María Peña is a Colombian visual artist currently based in Melbourne. She studied Bachelor of Fine Arts with major in painting and ceramics at the Art School Academia Superior de Artes de Bogotá and Doctorate of Fine Arts by research at RMIT University, School of Art in Melbourne. Her practice involves oil paintings on canvas, sculptural fabric pieces, mural painting and installation projects. Her career has developed between Australia and Colombia through solo and collective shows, artist in residency programs and specific projects. Up to now she has participated in solo and collective shows in Colombia, Australia, Mexico, China, Italy, India and the United Arab Emirates. Maria Peña attempts to overlap images of past and present, offering traces to remember and imagine a new re-constructed home and identity. Themes of memory, absent- presence, sense of longing and myth have triggered Maria Peña´s pictorial world and art concepts. Her art has a strong influence from sub-realism ideas and referents from visual and cultural theory. Recent awards and recognitions received by Maria Peña include the 2014 Endeavour Award Vitrina de Arte acknowledged by the Alzate Avendaño Foundation and the Ministry of Culture in Bogotá, Colombia; the 2013 Artist in Residency program, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Art Hub, to represent Australia for the Australian Art Month in Abu Dhabi, UAE; the 2013 art exhibition at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery sponsored by Multicultural Arts Victoria in Melbourne, Australia; the 2011-2012 Artist in Residency program at The Ownership Project, Community artists space in Melbourne, Australia.

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• 2007.Graduate Diploma of Education. ACU. Australian Catholic University. Methods: Visual Arts and LOTE. Melbourne.
• 2004-2007. Doctorate of Fine Arts by Research. RMIT University. School of Art. Melbourne. Australia. Major: Sculpture and video installation. Cultural Theory (including cross-cultural investigations and multiculturalism). Melbourne..
• 2001-2002. Diploma of Modern Art History. Universidad de la Sabana. Bogotá, Colombia.
• 1996-2000. Bachelor of Fine Arts. Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas. Major: Painting and ceramics. Bogotá, Colombia.



• 2015. "Coir and Butterfly". Mural Painting Project. Collateral to the 2nd Art Biennale of India. Kochi. South India.
• November 2014. “Vitrina de Arte” Exhibition. Sponsored by Galería Alzate Avendaño. Bogotá, Colombia.
• October-November 2014. "Re-construction". Mural Painting Project. Casa Kilele, Creative Space. Bogotá/Colombia.
• October 2014. “Spaces for the Memory”. Museum Casa La Presentación. Cartagena. Colombia. 6th Female Arts Festival of Cartagena.
• October 2014. “El Hilo que nos Une” (The Thread that Unites Us). Mural Painting Project. La Boquilla, Cartagena. Colombia.
• June 2014. “The Fabric of time”. Springr Community Artists Space. Kochi. India. (Artist in Residency Program)
• March 2014. “Façade“. A Memory Sculpture. Cube 37 Gallery. Frankston Arts Centre. Victoria. Australia. Ventana Arte Festival.
• September 2013. “Overlapping Spaces”. Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery. Melbourne. Australia. Sponsored by Multicultural Arts Victoria.
• April 2013. “Encountered Visions”. Abu Dhabi Art Hub. Abu Dhabi. Emirates United Arab. (Artist in Residency Program)
• March 2013. “Domesticated Tongue”. Cube 37 Gallery. Frankston Arts Centre. Victoria. Australia. Ventana Arte Festival.
• November 2012. “Fachada”. The Ownership Project Gallery. Fitzroy. Melbourne. Australia. (Artist in Residency Program)
• September 2012. “Landscapes for the Memory“. Brunswick Street Gallery. September 2012. Melbourne. Australia.
• March 2012. “Remembrances and Oblivions of Home“. The Curved Wall Gallery. Frankston Arts Centre. Victoria. Australia. Ventana Arte Festival.
• September 2011. “Spaces for the Memory“. City library Gallery. Melbourne. Australia.
• June 2010. “Northern Melbourne Exposure“. Dear Gladys Shop. Northcote. Melbourne. Australia.
• August 2009. “Spaces for the Memory”. Substation 12 Gallery. Newport. Melbourne. Australia
• February 2007. “Bodies in Transit“. RMIT School of Art Gallery. Melbourne. Australia.
• January 2005. “Disappearing House”. Depot Gallery, 2 Danks street, Waterloo. New South Wales.
• December 2005. “Disappearing House”. Design and Social Portfolio Gallery. RMIT University. Melbourne. Australia.
• October 2001. “The Labours of the Body“. Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas. Bogotá. Colombia.
• December 2000. “Ergonomic Species“. Academia superior de Artes de Bogotá/ Art School Academy. Bogotá Colombia.
• October 1999. “Counter of Memory“. Plaza de Coayacán. Mexico D.F.

