I came across Paulo Sierrah’s art through an acquaintance at Selina, and it was great to follow his progress through his Instagram account. Selina officially opened in Huaraz just a few weeks ago, and I was lucky enough to get a tour of the hotel and see the finished art in person. Like my apartment, Selina is in the Pumacayan neighbourhood - the historic, quieter part of Huaraz.
This was the first time Paulo worked with the Selina Hotel franchise. There are already three Selina hotels in Peru, one in Cusco and two in Lima. The interior design and culture caters to the digital nomad, the professional traveller or anyone ready to leave the backpacking travel lifestyle behind.
As you step through the front entrance, you’re greeted by the first mural on the massive courtyard wall. When I asked Paulo about the concept behind the murals, he said he focused on the legend of Lake Llanganuco, specifically Huandoy, Inti’s daughter. It was said that Inti, a God, had a daughter named, Huandoy, who fell in love with with the mortal prince, Huascarán. Huandoy was promised to another God, and when the lovers wouldn’t stop seeing each other, Inti turned them both into mountains. Forever destined to see other, but never touch. He then created a deep valley between them. The lovers would try to melt the snow and Lake Llanganuco was born.
Three of the five walls that Paulo painted were his concepts, and the other two were briefs given by Selina. Although he worked solo, he did say that during that time, a close friend and artist, Lucia Coz, did give him some feedback as the murals were works in progress. He would have liked to have collaborated with her, but due to time restrictions, it wasn’t possible.
Before working as an artist, he was also an illustrator, so dealing with clients has been something that he has learned to handle. Nowadays,
he feels that he’s also being given more freedom in his commercial work. What are three words Paulo feels describes his relationship with art? Poetry, humanity and freedom. Which as I see it, anyone who works in the creative industry will seek to make their passion their pay cheque, and truly believe that Paulo Sierrah is doing just that.
Photography by: Ronna Grace Funtelar
Ronna Grace Funtelar is a thirtyish storyteller, creative, writer and slam poet currently travelling in Peru. She is a hobby hiker, photography and sunrise enthusiast with a passion for mindfully helping others live beyond their comfort zone.