Beyond the White Rope #BlackLivesMatter

Ali pioneers Miriam Cabello’s new series Beyond the White Rope. This painting depicts young Cassius Clay at the precipice of his astounding career and introduces a fresh limited palette of transparent oil pigments.

©Miriam Cabello

Ali (2016). M. Harding oil on Belgian linen | 71 x 61 cm ©Miriam Cabello

After extensive experimentation of the indirect method (numerous transparent glazes), the desired effects of the reflective qualities of cobalt violet were achieved.

Each glaze is allowed to dry before the subsequent coat is applied. Since opaque pigments are not used there is no room for error in tonal value, as a glazed area cannot be lightened. Great care is taken not to let any of the lights or mid values become too dark.
The colour of the first layer (imprimatura) – cobalt violet is inspired by Leonardo da Vinci “It has been said that Leonardo da Vinci preferred to meditate in a lavender or purple – colored light”. Renee Phillips

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The Sydney Peace Prize beckons

Miriam’s art and artistic practice are emblematic of cross-cultural understanding and respect for human rights, for this reason she has been nominated for the 2014 Sydney Peace Art Prize. All of Miriam’s oil paintings emerge from these humanitarian themes and are exquisitely realised in her two iconic bodies of work “The Pugilist Passion” and “9/11-The Chilean Military Coup”.

Miriam painting 'Tanks of Terror,' part of the First 9/11–Chile Coup series

Miriam painting ‘Tanks of Terror,’ part of the First 9/11–Chile Coup series

Miriam’s art transposes rich colours to create an alternate reality. Set amongst Baroque grandeur the ‘9/11’ series disarms the viewer with scenes of Chile’s unfolding military coup, juxtaposed by sensitive, tranquil family vignettes. In the ‘Passion’ series Miriam honours the oral histories of Aboriginal boxing legends. She employs religious allegory to interpret their evocative stories on a grand scale.

Miriam came to Australia with her family as a child having narrowly escaped the first 9/11 (Pinochet’s coup). Those early familial experiences contributed to a profound interest in civil rights, indigenous peoples (ancestry) and social justice.

In 1993 Miriam with her brother Victor founded a business that focuses on creative collaboration, advocacy and outreach clientele. Through MLC Gallery she has organised and participated in over 40 exhibitions dedicated to human rights and peace, showcasing the work of refugee, GLBTI and Indigenous artists.

Miriam has been acknowledged nationally and internationally with multiple awards for her contribution to art, education and cross-cultural engagement. She runs reconciliation themed workshops collaborating with councils, NAIDOC and the University of Sydney. This August she was awarded in the USA for “her career contribution to fostering cultural understanding utilizing sport allegory in art.”

Oil painting from the The Passion series. The scales depict important historical dates in the struggle for human rights.

Oil painting from the The Passion series. The scales depict important historical dates in the struggle for human rights.

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Last Days to be a Sydney Cultural Rebel!

Last Days to view the First September 11: The Chilean Military Coup 1973

Miriam's paintings on display at the Seymour Centre!!

Miriam’s paintings on display at the Seymour Centre!!

Don’t miss this politically charged exhibition that has touched people profoundly. The feedback received during the Artist Talk and interviews by journalist and radio hosts has been overwhelming. Thought provoking discourses on human rights, social justice, political refugees, colour symbolism and cross-cultural exchange were held. Close: 3pm this Saturday 28th. Cultural Rebels more…

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The first: September 11, 1973 – The Chilean Military Coup

Sydney Fringe Festival and artist Miriam Cabello expose the first Sept 11
banner1 September 11, 2013 is the 40th anniversary of the military coup that toppled the democratically elected Allende government in Chile. Australia’s Election Day, September 7, will mark the launch of this politically charged exhibition at the Sydney Seymour Centre. Internationally recognized artist Miriam Cabello will exhibit paintings that reflect on the stories of Chile’s political refugees that now call Australia home.

mum_dad“In 1971, my parents fled the impending doom of Chile’s internationally backed dictatorship. This series of oil paintings is inspired by my families’ rich history, political passions and personal experience.”

