As most of you already know, I spent 3months in Cochabamba Bolivia learning Spanish absorbing the culture and creating art.
I’ve been back in holland now a few weeks and am finally ready to really write about my experiences there and truly share the art I made there with you and my feelings about it. I guess it needed some time to sink in.
Needless to say the culture there was amazing, filled with old traditions and superstitions, so my first work was dedicated to the ‘Lama Fetus’ as you have seen in an earlier post.
Next I set to translating this into something that represented more the way I work, so I created a protector for myself, a personality I’m not exactly sure I fell in love with but someone who was strong and confident that could look after me, and make sure I could continue creating.
From there on it developed into research about tribal costumes and patterns, which people adapt to creat a strong eminent presence.
How decorating the body can strengthen your self image and go to creating something much bigger than yourself.
In Bolivia they are no strangers to dressing up and creating a colorful whirlwind of costumes for their festivals. Needless to say their markets where filled with an abundance of bright ribbons and textiles which I was more than willing to incorporate into my work.
The indigenous respect for feathers and beads and mirrors has definitely not disappeared over the past years. It is something that amazes me and makes me want to leave behind a western culture tradition filled with also beautifully but often grey and obscured tints, to start to incorporate more color into my art. Discovering the strength of color and let it work in harmony with what I wish to depict.
Taking all this information and culture and absorbing it is not nothing and called for moments of inward reflecting and processing. Which came to pass in my next painting which completely absorbed me and while working gave me the chance to think about everything a had experienced, and to let it write its story on my body. To let the scars settle and let me think about how to move forward with what I had learned. In my experience there is no better way to do this than to embroider and that is exactly what this painting asked for, as well as some crochet work. Te crochet around the border of the work was something that I had seen the woman in Cochabamba do around the the pieces of cloth they use to carry their goods.
The above work was the only one that I was not abel to leave behind and so it became the piece that made its way back to my home with me.
My journey however dose not feel completed I came in contact with so many amazing people and opportunities that I am currently itching to return. I have plans to learn about traditional weaving techniques in a village in the Andes. Also I want to develop on the contacts I made with all the amazing artists I met while there.
Currently I am working on obtaining a visa to return in February, however I could obviously use some financial aid, if you feel called to buy a drawing of painting my work would love to go out of storage and go to a good home. They could also make great Christmas presents.