Born 1967 in São Paulo, Brazil Lives and Works in São Paulo

“Jatobás: … They are archetypes of female wisdom. For me they are like the old trees that maintain the forest and keep it alive. They organise the life and the plants that emerge. They are an archetype that we cannot find in Western civilisation … Búfalas (she buffalos): The Búfala means black female qualities that don’t fit within Western archetypes. I think of them as liberty, healthy sexuality and decisiveness. They are an attempt to use new parameters to think about what it is to be a female in a country like Brazil.”

Rosana Paulino’s drawings of inspirational anthropomorphic figures continue the artist’s empowerment of Afro-Brazilian mythological archetypes. Situated within the familiar galleries of medieval and Renaissance painting and ceramics at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Paulino’s drawings add a bright intimacy and legacy to the often dark-coloured paintings of Christian hierarchy. In this way, Paulino simultaneously inserts and reactivates another world culture through new multifaceted beings that celebrate the representation of black women. These drawings form part of Paulino’s broader practice of re-making and exploring layers of historical representation and the legacy of slavery as well as the entanglement of aesthetic, social and psychological worlds. Rosana Paulino explores, as a main theme, the investigation of black people, and in particular, black women in Brazilian society. She has participated in many art exhibitions in Brazil and abroad and has received several awards in Brazil for her art, especially scholarships to undertake both academic studies and artistic creation. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with assistance from NIRIN 500 patrons