In the spirit of Sydney Fringe Festival’s ‘Cultural Rebels’ program Miriam will spotlight September 11 using a new oil-on-linen painting technique developed over 20 years research. This innovative process dubbed ©Spectral_Kinetic_Realism is a fusion of Dutch Master brushwork and saturated Pop-Art colour that creates a new reality. Set in the Baroque landscape of Santiago, stage one of this project explores the individual transformation of people when faced with conflict. Through education and the exchange of histories Miriam wishes to highlight shared cultural links and enrich the chorus of those who have survived oppression and adversity.

tankDebuting this series of paintings at the Seymour Gallery is paramount due to its educational focus and alignment with the University of Sydney. An international student internship program has been established as part of the series longterm program. Students from China, Holland and Canada have contributed and been inspired by research into toxic political experiments as exposed by Naomi Klein in The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. “The Chicago School revolution leveraged large-scale shock or crises to experiment with divisive power structures…”

“For three decades, Friedman and his followers had methodically exploited moments of shock in other countries – foreign equivalents of 9/11, starting with Pinochet’s coup on September 11, 1973…” (Klein 2007)

For more media information and interviews:

All artwork credits © Miriam Cabello 2013, oil on linen. From top: Two Soldiers (detail; 61x71cm), The Graduation (detail; 71x61cm), Tanks of Terror (detail; 101x122cm).

About Miriam Cabello:

Miriam Cabello has over 20 years experience in collaborative community arts and educational projects. Taking part in cultural activities to help bridge gaps of understanding. Encouraging and developing the idea of art interwoven with education, as a viable commercial and communication device.
“I revere projects that will ultimately benefit and contribute to a just society.”

Miriam Cabello launched MLC Powerhouse Design Studio in 1993. The studio has developed into a substantial and diversified design practice. With extensive experience in creating for the arts, community, government and commercial environments.

The design studio has worked with leading corporations, government bodies, councils, and community organizations to produce numerous award-winning projects, which have since become highly recognised within both the corporate and community sector. For example: Voices of Australia: 30 years of the Racial Discrimination Act.

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Aboriginal Legends rekindle American bouts of friendship – NAIDOC 2012

© Miriam Cabello • Ron Richards I Old Holland Oil on Belgian Linen • 2011

Leveraging the dynamic energy of Brooklyn New York, Sydney Artist Miriam Cabello launched her captivating White Rope series of paintings at the Brooklyn (DUMBO) Arts Festival in September 2011. These works depict and perpetuate the oral histories of Aboriginal Australian boxing legends Dave Sands, Ron Richards, Tony Mundine and Lionel Rose. Many of their outstanding accomplishments and exchanges with their American peers have been fading from contemporary conversation, rekindling these oral histories is key to Miriam Cabello’s artistic odyssey.

From the exposure and interest generated at the Brooklyn Arts Festival the paintings in the White Rope series began their journey across America. Her oil painting Ron Richards I was an award winner at the National Art Museum of Sport (NAMOS), Indianapolis, where it remains on show till February 2012. The judges praised her unique, masterful oil painting technique ©Spectral Kinetic Realism in which she paints the subjects’ individual colour temperature with layered transparent colours.

On viewing the works at NAMOS the owners of Gerry Gallery in Connecticut wanted the White Rope series to continue their cultural exchange. The gallery, only an hour from the boxing heartland of Brooklyn, have selected key works from the series to be on exhibition from March 2012.

This satellite network of shows will culminate in Sydney for NAIDOC Week 2012. Plans are unfolding to showcase this profound art and harness oral history causeways simultaneously in multiple venues. Discussions with NAIDOC committee members, local council representatives and gallerists are well underway. The inspiration is to transpose with oil paint, soundscapes and new media the profound journey of these Aboriginal Australians engaged in an iconic western sport.

