Oaxaca: Sed y Abundancia / Thirst and Abundance

Catalog (PDF)

It’s not often in my life that an unexpected opportunity arises that ends up stimulating my  creative energy as my trips to Oaxaca in 2006 and 2007 have. The experience influenced the course of my work including the materials I had been using.

From 1992-2004, I used the human figure as a means to explore our inner experiences and contemporary subjectivities in the light of  the social and individual predicaments of our time. The figurative sculptures expressed a point of high drama and internal confrontation. Figures with the torso and limbs contorted or in flux, conveyed the uneasiness of changing emotional states recalling our own life’s struggles.

What I experienced in Oaxaca was a strong integration and vitality between the arts and the society. In this sense the current society reflects the strong and old traditions of the culture, but in a very contemporary context. For me, it was a very natural leap to adapt what I perceived and felt from this experience into my art.

I was attracted to the use of clay, so present in the daily life of the culture, and found that skills I had formally used building my wax figurative sculptures were easily adapted to ceramics. I like art that one can spend time with, and whose depth increases with familiarity. I found the use of clay in the culture, from simple practical forms to traditional and contemporary artworks, to be examples of how an object can resonate with the memory of its place of origin.

The political atmosphere in Oaxaca through 2006 and 2007 was torrid and vital and the response to this climate by artists was evocative and bold. I was moved by the art, the passion, and candid messages incorporated in the iconic images on the walls of the city. I felt compelled
to quote the temporary images to create a permanent document, which could be shared with people from Oaxaca and outside. I wanted to capture the intensity, unique and temporary dimension of a historical moment using a traditional technique from the same region. For this reason I chose to use weaving as the medium to produce these pieces.

Oaxaca and indeed Mexico embody extraordinary contradictions. The title of this exhibition, “Thirst and Abundance,” is my attempt to call attention to these contradictions.