May 12, 2015


If you are an artist, curator, gallerist or in some way you worked in the art world before the electronic age, you probably recognize these: SLIDES. Or perhaps you called them transparencies. They were the format used by artists to submit our work to those whose decision it would be to accept our work, or reject it. 

Lena Bartula's slides from 1993-1999

They were clearly better than looking at photographs, even though they had to be viewed through a loop, or on a slide box. Digital cameras had yet to become the norm, iPhones were but a gleam in Apple's eye. We actually photographed the art, took the slide roll to be developed, came back to the studio and labeled the slides, according to the criteria of a particular curator, exhibition, competition, etc. Once labeled, they were sent out in the mail... yes, the mail, as in, postal service.
Wading through the bulk of them  churned up all kinds of memories, and also realizations. I remember that once they were sent, I would be on pins and needles, waiting to hear if I, ie. my work, was accepted or rejected. It was always personal back then, and I didn't share my trepidation with many people. It was another hidden emotion I carried. 

The realization was my current satisfaction with myself, my art, and all that I have achieved and experienced in my life. Even if I don't feel it 100% of the time, it's something I strive for.

So naturally, a huipil is in the works, one that will speak about all these beautiful metaphors:
Acceptance, Rejection, Transparency, Submission, and because the slides are tied together,  it will also represent the Threads that bind us together, because I believe we all have issues surrounding at least some of the themes.

Huipil from Aguacatán, Guatemala, satin, applique, metallic ribbon

Above is the huipil I am inspired to create, although mine will be quite a bit larger than life-size. I have a start on some of the colors, which will be a bit different. Right now, it's all about drilling the holes, tying the strips, painting the slides..... the tedious part of a potentially fabulous piece! It will be on exhibition at Bellas Artes, El Nigromante, here in San Miguel beginning February 4, 2016.