What’s your favourite colour? ‘Rainbow,’ is her reply. An apt reply for an 8 year old artist. What is your favourite medium? ‘Felt markers’. Again, nothing surprising here. What’s your favourite bird? ‘Hummingbirds…’ So what makes this 8 year old girl (born in Peru and Canadian too), different from other children? Other artists? You see, Nahia believes her beginnings originated on the planet Mercury. “Mercury is a planet of love; it’s closest to the sun. Animals exist in different shapes and have a destiny of love. Birds are messengers sent from Mercury.” While this may sound a little crazy, after speaking with Nahia you get a peek into an imaginative world you will believe in too. Her philosophy, delivered in English, with a soft Spanish accent seems as ancient and as mysterious as the planets. Let me introduce you to Earth’s next great artist, Nahia Barrientos Lozada.
Nahia lives in my apartment building in Sooke, B.C. Her Dad, Martin, told her about my plans to travel and paint like Emily Carr. A few weeks later she knocks at my door with Martin, and gives me this beautiful gift.
In her rainbow painting I am Buddha meditating in my school bus. The bus has Sooke’s insignia ‘642’ predominantly displayed. Stroodle the poodle is hidden outside the bus. Can you find him? She explains the metaphors and symbols of her work. Her wisdom for a girl whose just turned 8 takes me by surprise. She tells me, I must retire. She tells me I must go in order to see all of the things in the painting.
I see trees praising the heavens, I see art deco-intricately designed flowers, water swirling, and solitary blue eyes. Most impressive are the myriad of hidden hummingbirds. I cannot hold back tears. She is as radiant as Mercury’s sun. She gets stuck on some English words and explains in Spanish for Martin to translates: “Hummingbirds are pure souls with quick wings that teach us the beauty of colours, they symbolize change and new beginnings. Each one is protected and connected to their ancestors.” With all of my apprehensions and fears , I am comforted to learn that the hummingbirds will take care of me. I count ten hidden hummingbirds. How many can you find?
I am convinced that I have met and have been encouraged by Mercury’s finest artist, simply loaned to Earth to bring rainbows of light. She is gold. Priceless.
You can discover more of Nahia’s art on Instagram: @artnahia6.