Monday, November 29, 2010

Who I am

I found clay with a group of women back in 1983 at "La Casa de la Mujer del San Jorge", the centre of my life during the seven years we lived in Montelíbano, Córdoba, Colombia.
I worked with grass root women doing whatever was needed, and for several years as a volunteer Birth Companion, intuitive work, valued experience to become a Certified Doula today. There, and then, while working as a social researcher I repeated: ¨woman’s liberation starts in our pockets¨ while working with 16 women groups in the region. One group wanted to make pottery; another to give support to pregnant women. And 14 other themes. These two groups changed my life.

I am now a Mixedmedia Artist and a Doula. I believe this is the way Life shows its beauty and its gifts. “Our elders were potters, so we must learn how to do it”. And we did. The hard way. Go to the creek to look for clay. -“It looks and feels like soap”-, my daughter María told me over a long distance call. She is an artist and knows. She is my mentor and critic, my "Maestra".

Our work started, simple, elementary: low temperature bisqued figures of dancing women, their dresses painted red with acrylic colors and white polka-dots. And there it came to me, the BLISS of clay work. More than twenty years have gone by. They still work with clay and I am still in love with the softness and plasticity of clay, and yes, it feels like soap.

Clay is endless: all possibilities to express ourselves, to develop our own artistic language through the mystery of form, of contraction and expansion, the interaction of my soul through my hands with earth, water, air and fire. Now I am in Canada with Ricardo, my life-companion since 1962.

I have made a bridge between work in South America and my life here. Daily work in my Studio and an endless learning about life: "our main work of art is our own life". I have participated in collective and solo exhibitions combining woman-flowers, birds and angels as a statement against violence towards women and war. Again and again I make a “mountain” of clay to express our belonging to mother-earth; I play with light and shadow following Carl Jung’s concept of archetypes and our individual and collective shadows. It is the work we must do with our own personal shadow and our collective shadows.

 I work flowers, birds and angels, sculptures as symbol of love, freedom and peace. I seek to express myself as a woman committed with Life, peace, suffering, violence, death, joy, hope, love and Being. Now, I am over 60 and start each day on my path with a new understanding where the Unknown moves deep inside and pushes my daily Work. All of it. I live love with Ricarado, my family and others. I live the passion of giving support to pregnant women as a Doula (or birth companion)

I express myself in all I do, -cooking, knitting, gardening, playing, painting, making pots... all this is "my main work of art, my life".