Carlos Zapata 'Ex-Votos'

14 Aug 2015 – 15 Sep 2015


St Ives, United Kingdom


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Traditionally an ‘Ex-Voto’ is a votive offering to a saint or to a divinity. It is given in fulfilment of a vow (hence the Latin term, short for ex voto suscepto, “from the vow made”) or in gratitude or devotion where the worshiper seeks grace or wishes to give thanks.

Ex-votos can take a wide variety of forms. They are not only intended for the helping figure, but also as a testimony to later visitors of the received help. As such they may include texts explaining a miracle attributed to the helper, or symbols such as a painted or modelled reproduction of a miraculously healed body part, or a directly related item such as a crutch given by a person formerly lame.

I have tried with these works to reflect the mixed heritage of my homeland Colombia. Indian, African and European.

These Ex-Voto interpretations are of stories that I have collected which have moved me, some of them are my own. When I work I Iet things flow and I try not to question. I just do it and see what happens. That is the closest way I can find contact with a higher reality. Maybe it is a place between a physical and spiritual existence which helps me meditate on human nature.

Carlos Zapata, 2015.

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Joseph Clarke

Exhibiting artists

Carlos Zapata


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