Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Andrea Chounyane

Andrea Chounyane

I draw inspiration from the how and why humans have come up with their beliefs. I am particularly fascinated by ancient cosmology and how it shaped ancient cultures' view of the world. It has allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the origins of religion, invigorating forces behind sexuality, eroticism and often the cosmic aspects of games and sports. This has also led me to appreciate the range and depths of human creativity, curiosity, intellectual capabilities, and accomplishments, and through this exploration I learn more about what it means to be human.

Self-portrait - seeing oneself

I made this piece exploring my interests in Indian and Greek cosmology and how those epistemes were used to explain natural phenomena and complex human experiences and emotions, including my own.

The topic at hand, dealing with the ethics of human remains, reflects on the signification of Venus across various mythologies. Venus is associated with many asterisms and deities that are related to pink, a feminine colour for girls, specifically in contemporary times.

But upon further inspection, although pink is a colour delegated to girlhood, sexual naivety, youth and fertility, the usage of pink in contemporary also subtly exposes the dark side of this seemingly dainty and innocent colour.

Pink has become synonymous with mean girls, both the movie and the mean girl trope, who are, in fact, acting in alignment with "true feminity" both outwardly and inwardly; Venus is known as the evening star and as a diamond in the sky, which is also known for being inwardly harsh, heated and corrosive.

These themes all speak to me because I often find myself being infantilised and not taken seriously due to the way I express myself, even though I have the same amount of intensity as any other woman who is outwardly expressive, judgemental, or crude.

In Indian mythology, Venus, aka Shukracharya, is a male deity who happens to be aligned with the female principle; he is the only deity who has been given a mantra that is able to restore life into the dead. Shukracharya is also the teacher of beings of the netherworld, which is interesting when considering the fact that the body parts from autopsies that end up on display have been of prisoners and unclaimed bodies and human displays in a sense are immortalisation of the dead, which also ties to women as caretakers who are able to restore or destroy life.

Andrea Chounyane self portrait.© Andrea Chounyane

Andrea Chounyane creating a self portrait

Homage to the Departed – working with the Museum collections

I experimented with my intuition with mark-making, which was intentional yet intuitive. I played with the idea of water as a threshold and conduit for spiritual energy, particularly for the dead, where in many cultures, the dead were buried near bodies of water, as water symbolised the journey of the soul to the afterlife. Vegetation in those areas feeds off of the dead and releases important gasses into the atmosphere that, in a sense, returns the deceased back to a larger, interconnected existence. In some cultures, burial sites near water also symbolise the process of purification, which prepares the soul to move onto a new form of existence or incarnation.

Black and white painting, Andrea Chounyane© Andrea Chounyane

Shadows of the Memory - monochrome past at Duggan Cronin Gallery

What drew me to recreating this photograph was the profound and intimate bond between a mother and her young child. This piece reflects the timeless beauty of maternal bonds and taps into the foundational human emotion of innocence, trust and safety that is felt in the embrace of a mother's arms.

Andrea Chounyane artwork, mother and child.© Andrea Chounyane

Tracing the Past - Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre

Exploration and experimentation of the rich spiritual lives that the San people lived. There is no separation or distinction between the mundane and the sacred; everything is interconnected, bursting at the seams with life.

Andrea Chounyane artwork© Andrea Chounyane