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image: Donna Huanca CUEVA DE COPAL #1-4 2021
In four parts, each: 255 x 173cm (100 x 68in)
Overall 255 x 692cm  (100 x 272in) Installation View
Courtesy Peres Projects, Berlin


Arnolfini are excited to present CUEVA DE COPAL, a new and immersive site-specific installation by Donna Huanca, a celebrated, rising star of the international art world.

Drawing on painting, sculpture, performance, choreography, video, and sensory interventions, Huanca’s interdisciplinary practice focuses upon the human body, exploring our physical relationship to the world around us.

Huanca builds her experiential installations around the architecture of each new site, with CUEVA DE COPAL plunging audiences into a cocoon-like space. Encouraging audiences to reflect upon their environment, the installation integrates ideas explored through previous installations, in which Huanca has transformed the masonic temple of Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles, the early-18th century palace of the Belvedere Museum in Vienna, and the high desert landscape surrounding the Ballroom Marfa in Texas.

Building on past remnants of her own work, Huanca excavates and layers, transforming her live ‘skin’ paintings into new multi-layered and hybrid forms that sit somewhere between performance, sculpture, photography, and painting. Explored within the darkness of CUEVA DE COPAL, these bodily forms take on new lives enhanced by sound, scent, and texture.

Donna’s new commission brings this acclaimed artist to Bristol and the south west for the first time as part of Arnolfini’s commitment to showcasing the best contemporary artists of each generation.


About Donna Huanca:
Donna Huanca (born 1980, Chicago, USA) studied at the Städelschule, Frankfurt as well as the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine and has been the recipient of the DAAD Artist Grant and a Fulbright research grant. Her interdisciplinary practice has evolved across painting, sculpture, performance, choreography, video, and sound, crafting a unique visual language based in collaboration and innovation.

Donna Huanca’s has exhibited around the world and has received many accolades for her work which is held by a number of international public collections.

Donna Huanca is represented by Peres Projects, Travesia Cuatro and Simon Lee Gallery.


Gallery Guides:
Gallery Guides are available to pick up at Arnolfini, with large text versions available too, or download a copy below. Audio Descriptions are available throughout the Galleries.


Mindful Colouring:
Donna Huanca’s work includes some wonderful sculpture. We would love you to take part in our Mindful Colouring activity to create your own version. Pick up a free copy of Mindful Colouring when you’re visiting Arnolfini or download below.

We would love you to share your creations with us, just tag @ArnolfiniArts into socials, #ArnolfiniArts.

Huge thanks to Arnolfini team member Jade Harding for producing such wonderful designs for the Mindful Colouring and You Are Now the Storyteller guides.

Download your copy of Arnolfini and Donna Huanca – Mindful Colouring here



Audio Descriptions
There are audio descriptions of the works in the exhibition, accessible via QR Code in all the Galleries.

You can also hear them here:



Donna Huanca: CUEVA DE COPAL: Exhibition Slideshow

Look at the works in our exhibition through our slideshow:



Read/ watch interviews, reviews and features about Donna Huanca: CUEVA DE COPAL below