Disgust at poor treatment of children motivates Spanish artist

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 May, 2009, 12:00am

The subjects of Magda Mira's art might be children, but her show 'Fate of the Innocent' doesn't necessarily feature cheerful happy paintings. A retired teacher from Barcelona, the sixtysomething grandmother took up painting to express her disgust at how some children around the world are treated. 'Sometimes, I watch the news while I am having my lunch, but seeing the horrible things that are happening just makes me unable to continue eating,' Mira said at her opening on Friday at Sofia Gaspar gallery. 'There is so much agony in this world. And we actually made our world unsafe for our own children.'

A particularly disturbing, surreal work shows a naked African boy with a trail of pebbles in his stomach, suggesting the extreme method of how some in the developing world try to fill their bellies. 'This boy is very poor and he has to swallow stones to stop his hunger. Every day we have immigrants from Africa coming to Spain to escape from the famine problem in their home country, but many of them die during the long journey in crammed boats. It is very sad.'

Given there are also disadvantaged children in Hong Kong, 10 per cent of the proceeds of Mira's sales will go to the Changing Young Lives Foundation. The show continues at Time Centre, Unit 8B 53-55 Hollywood Road until June 12.