For further information please visit

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The colours of the Aboriginal flag come to life through art

As Featured in the National Indigenous Times

Dave Sands – Aboriginal Boxing Legend by Miriam Cabello

“I want people to listen deeply to the individuals I paint and have a conversation with the spirit in the paintings”

It was in the hot, honest heat of Uluru that Miriam saw the linkage of colour, texture and voice for her next series of paintings. The day of her visit she spent four hours trekking the circumference of this magnificent and sacred sight paying attention to the shifting luminous colours and intricate textures all around. It was during one of her rest stops, protected under the shade of the rock, that inspiration emerged. She wanted to tell the powerful stories of Aboriginal Australian boxing legends Dave Sands, Ron Richards, Lionel Rose and Tony Mundine. In Miriam’s talented hands, paint is an emotive medium and an ideal manifestation of the profound journeys of these individuals. “These stories should not be lost but remembered and treasured,” states the artist.

Miriam’s own history can attest to this need to share and highlight such stories. “In 1971, my parents fled the impending coup and oppressive dictatorship of Chile. They arrived in Australia with just 50 cents, high hopes, tenacity and a longing for delicious avocados. I was four.” At an early age this instilled in Miriam a deep understanding of how social injustice can impact on your life. This and the unrelenting support of her mum, Carmen, guided her in every step of her career and creative endeavours. When she finally had the opportunity to spend more time with her true companion, oil painting, she drew on all the powerful memories and images of racial struggles throughout history. In particular the terrible hardships endured by Aboriginal’s in Australia and the powerful images coming from the Unite States capturing the atrocities endured by African Americans.

These amazing stories also add further texture to her body of work entitled White Rope. The core creative narrative of these paintings explores sport, struggle, social injustice and achievement. Miriam’s White Rope theme has been organically developing over 20 years. She experienced her first live boxing match at the inquiring age of 20 where she witnessed a bout between an African American and Anglo Saxon. That night she saw a match that resonated much deeper then a fight between two athletic opponents, it became ‘her’ metaphor for the struggle of oppressed people. “All I saw was bruising, blood mixed with sweat, fatigue, resilience and punishment. Those photos inspired my White Rope paintings.”

Since launching her White Rope series international recognition has followed. The first painting from the series was a winner at the Florence Biennale, Italy, where art legend Christo presented the award. Further paintings from the series have been awarded in the: 24th Manhattan Arts International, New York; National Art Museum of Sport, Indianapolis, USA and; Artoteque, Global Art Annual, London.

Propelled by this international acknowledgement, Miriam set off to New York to promote the series. During her visit she was fortunate enough to meet Bruce Silverglade, Director of Gleason’s Gym, Brooklyn, New York. The very same gym where lauded boxing legend Muhammad Ali trained. On viewing her award winning paintings the Director, Bruce Silverglade invited her to exhibit and participate in the DUMBO Arts festival 2011. It is Brooklyn’s preeminent Arts Festival attracting over 200,000 visitors over 3 days. It is at this prestigious festival that Miriam will internationally debut her painting series ‘Aboriginal Australian Boxing Legends’.

She is currently completing the series and has received overwhelming feedback about the potential for greater cultural exchange and shared knowledge. This promotion of education and sharing these legends history is a central theme of the project. Anchoring the thematic potency of the exhibition is a set of beautifully painted triptychs. The artworks portray both Dave Sands and Ron Richards in three emotive, colour interpretations that reference the Aboriginal Flag. Drawing from the history of the flag and what the colours represent is fundamental to Miriam’s creative process. Each painting is imbued with an individual colour palette reflecting the richness of ochre earth, golden sun and deep tones of layered pigment. For the series of triptychs she has chosen to paint each legend three times in the same pose. This enables personification of the flags three colours and provides her the opportunity to express three different emotions. She first explored this combination of portraiture and the Aboriginal Flag in her late teens and now revisits it for this exciting new exhibition.

