María Peña is a Colombian visual artist currently based in Melbourne. She studied Bachelor of Fine Arts with major in painting and ceramics at the Art School Academia Superior de Artes de Bogotá and Doctorate of Fine Arts by research at RMIT University, School of Art in Melbourne. Her practice involves oil paintings on canvas, sculptural fabric pieces, mural paintings and installation projects. Her career has developed between Australia and Colombia through solo and collective shows, artist in residency programs and specific projects.
Maria has exhibited in solo and collective shows in Colombia, Australia, Mexico, China, Italy, India and the United Arab Emirates. Maria Peña attempts to overlap images of past and present, offering traces to remember and imagine a new re-constructed home and identity. Themes of memory, absent- presence, sense of longing and myth have triggered Maria Peña´s pictorial world and art concepts. Her art has a strong influence from sub-realism ideas and referents from visual and cultural theory.
Recent awards and recognitions received by Maria Peña include the 2014 Endeavour Award Vitrina de Arte acknowledged by the Alzate Avendaño Foundation and the Ministry of Culture in Bogotá, Colombia; the 2013 Artist in Residency program, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Art Hub, to represent Australia for the Australian Art Month in Abu Dhabi, UAE; the 2013 art exhibition at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery sponsored by Multicultural Arts Victoria in Melbourne, Australia; the 2011-2012 Artist in Residency program at The Ownership Project, Community artists space in Melbourne, Australia.