Artist Statement

My work is about the many borders I have crossed in my life.  I carry many of these borders with me in my memories, and produce work about these physical and psychological borders. As a product of multiple cultures and identities, my art is used as a vehicle to explore the creation of my personal narrative within the hybrid cultures of the borderlands.  I am interested in generative questions such as: What role does spoken and visual language play in the transmission of culture?  How did my loss of language at a young age disconnect me from my culture?  What symbols, synonymous with my culture, can be transformed and infused with new meaning?  How can I overcome and transform racist language and ideologies that I have confronted in my life?  What do I have to say about my past and do I want to form those memories in my work?

The use of clay has a long history in Latin America dating back thousands of years.  My connection to clay really goes back to my childhood and viewing the remnants of cultures past through ceramic objects that were left behind and displayed at the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, Texas. I was intrigued by the permanence of the material and its ability to transmit ideas and beliefs.  In many ways clay also mimics the hybridity that that comes out of the US/Mexico border area.  The process of creating my work happens over time as I build up multiple layers in the surface of my clay work.  The process of melting and layering is one that naturally occurs in the borderlands. Atmospheric firing of clay also has uncertainty and risk built into it, never quite knowing what results you are going to get.  These surprises and unexpected results often delight and inspire me, pushing me on to further investigation and inspiration.  The hybrid cultures that are created in the borderlands have the same effect, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, by creating the unexpected fusion of culture and identities.  Although clay is my passion, I have let my ideas and the conceptual framework within which I work dictate the materials and processes that I engage with while creating my art.  Projected imagery and photography coexist with slip-cast ceramic pieces infused with original and appropriated imagery.  This multi-layered hybrid mix of media and techniques approximates the unique, often contradictory spirit of the border aesthetic I am seeking to create.