Transitory Story is a large-scale linocut artwork that endeavours to depict everyday scenes of Narrm Melbourne, Australia through the lens of migration. It captures easily recognisable events and situations in the urban public, reflecting cultural and political movements, places, and historical moments within Melbourne society.
This artwork bridges personal and social experiences through handcrafted graphic work, utilising traditional means of reproduction. With an exploratory character, it places emphasis on documenting customs and cultural amalgamations in a territory inhabited by diverse social groups, including First Nations people, migrants, and a spectrum of people diverse in sexuality, religion, and politics.
The title, Transitory Story directly alludes to the "LIRA POPULAR," a literary and graphic style employed in 18th-century Chile. This style served to communicate with a public possessing limited reading skills, addressing the issue of illiteracy prevalent in the country. Similarly, the artwork makes its image easily recognisable through simple strokes and direct speech, thereby broadening access, interest, and participation in society.
Within the exhibition, there is a deliberate reference to personal stories and experiences of the artist since his arrival in Melbourne in 2018. It traces characters, places of interest, and, most importantly, the multitude of cultures embraced in the pursuit of finding a space to develop graphic artwork. Transitory Story thus becomes a visual narrative, weaving together the artist's journey and the diverse cultural tapestry of Melbourne.
Miguel (Andy) Villanueva is a Chilean visual artist based in Australia since 2018, currently serving as a Master linocut and etching Printmaker for Aboriginal Art Centers. With eighteen years of expertise, Andy specializes in relief printing on paper and textiles, utilising wood and linoleum. Throughout his career, he has engaged in diverse creative projects, showcasing a critical perspective on political and social matters, exploring themes like poverty, folklore, and Indigenous culture. A published author of five books, Andy conducts printmaking workshops, emphasising community engagement. His international presence includes exhibitions in Chile, Peru, Italy, and Australia, with recent solo shows in Melbourne, including En Tránsito (Soma Gallery , 2018), Human Vices (Soma Gallery, 2019), The Blood is Money (Blak Dot Gallery, 2022), and Blood and Earth (Red Gallery, 2023). Notably, Andy won the A1 Darebin Art Salon Exhibiting Prize, earning a solo exhibition in 2024 at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre (BHAC).
Image credit: Miguel (Andy) Villaneuva, Transitory Story 2024