emerging ARTIST series

The Ameristar Gallery is home to the Foundry Art Centre's Emerging Artist Series.
Artists fresh on the art scene can display their work to introduce their style to the local art community. 


Zuania Muñiz-Meléndez


Island Beauty

February 22 – April 5, 2019

“We need to experience ourselves in such way that we could say that our real body is not just what it is inside the skin, but our whole, total, external environment.” Alan Watts

My project is based on the philosophy of the aesthetic movement of the mid-nineteenth century in England, where the cult of beauty, the incorporation of floral elements and sensuality was sought. Within this framework I aim to represent the importance of recognising nature as part of ourselves, to relate to it, to appreciate it, and to contemplate it. To achieve this, I use language, flora, and the human body as the starting point for creating photography with high aesthetic value. The combination of photographic technique, illumination, care for detail, precision, and manual confection of the floral arrangements allows me to provide the viewer with an experience of enjoyment and delight.

My creative process begins with the Spanish language, particularly the definite article that precedes the name of each flower. In Spanish, this article is gendered, varying between the male el and the female la. For example, while creating the photograph that features an oak flower—in Spanish, el roble—I used male body parts to correspond to the flower ́s definite article. On the other hand, while preparing the bougainvillea—la trinitaria—I used female body parts. My intention is not to make a statement on gender or sex, but to highlight the morphology of the language.

As to the flowers, I arrange them by hand to create compositions in conjunction with the human body. These meticulous arrangements are placed in situ when I create the photograph. The flowers themselves provide the beauty, grandeur, and glory inherent to tropical flora.

The human body—in its entirety or by its parts—supplies a sense of humanity to the composition. Each one of my photographs exhibits the symbiotic relationship between human beings and the flora. The human body juxtaposed with colourful flowers is a celebration of our humanity and the joy of life.