Feb 13, 2009

Arthaus66 Contemporary Gallery
Albuquerque, April 3, 2009

With recycled bags from corn or beans, market bags, lottery posters, oilcloth, found fabrics and images, bandanas, ribbons, I am creating contemporary huipils that illuminate the lives and stories of women who have been silenced, whether politically, emotionally or physically, women who stood for the right to an education or the right to decide their own fate, and women whose rights are nonexistent, denied by the intolerant culture in which they live. Each huipil or TORSO, as I call this series, represents a woman’s body, and in that, also symbolizes both cover up and uncovering. Through the materials I shine a light on women such as las vendadoras, the women who sell their wares in the mercados, or las frijoleras, women whose labor in the fields puts food on the tables of the world, and the victims of femicide in Juarez, growing in number since 1993. Individual women like Anna Mae Aquash, Minerva Mirabal, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Christine de Pisan, Nadia Anjuman, or Comandante Ramona, recall not only their personal stories, but the epoch and society in which they lived. Mythical women like Corn Mother, Mother Nature and Tibet / Motherland are represented among legends, myths and deities who are also illuminated in this exhibition.

Art has the power to awaken our awareness, shining a light on problems that are otherwise too difficult to look at or talk about, and all too easy to deny. Violence against women is an increasingly major issue in our world, one which not only destroys families and entire communities but threatens the future of the human race. Out of this series, I am preparing a slide presentation to be shown this year, leading up to November 25, International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women. My hope is to gather a group of artists here in San Miguel for a benefit exhibition during that week. If you would like to participate in some way, don't hesitate to email me, lenabartula@gmail.com.

ILLUMINE is a two person show which also features the sculpture of Karen Wight, opening at Arthauss66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 3, 2009.


Judith Haden said...

Will you be at the Alb event? Can't wait. Judy Haden (judyhaden.blogspot.com)

Lena said...

Hi Judith, Sorry, I just now saw your comment. Great to see you!