PAINTINGS AND MURALS

 

FOLLOWING THE THREAD

Rauma, Finland. Based on photographs and interviews with lace-makers from Nyplääjät ry that I interviewed, the murals around the energy station create a link with the mural on the water pumping station, forming a "Lace Pathway" in the park. Following the "thread" of a previous project in Rauma, the murals use lacemaking a metaphor for the making of social fabric.

Thank you to RaumArs and Finlandia Foundation for supporting this project.

 

TIERRA DE MUJER

What goes into growing coffee? In Huila, Colombia, a group of approximately 300 women farmers are working to produce high quality coffee beans from their own microlot farms through environmentally sustainable methods. These women are part of the Mujeres Cafeteras program within the Coocentral Coffee Cooperative, which has about 4,000 families each with their own small coffee farm. While traditionally most coffee farmers are men, this initiative is shifting labor for women in the program from working on household tasks to being entrepreneurial leaders.

 

In 2016, I began the series of paintings in this exhibition by meeting with and interviewing some of the women in the cooperative to learn about how these Mujeres Cafeteras came to be farmers and owners of their own microlots. The stories are diverse, but consistently touch on themes related to labor, land ownership, and a deep connection with the earth. In these paintings, which were completed in 2020, people, objects, and landscapes weave together without an obvious narrative beginning or end. Instead the paintings are full of patterns and cycles like in both nature and in the coffee growing process. The paintings, which were built up through many layers, reference the intricate layers of producing coffee that include picking the ripe cherries of the coffee plant by hand, fermentation, and drying.

 

In a world full of human-made borders and divisions, coffee is proof of the actual interconnectedness of people across the globe. We are all intricately connected to each other and to the natural environment. Likewise actions at any one part of this complex web of interconnectedness have an impact on human rights and environmental sustainability across our global home.


¿Qué hay detrás del arte de cultivar café? En Huila, Colombia, un grupo de aproximadamente 300 mujeres campesinas trabajan en sus microlotes y producen café de alta calidad usando métodos ambientalmente sostenibles. Estas mujeres forman parte del programa “Mujeres Cafeteras”, una iniciativa de la Cooperativa Coocentral que reúne a cerca de 4000 familias de la región. Si bien tradicionalmente la mayoría de campesinos cafeteros son hombres, esta iniciativa está cambiando los roles laborales de las mujeres de la zona quienes han dejado de dedicar todo su tiempo a completar tareas del hogar y se han convertido en emprendedoras del café.

 

En el año 2016, empecé la serie de pinturas de esta exhibición viajando a la región para entrevistar a algunas de las mujeres que forman parte del programa y de esta manera poder conocer de primera mano cómo es que estas Mujeres Cafeteras han logrado convertirse en dueñas y administradoras de sus propios lotes. Las historias que encontré son diversas, pero consistentemente hablan del trabajo, del derecho de propiedad y de la profunda conexión con la tierra. En estas pinturas, completadas en el año 2020, personas, objetos y paisajes se entretejen para crear una narrativa que no tiene ni principio ni final obvios. Las pinturas en cambio están llenas de patrones y ciclos tal y como sucede tanto en la naturaleza como en el proceso de producción del café. Cargadas de capas sobrepuestas de óleo, las pinturas hacen alusión a las complejas etapas en el proceso de producción del café incluyendo la recolección a mano del fruto maduro, la fermentación y el secado.

 

En un mundo lleno de fronteras artificiales y divisiones, el café es prueba de la compleja conexión entre las personas alrededor del planeta. Estamos intrincadamente conectados los unos a los otros y también con el medio ambiente. Por esta razón, las acciones en una parte de esta compleja red de conexiones tienen un impacto en los derechos humanos y la sostenibilidad ambiental a lo largo y ancho de nuestro hogar común.

 

BLUE PSYCHE

Dreams are a lot like locked rooms where you can exist with your own intimate self and thoughts. If you lock the door yourself, you are in control of the dream, but if someone else locks it, the dream can become a nightmare. This series of paintings based on remembered fragments and written records of dreams. Why do some dreams keep recurring, and who is locking the door? With intensely saturated colors that convey a sense of drama, the paintings, made in 2021, can become a window into the locked room, exploring loss, confinement, disruption, grief, isolation, freedom, imagination, peace, hope, wonder, and the fantastical. The paintings offer a more permanent and complete view into the dream bubble, which can burst so quickly after waking up and opening the door.

 

SEMBRANDO CREATIVIDAD

Mural in Prado Veraniego, Bogotá.

 

4 MINUTE PAINTING PROJECT

Made and gave 4-minute paintings to gallery visitors.

 

NEW BEDFORD SERIES

This series of paintings is based interviews conducted over the course of a year with factory workers in Providence, RI, and New Bedford, MA. Each painting is accompanied by a narrative text about factory community members including human rights activists, parents, and traditional textile artists.

Click on the images to read the stories.

Haz clic para versión en Español

INSTALLATION PAINTINGS

Paintings exploring the combination of visual and spatial narratives. Feet Off the Couch! is a comparison between how public and private space is planned and used. In The Artists' Dinner a table full of creative materials extends beyond of the painting.

 

NICO SERIES

Some paintings from the Nico Series, which were made over the course of ten years.

 
 

GRANITI MURAL

Mural on three exterior buildings in Graniti, Sicily, documenting local stories and based on interviews with people in Graniti.