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Lido Pimienta’s work explores the politics of gender, race, motherhood, identity, and the construction of the Canadian socio-political landscape in the Latin American and vernacular diaspora, always inseparable from her own experience.

Una serie de textiles de color naranja colgados a la pared de la artista Lido Pimienta
Installation view of “Lido Pimienta: The fabric. The anger. The river”, at Patel Brown, Montreal, Canada. Courtesy of the gallery
Un textil de una máscara color azul sobre fondo naranja realizado por la colombiana Lido Pimienta

Her colorful textile pieces are adorned with Borlas Wayuu (commonly known as pom poms), traditional handicraft practices of the Wayuu people, indigenous to Colombia. Of Wayuu and Afro-Colombian descent, Lido considers the faces she centers in her art to be indigenous and black, those of the people who raised her.

Installation view of “Lido Pimienta The fabric. The anger. The river”, at Patel Brown, Montreal, Canada. Courtesy of the gallery


By Rajni Perera

As she grows, breathes and moves through the act of weaving several practices together, the work of Lido Pimienta feels increasingly inseparable in medium. Her singing voice’s yearning timbre and the poise and position of her sewing and painting hand are the same; they tell me that as transplants we look back. They affirm that immigrant practices manifest in a loop, not a line. As the sickness of the Western Colonial Construct shows its face to us all more than ever before, and its veneer of propaganda geared toward poor nations no longer holds up, what is a practice birthed by an immigrant? And what does it do?

In an email to me, Lido says:

These portraits on the fabric carry the energy and the hope of home, being home, back home and raising my kids there, as I am feeling, even more, lost the longer, I stay away.

Varias figuras de color azul, de cera,  velas con apariencia de personajes de caricaturas inspirados en la cultura Wayuu de Colombia
Installation view of “Lido Pimienta The fabric. The anger. The river”, at Patel Brown, Montreal, Canada. Courtesy of the gallery
Obra textil muy colorida de Lido Pimienta en la que se ve una ilustración de una princesa Wayuu tejiendo un telar con vegetación al fondo
Installation view of “Lido Pimienta The fabric. The anger. The river”, at Patel Brown, Montreal, Canada. Courtesy of the gallery

I write this in my home country Sri Lanka, not far from Colombo, where I was born, while I am here with my daughter. I see a way to live that is free from consumptive capitalistic living and the real hope of giving back to the place that has given me so much and, in return, the place I cannot forsake.

For someone like Lido, I can imagine how much Colombia needs her, likely easily as much as she needs Colombia. Lido belongs to a creative class of immigrants actively building seriously strong bridges back to their homelands. Perhaps, we are not imagining that we will be able to manifest a true exchange with our countries of origin, to be there for it when it needs us too, rather than leaning on it for support when we need solace from the wrathful trials of life as creatives in Canada. Perhaps, that is a truer truth than the somewhat extractive and exotifying gaze of white Canadians and North Americans upon the work.

In this pure, shimmering example, Lido gives us the portal to what makes her happy – beautiful vibrant colors (I believe she is replicating and also worshipping the sun’s power at her native latitude), smiling powerful faces, many eyes for many perspectives, looking backward and forwards at once, to arrive now. The vessel with two mouths, a bridge and two hands holding onto each other. It is a crossroads as well, but I think we both know and share some answers to it.

Lido Pimienta is a multidisciplinary visual artist, art critic, curator, composer, and musical producer of Afro-Indigenous (Wayuu) ancestry from Colombia. Pimienta resides in Toronto, Canada, and has been performing live and exhibiting her work worldwide since 2010. She was the first female of color to ever compose an original score for the New York City Ballet Orchestra.

Pimienta is also the first ever black and indigenous woman to be debuting as a TV host, writer, and creator of a network show in Canada, LIDO TV, a variety show that explores themes like Feminism, Colonialism, and Success. An accomplished musician, she has garnered multiple awards and nominations, including the 2017 Polaris Prize for La Papessa, as well as the 2020 Latin Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Music Album and a 2021 Grammy nomination for Best Latin Rock, Urban, or Alternative Album.

Throughout all aspects of her multidimensional art practice, Pimienta navigates politics of gender, race, motherhood and the construct of the Canadian Landscape in the South American diaspora.


Patel Brown | The Belgo Building – 372 Rue Ste-Catherine O, #412, Montreal, Canada

24 Feb – 1 Apr 2023

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