In the new paintings you can see how this idea has evolved through her creative process. It provides her with immense freedom to express distinct feelings. Paintings are individual and unlike a screen print or a photo printed three times no painting is the same. The artist can change the mood and message of a work by turning the brush and redefining the look in the subject’s eyes. It is in this sensory space that Miriam Cabello’s talent shines through and immerses the viewer. Looking eye to eye with these amazing portraits is quite an enchanting experience and you can feel their gaze. Each colour emits a different emotional temperature and the expression in each face, and most importantly, each set of eyes is unique. This is where the conversation and exchange begins.

Miriam plans to continue this exchange by expanding the series of paintings to include additional histories from other Aboriginal boxing legends. She is actively researching the archives of the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame and is also considering continuing the story with the next generation. Her ‘White Rope – A History of Australian Aboriginal Boxers’ will be on preview in Sydney during August. Then come September it will be shipped off to New York to participate in the DUMBO Arts Festival that runs from 23 to 25 of September.

On her return to Australia she will start her next set of paintings scheduled to debut during NAIDOC Week 2012. For this exhibition she is actively seeking partners to make it as dynamic and interactive as possible. The show will exhibit her new boxing legends and a selection of commissioned paintings. Individuals interested in commissioning paintings can contact Miriam Cabello directly via her website at

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Cyber my dreaming

Ron Richards, oil painting © Miriam Cabello 2011. From series “White Rope” – A History of Australian Aboriginal Boxers. I’m currently painting Lionel Rose.

With the passing of Lionel Rose I wanted to address an amazing project that converged Indigenous art, oral history, spirituality and new media. The work conducted by Wyeld , T. & Leavy, B. (2008) is a exciting learning experience. Their research and paper addresses the impact of modern life on Aboriginal culture and how it is eroding the continuum of knowledge. Outlined is a storytelling project that encompasses technology with the works of Vincent Serico (1949–2008), artist, activist and humanist. A group of researchers and CyberDreaming collaborated with Vincent to develop a 3D computer game toolkit with the goal of bridging the culture disconnect in younger generations.

Born in southern Queensland in Wakka Wakka/Kabi Kabi Country (Carnarvon Gorge region) Vincent was a member of the Stolen Generations. He eventually returned to his Country and started painting his stories as well as the oral histories of his land. The 3D game has:

Embedded in this simulation of his Country, in the locations that their stories speak to, are some of Vincent’s important contemporary art works. They are accompanied by a narration of Vincent’s oral history about the places, people and events depicted.

Oral history and the interconnectedness of spiritual mapping in Vincent’s art highlight the virtual world of spirituality and that of new media. The paintings act as the narrators for the topological navigational features in the game. Discovery, knowledge and organic thinking are all rewards of the game but transgressive activities are discouraged. It was imperative that certain sacred sites be respected and can only be accessed by paying due respect to traditional customs. Further connecting the tangible world with the virtual and spiritual. The game was developed as a tool for younger generations to reconnect with Country and culture in modern times. This project is an exemplary model of fusing spiritual, oral and cultural knowledge with new technology. It also opens avenues of further development. How has the project added to the greater cultural exchange and can other applications of new media be used to amplify its message?

Wyeld , T. & Leavy, B. (2008). Reaching out to a younger generation using a 3d computer game for storytelling: Vincent Serico’s legacy. Australian Aboriginal Studies, Iss 2 p43-53

Buchtmann, L. (2000). Digital songlines: The use of modern communication technology by an Aboriginal community in remote Australia, Prometheus, (18):1.
van Dijk, J. & Hacker, K. (2003). The digital divide as a complex and dynamic phenomenon. The Information Society, 19 (4). pp. 315-326. Taylor & Francis Inc.
Ginsburg, F. (1994). Embedded Aesthetics: creating a discursive space for Indigenous media: Cultural Anthropology 9(3): 365-382.
Miller, S., Blacklock, F. & Wilson-Miller, J. (2002). Bayagul :contemporary indigenous

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