Thursday, December 03, 2009

My work now, 2010 Installation: Labyrinth of Life

The past two years have been difficult, but a good mixture of joy and tears, the death of Claudia (January 2008 in Seattle) and the birth our sixth grandson, Gabriel (Septiember 13 2008). We have traveled to Clombia twice, what joy to be with family and friends, sharing the stories, food, fruit and walking in the mountains of villa de Leyva in Boyacá. Now our son Ricardo now is inviting us to his wedding next Summer (July 4th 2010) with Mary Forster, an Angel that came as a gift from Heaven thi past year of extreme experiences; his family has doubled, from 4 to 7 now: Camila (19), Tomás (13), Mateo (12), Reid (11) and Isabelle (6). After surgery of Thyroid Cancer, twice a year ago and again two surgeries in two days a couple of weeks ago again, the same spot, he same sacr the same fear, I am back home. Back.

Being back means back to my Studio.

When I was down low I said to myself, it is time to start again, start again. a new project, a new vision of life from my Studio. This is the way I heal. So It came to me after reading two books, THE RED TENT, and CHAOS. Reading and observing, looking at what is going on in this crazy world during these same two years, I got a flash! I must go back to work. Questions have come with my reading and events in Middle East, Africa and Central Asia and looking for an answer to one of the questions, -Why do women dress as they do in these countries? other questions appear: What is behind the way we dress? Who is behind it all, is it culture, religion, tradition? Is it a political issue? or is a man behind it, ¨ËL¨ as women refer to their husband or companion in my country, EL, without a name... ¨El¨ is authority, fashon, sex, film? who is ¨el¨ that governs our body? To whom do we expose, show, undress, how much, how far? When? I kept on looking, looking at what is behind all this. When I was in Bogotá I mentioned the idea of answeing some of these questions through Art, that is my language. And friends and artists gave me more ideas, suppot, even garments to start to work with. Martha Combariza, my ¨Maestra¨ gave me names of women artists that are working with garments, embroidery, our bodies, the relationship of culture East-West, man-woman, on Islam and women. I have been awaken by my own questions into the looking, how do we dress. How do we walk, move, expose, protect, serve. How are our roles related to garments, as a doctor or a nurse´s choice of color and style, as a cook covering the hair and clothes, a woman breastfeeding, half covering her breast, a pregnant woman showing her belly with her two piece bathing suit in the pool, African and Asian women walking in the street with their saris and traditional clothes and their had covered. Why do women have covered their head? In the Catholic Churches I have visited in Europe, Latin America and hereall women Saints have a veil, a scarf or some sort of embroderied garment covering their head. Why did nuns keep their medieval habits and dresses until recently, after Vatcan II in the sixties? why do some of the muslim women wear black, wear or not the shdor, a burka, another head covering? On and on, the questins. And friends also have started to have more of the same. Yesterday a friend emailed me: I have become aware after your ideas for the Installation, Why do we cover? At the pool, we all held a towel half covering our bodies after swimming, why do we do it? There are just women... do we think our body is not good enough... too much weight, too old or what???  YES. This is my theme. I am working in an Instalation with the question, ¨why do w cover our bodies?¨
So I have started to work.
Where, how?
And slowly life has been giving me the hands and support I have needed. You may see the process in my blog just for the Installation.  /

It will be a Mixed Media Art Installation, I am mixing four artistic elements: The first one, sculptres I am calling ¨Empty Bodies¨. the second, a ¨sacred path¨ for I invite visitors to walk alongside with women  in a Labyrinth made with women´s old, worn shoes. The third artistic element is photos of women from different cultures and times, ages and social background. I have been gathering photos from family and friends along with my own to insist on the question: -Why do we cover our bodies? And the fourth one, the CORE question, at the centre of the Labyrinth, my ceramic work with some Angels covering their ¨bodies¨ and a great big seed, my seed, your seed, your core. The final questions...
¨Who am I?¨
¨What does all this have to do with me?¨
¨What am I doing here?¨

Sculpture, Empty body. A Capulana from mozambique and a blouse from India, copper wire.