• 2016. “Inhabited”. A Magical Realism”. 45 Downstairs Gallery. Melbourne. Australia
• 2014. “Mimesis”, Artists in Via Di Sanctis. L´Associazone Art and Ground. Manziana/ Rome. Italy
• 2013. "One+Two =12". Black dot Gallery. Melbourne Austraia.
• 2013 "Unseen Habitation". Goodtime Studios Carlton, Australia. Sponsored by RISE (refugees, survivors and ex-detainees) and City of Melbourne.
• 2012, "Utter Silence". 100th Gallery. Melbourne- Australia.
• 2011, , "Pop up Migrants". The Tilt Gallery. Melbourne- Australia.
• 2011, "Group 11th show". Brunswick Street Gallery. Melbourne-Australia.
• 2011, "The Brunswick show", The Whitehorse Wheel. Melbourne-Australia.
• 2010, "2010 Art Prize", Brunswick Street Gallery. Melbourne- Australia.
• 2010, "Emerging Artist", Toyota Annual Show. Melbourne- Australia
• 2008, "Trans-local Motion/ International Students Exhibition". Shanghai Biennale. Shanghai- China.
• 2007, , "Confinis", Counihan Gallery. Melbourne- Australia
• 2007, "Mesh", Span Galleries. Melbourne- Australia.
• 2006, "Borderlines: Memory, space and time". Flinders Upstairs Gallery. Melbourne- Australia.
• 2005, “New Artists”. Pollock Gallery. Melbourne-Australia
• 2005, "Auction Sale Exhibition", First site Gallery RMIT. Melbourne-Australia.
• 2004, "Siemens Art Scholarship Exhibition", RMIT Gallery. Melbourne- Australia.
• 2004, "Auction Sale Exhibition". First Site Gallery. Melbourne-Australia
• 2004, "Crossing Seas", Project Space, RMIT. Melbourne- Australia.
• 2004, "Annual Show". Steps Gallery, Contemporary Art Society of Victoria. Melbourne- Australia.
• 2002, "Fusionarte", Galeria Casa Cuadrada. Bogotá- Colombia,
• 2000, "Fable Acts”, Ministry of Culture. Museum of Modern Art, Medellin, and Academia Superior de Artes de Bogotá. Colombia.
• 1999, "Artistas del Cuerpo" Artists in Residency, Ministry of Culture. Bogotá-Colombia.
• 1999, "8th International Arts Festival ", Utopia-Distopia. Museum Ex-teresa, Arte Actual. Mexico.


• 2014,"The Fabric of Memory and shifting Identities", Press-The Hindu.
• 2014, "Of Landscapes, Faces, and Fabrics", Press-Kochi Chronicle.
• 2013, "Australian Art Month", press-The National. UAE.
• 2009, "The Spaces for the Memory" Maria Esther Pena, Catalogue- Substation 12 Galleries, First edition.
• 2009, “Bodies in Transit”. Press- International student’s exhibition. Shanghai Biennale.
• 2007, "They come, they see, they create", Press-The Age, section “Sightlines” art and culture..
• 2007, “Bodies in Transit”. Maria Esther Peῆa Briceῆo. Pages 66/67, Catalogue-School of Art. RMIT University.
• 2004, "Artists as researches", Magazine Postgraduate Reporter. Wollongong University. Number 1.
• 2000, "Project Pentágono". Investigations of contemporary art in Colombia. Catalogue of the Ministry of Culture. Bogotá, Colombia. Section “Fable Acts”. Art, body and thinking, Pages 92-93.
• 1999, VIII International Performance Festival "Utopίa/distopίa". First Edition. ISNB (Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes). Museo Ex_teresa Arte Actual Mexico. Pages 46-47.


Themes of memory, absent- presence, sense of longing and myth have triggered Maria Peña´s pictorial world and art concepts. Her art has a strong influence from sub-realism ideas and referents from visual and cultural theory. Ana Mendieta, Hossein Valamanesh, Ann Hamilton, Doris Salcedo.

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