A look at the Selk'nam world from body painting

08.01 - 31.01.2019

Sonia Ubilla Alarcón


Place of Exposition

Art Gallery of Maritime Museum of Ushuaia

In this exhibition, an anthropological interpretation of the Selk'nam body painting used in the Hain ritual is portrayed from an artistic perspective. Interpretation that arises from an analysis of body paintings from their iconographic training and from their context of use.

Each sculpture is characterized by representing one of the main forms of body painting of this ritual, which in turn represent different spirits according to the Selk'nam worldview.
The Selk'nam used the artistic production of body painting to express the ideas derived from their worldview. Sculpture as a support to convey the Selk'nam worldview responds to the need to have a common language between the Selk'nam voice and Western society.

This series of sculptures consists of 14 pieces, which represent the 14 main spirits of the Hain ritual. One of the sculptures was made in ceramic and the other 13 in fiberglass with resin. The sculpture modeled in clay is the mother sculpture of the other 13, which are molds of the first. The 14 sculptures are painted, exhibiting an interpretation of the body paintings used in the Hain.


Sonia Ubilla Alarcón is an artist by profession, a graduate of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile with a mention in sculpture and specialized in human figure. He has experimented with various plastic expressions, such as: cold porcelain, ceramics, paint, clay, stone, metal, wood, resin and fiberglass. This has led her to currently have a diverse work in format and subject. His best known work is the itinerant exhibition of sculptures called "Women", with great acceptance of the public and critics