Artworks by Penelope Nyau and The Creative Connections Group

‘Día de los Muertos’, or ‘Day of the Dead’, is a celebration of life and death. While the holiday originated in Mexico, it is celebrated all over Latin America with colourful calaveras {skulls}, calacas {skeletons} and alebrijes {fantasy creatures}. 

The holiday is associated with the Catholic celebrations of ‘All Saints’ Day’ and ‘All Souls’ Day’, and is held on 1st and 2nd November. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and to remember family and friends who have died. 

Frida Kahlo {19th July 1907 – 13th July 1954}

A Mexican painter best known for her brilliantly coloured self-portraits. Inspired by the country’s popular culture, she employed a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, post colonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society. Kahlo’s work remained relatively unknown until the late 1970s, when her work was re-discovered by art historians and political activists. By the early 1990s, she had become not only a recognised figure in art history, but also regarded as an icon for Chicanos {social/political movement in USA}, the feminist movement and the LGBTQ+ movement. 

‘Alebrijes’ are represented in Mexican folk art as vibrant, fantastical creatures that often resemble dragons, lizards and other mystical creatures. They are often given as gifts during the holiday to friends and family, considered to be protection for the home and bring good luck to the owner. 

In the animated Disney film Coco, about the ‘Day of the Dead’, alebrijes are “spirit animals” that guide the spirits of ancestors on their journey. 

A bit about Penelope Nyau- Camera Poetry:

I love photography & poetry – hence my name Camera Poetry!

As for my art … I am a self taught mixed media artist. I began attending art classes in 2018 for the benefits of my mental health after recovering from cancer. 

Since lock-down my art classes have been online, and thanks to my art tutor Steve, I was able to create this exhibition through his inspirational art works depicting Frida Kahlo, Mexican Folk art and celebrating the Dia de los Muertos Festival or more commonly known as The Day of the Dead. Which is celebrated on the 1st and 2nd November each year in honour of our dearly departed friends, pets, and relations.

I love the bright and colourful imagery of the Mexican Folk art, of which Frida Kahlo is a muse and the bold floral art of the sugar skulls. I also admire their celebration of life lived rather than mourning our departed loved ones.  

All framed Artwork is for sale:

£50 framed A4 portraits

£35 framed A5 portraits

£5 Pen pots

If you interested in purchasing any artworks please contact me through my website

 Or Instagram @nyau_camera_poetry/

A bit about the Creative Connections group – Thriving Communities Trafford

The Creative Connections Group, part of Thriving Communities Trafford, meets on Tuesday Mornings 10.30-12.30 – creative workshops in six week blocks focussing on wellbeing and connecting with others in a relaxed and welcoming setting. 

For the past 4 weeks Artist Penelope Nyau has been working with The Creative Connection group creating work inspired by Mexican Folk Art and the Day of the Dead Festival. This has included drawings, colouring, flower making and mask making. 

The work that they have made can be seen alongside Penelope Nyau’s in the Window on the top rail and to the right at the bottom. 

Chris Hogben from Hoop Doggy Dog, who volunteers at creative connections, has also created some Day of the Dead inspired embroidery hoops which are on display in the window too. 

View more of his work on instagram @hoopdogydogshop or

If you would be interested in attending Creative Connections or any other workshops at OT creative SPACE then please get in touch via email whatsapp 07823504223 or call into the studio. 

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