Despite being far from home, Colombian artist Karolina Serrano feels more connected to her country than ever.
"I miss things from my country: the colours, the flavours, the rhythms."
Her love of Colombia has inspired a series of paintings depicting Palenqueras, the colourful Afro-Colombian women from San Basilio de Palenque village, near Cartagena.
"When I think of Colombia I think of Cartagena, it's a colourful city. These ladies are always happy, it doesn't matter what is happening in their lives, they're so fresh and kind."
Serrano's work depicts the positive side of Colombia: the colours, the happiness and a dash of magical realism.
"Everyone knows the other side, everyone knows that refugees are here because life was hard there, so I want to show the other side."
Serrano comes from a large, artistic family and had an acting career when she was 11. She moved from Bogota to Nelson with her teenage daughter a year ago, and now works as an artist and dance teacher.
While she sometimes misses home, Serrano finds much to love about her new life.
"Everything's going really fast [in large cities], you get tired of that, everything's so busy and noisy. Here, it's a different rhythm, I'm enjoying things I didn't take my time to enjoy before."
It's also inspired her work.
"The red colour is so different here. The first sunset I saw here I started looking at my skin and it was pink, and we started laughing and taking pictures of each other."
You can see more of Serrano's work at facebook.com/santalmaart.
Source: Stuff Amy Ridout04:55, Nov 14 2019