British and Colombian artists Charles Beauchamp and Julieta Rubio trained as painter–printmakers and have had regular solo exhibitions in London. For the last 25 years they have designed and created award-winning giant puppets, costumes, masks and floats for carnivals, festivals, community projects and theatre. They have collaborated with circus, carnival, dance and community groups in England, Ireland, France, Italy, Colombia, Cuba, South Africa and China.
Their on-going exploration into creative design, and their cross-cultural collaboration with other artists, musicians and choreographers, has given them many opportunities to develop their artistic vision and to extend the boundaries of carnival art. Their studios, based in South London, are also used at regular intervals for community art workshops.
Mandinga Arts was set up in 2002 by Beauchamp and Rubio in response to a clear need for artists to work together on performance opportunities – to practice, improve, educate, share and promote carnival arts. The company exists to bring together live music, carnival costume design and dance, drawing on diverse influences from Europe, Latin America and Africa, with community based contributions to the carnival movement in the UK.
The Company has sustained regular funding from Arts Council England since 2008, and is currently at Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.