A Cardiff Metropolitan University student has cemented herself as an International artist after being sponsored to exhibit in Mexico.
Mabli Eustace, from Llanewad, Carmarthen, is currently in her third year studying BA (Hons) Fine Art at Cardiff Met's School of Art and Design was chosen as Artist in Residence as part of an exhibition celebrating Wales' creative talent during the week of the Guadalajara International Book Fair.
Mabli was sponsored by the Welsh Government who covered half of the cost of her trip. Mabli used a £400 Helen Gregory Memorial Trust Travel Bursary she had won and was awarded a Santander Scholarship, all of which enabled her to visit Guadalajara, Mexico.
While in Mexico, Mabli was mentored by popular Mexican artist, Rogelio Manzo. Having only a few days as Artist in Residence Mabli worked intensely hard to produce a series or drawings and exploratory paintings before completing a large final piece which was then gifted to the Jalisco Government.
Her Majesty's Ambassador to Mexico, Duncan Taylor, presented the painting as a gift to Jalisco's Government Minister for Innovation, Jaime Reyes, to celebrate the growing relationship between Wales and Jalisco. Jaime Reyes now plans to hang the painting in his own office.
The Painting is currently on display at the Mexico Innovation and Design Centre in Guadalajara until mid-January.
Speaking about the exhibition, Mabli said: "I am honoured to have been chosen to go to Mexico and be the artist in residence. I was able to learn so much about their culture and different art techniques, and Rogelio Manzo was a brilliant mentor.
"It was great to be able to launch an exhibition with the work I created and this whole experience was inspiring."
David Fitzjohn from Cardiff Met, said: "We are incredibly proud of Mabli and what she has achieved in such a short time. She is a very talented artist and this trip was, I'm sure, a great educational experience for her. We are confident she will continue to do well in her creative career and hope that this trip will open the doors for other students to gain a similar experience."
Following from Mabli's trip to Mexico, there were formal discussions about the developing relationship between Wales and Jalisco, Mexico.
Economy Minister, Edwina Hart MBE was at the meeting and was given a detailed presentation by Honorary Consul to Mexico, Chris Pegler about the economic activities between Wales and Jalisco, including the recent collaboration of Mabli and Rogelio.
Rogelio Manzo, who is also from Jalisco, is currently in the UK as part of the official 'Dual Year' – an agreement between British and Mexican governments that has seen hundreds of cultural events and academic activities take place.
His mentoring of Mabli in Mexico was the curtain closer to the Dual Year in Wales and follows a hugely successful trade mission which saw 12 Welsh creative companies go to Mexico and strike deals around exporting their work.
The relationship between Wales and Jalisco has been developing over the past months as the Welsh Government announced a commitment to developing a MoU (memorandum of understanding) with Jalisco, while the Mexican embassy announced fully sponsored scholarships to allow Welsh students to go to Mexico.
Glynn Pegler, CEO of the Culture Group and Honorary Consul of Mexico, said: "The trade mission was an excellent way of showcasing what Wales has to offer in the creative industries - from publishing to dance to drama and digital special effects, not forgetting the arts.
"Mabli's work will remain in Jalisco as a symbol of the special relationship between the Wales and Jalisco Governments, and I hope will lead the way in creating many enduring trade and cultural relationships between the two."