THE SECOND TAS SUSSEX AREA SPECIAL INTEREST DAY OF 2019

The second Area Special Interest Day took place at The Ark, Turners Hill, on 11 March, when expert speaker on Latin America, Chloe Sayer, delivered three lectures on the Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) and Diego Rivera (1886-1957) have iconic status in Mexico. Rivera's intricate visual narratives, rich with allegory and symbolism, adorn the walls of public buildings. Inspired by Aztec and Maya imagery, and by early Italian fresco painting, his vast murals combine social criticism with faith in human progress. Kahlo's work, unlike Rivera's, is small in format. Arguably Mexico’s most original painter, she made herself the principal theme of her art. Her paintings reflect her experiences and dreams. The lectures surveyed the work of both artists; chronicled their turbulent marriage and Mexico's history after the 1910 Revolution. Chloe's review of the political, ethnic and sociological history of Mexico from its earliest civilisations to the 20th century, little known outside the country, was particularly helpful in placing the two artists' work in context and in explaining its continuing significance in Mexican culture and identity.