Roxana Vanesa Jones was born and raised in Gaiman, in the heart of Patagonia, Argentina in 1977.

Gaiman is a small town with a strong Welsh Heritage. Situated close to the Chubut River (Afon Camwy), this small town became the major settlement for a great number of Welsh Emigrants who came to Patagonia in 1865.

Their aim was to liberate themselves from cultural and economic oppression and their dream was to create a ’New Wales’, a Welsh Colony (Y Wladfa) in Patagonia; to live their lives in peace, to cultivate the land and to develop their culture and speak their own language without hindrance or fear of reprisals.

Vanesa, fourth generation and a direct descendant of Welsh Colonists Evans and Roberts on her mother’s side and Jones and Pugh on her father’s side, grew up with a strong sense of her Welsh roots.

Her parents worked tirelessly within the community to keep the Welsh culture and language alive in the hearts and minds of emerging generations. In both organising and taking part in a variety of social events they passed on to Vanessa their great enthusiasm and instilled in her a love for welsh customs, traditions, culture and art.

As a little girl Vanesa attended Sunday School at the local Welsh Chapel, Capel Bethel, in Gaiman and embraced the culture of The Eisteddfod, a traditional welsh festival of the arts including literature, music, dance, recitation, theatre and visual arts. It was here that she was encouraged to cultivate her skills as an artist which led her to choose art as her profession. She attended a variety of workshops in Gaiman learning drawing, painting and ceramics and as a teenager she opted to study at a college in the city of Trelew specialising in fine art.

On finishing her studies in Trelew she relocated to Buenos Aires, where she began a lengthy process of formal education opting to study a wide variety of topics at different institutions to enlarge upon and hone her existing skills.

Keen to explore further her interest in digital art and design, she qualified as a Disenadora Grafica Publicitaria (an advertising graphic designer). She then went on to graduate as a Profesora Nacional de Artes Visuales (a national professor of the visual arts) from Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes, Prilidiano Pueyrredon, an institution recognised for it’s academic excellence and for producing the most distinguished and outstanding artists in the country. In the same institution she achieved her Licenciatura en Artes Visuales, (Degree in Visual Arts). Her final thesis was entitled Arte y desarraigo: Una Experiencia which can be loosely translated as Art and expulsion from a country or ‘rooting out’, in reference to the relationship between producing art within the context of the Welsh in Patagonia.

Vanesa has been exhibiting her work as an individual and collectively with fellow artists since 1993. She has shown her work in Buenos Aires and in other major cities throughout Patagonia.

Amongst others, exhibitions that stand out are:

Raíces: Pinturas y Libros de artista (Roots: Paintings and Books of the artist)

These works relate to roots as elements giving life, nourishing and nurturing people, but also examines how roots tie individuals to the place of their birth, binding them to their ancestry and not permitting them to move.

Arte para degustar (Art to taste)

This exhibition took place in a restaurant. Paintings were created using ingredients from the kitchen such as tea, coffee and mate, they were then baked in the oven offering viewers a multi-sensorial experience as each work possessed it’s own specific texture and aroma.

Fragmentos de historia: Pinturas, Grabados y Esculturas (Fragments of History: Paintings, Engravings and Sculptures)

In these works Vanesa incorporates several elements including old fragments of text, calligraphy, a variety of objects such as old family photographs, antique coins, decorative stamps and seals as well as postage stamps taken from letters that have been sent and received between Wales and Patagonia.

Serie Patchwork: Bordados (Patchwork Series: Embroidery)

Recovering a trade of long ago typically associated with women mixed with forms of contemporary textile art, but in this case produced with freedom of expression and experimentation.

These works are the result of the time and patience from another era, symbolising the social networks that are woven into the physical geography of every country, exploring the patterns and processes of the earth, the outline of flora and fauna, rocks, oceans and weather.


Vanesa has won numerous local, provincial and national art competitions.

In 2004 she was awarded first prize in the competition Creación de la Bandera del Chubut (Creation of the Chubut Flag). Her design synthesizes historical, cultural and aesthetic aspects of the Province of Chubut. This flag identifies the province of Chubut, the third largest province of Argentina with 224.686 km2, making up 6% of the total area of Argentina.

She makes up part of the collaborative group Tengo Colchón (I have a mattress). Specialising in contemporary art they were awarded a National Scholarship for Group Projects in 2009, by Fondo National de las Artes (The National Arts Fund).

She is also an integral member of the Eisteddfod Mimosa Organisational Committee in Puerto Madryn. As a long standing contributor she is keen to represent, to extend and promote the thriving cultural legacy brought over from Wales.

Vanesa has recently added another string to her bow by becoming a trainer for the project Entre Vientos. This project involves her travelling to different areas of Chubut and delivering courses for visual arts teachers enabling them to improve and update their pedagogical skills. This project can be seen by visiting the following link:

Vanesa has settled in the City of Puerto Madryn where she teaches and creates her artwork.

Translated by Andrea Edwards-Jones