the British Museum. This research will inform a new series of drawings, sculptures and textile pieces made with natural dyes and materials such as clay, stucco and organic fibres.


Lorena Ancona lives and works between Oaxaca and Quintana Roo. She studied at the National Academy of Visual Arts ENPEG “La Esmeralda”, Mexico City and the National School of Decorative Arts ENSAD in Paris. Recent exhibitions include: Materia y Oficio, Zapopan Art Museum, Jalisco; Naturally, Lulu, Mexico City (both 2018); Modos de Ver (V edition BBVA-MACG), Museo Carrillo Gil, Mexico City & Centro Cultural Olimpo, Mérida (2017-2018); Cohune Dance, Parallel Oaxaca; X Alfredo Zalce Biennial, Morelia, Michoacan (both 2017); and X Nicaragua Biennial, Casa Deshón, León, Nicaragua (2016).

Lorena Ancona’s residency is supported by Gasworks’ Mexico Residency Patrons’ Circle.