Artist, Designer, Educator

Symbolic Habitats

My work explores the absurd yet serious, traditional but whimsical, complex and so simple narratives of the human condition; particularly regarding tribes of people connected by culture, tradition and language. In “Symbolic Habitats” I turn my lens to Mayan culture in Guatemala, which means "land of trees". During a trip to the region for a collaborative documentary film project, I photographed and researched how people sustain, worship and apply indigenous traditions to modern life. Through the combination of illustration with digital collage transfers of these photos, I craft colorful and symbolic pattern-based images on paper. Cultural traditions and personal stories, words, sayings, translations -visible or not- are the backbone of my work. Personal experiences, embellished with made-up Kafkaesque details along with old shamanistic rituals make the basis of the non-linear stories I tell.

My vision for each composition originates from the Mayans’ point of view that every living element is connected and sacred. By juxtaposing various identities and habitats, I incorporate their human relationships to the earth: the rituals of gathering, fishing, and harvesting plants. My mixed-media drawings use these various beings and symbols to create compositions that explore these relationships through visual metaphor embodied in human/nature hybrid forms, inviting the viewer to explore this interconnectivity in new ways. I translate each culture’s narratives of the human condition into visual concoctions that together reimagine and guide a connected global human experience.