Julieta has been a pivotal figure in Mandinga's history - co-founding the company and leading on many of the themes, designs and performance concepts from the outset. After 14 years with Mandinga Arts, Julieta stepped down from the role of Co-Artistic Director, in 2016 to focus on her own creative work.
Having studied Fine Arts in Bogota, Colombia, and then Printmaking in Paris, Julieta settled in the UK where she had regular solo exhibitions at the October Gallery (London), as well as exhibiting her work across the UK and overseas. Her paintings, prints and pastel drawings were figurative, and reflected her cultural background, and historical and contemporary interests.
Julieta's creative vision for Mandinga Arts began long before the company was established.
In the mid 80's, while still a full-time fine artist, Julieta's interest in dance gradually led to the founding of the Colombian Carnival Group. This groups aim and drive was to celebrate the rich folkloric, musical and dance traditions of Colombia at Notting Hill Carnival. The presence of the CCG at Notting Hill Carnival broke new ground in its commitment to quality, passion and delivery, winning a Design Award in 1990. For 8 years this positive portrayal of Julieta’s native country sought to integrate folkloric heritage with the contemporary urban scene through artistic collaborations. Blending live music, choreography, float and costume design, circus and street theatre, the seeds were sown for the eventual establishment of Mandinga in 2002.
Since then Julieta has used her skills, knowledge and passion for design in a never-ending quest to create costumes, headdresses, floats and puppets that surprise, delight, fascinate, amuse and bewilder. From the exuberant and sensual, to the dramatic and provocative, her creations remain at the leading edge of the carnival art form in the UK. Her awareness of the performer, whether child or adult, musician, circus artist, or dancer was paramount in her designs.
Julieta will now strive to advance her own art, as she has always done with Mandinga: open to new ideas, curious about the unknown, learning from others, sharing ideas, interested in other cultures and art forms, diligent, committed and above all inspired!
See below for a selection of Julieta's most recognisable Mandinga designs over the years...