This week I visited artist Sheila Ann Rodriguez’s exhibit. This exhibit used photo, fabric and canvas to create extremely thought provoking ideas. Using the theme of what our homes represents, the exhibit forces us to examine what home symbolizes and the ties we hold to our home. This exhibit closely related to one of my favorite things to photograph.
Rodriguez used different materials as well as styles of art to create her pieces. The basic format for the displays were canvas, showing distorted photos of abandoned homes. These photos were incorporated onto canvases that were painted to create a kind of “photo painting”. Hanging form the pictures were long, short, straight, windy, rough and smooth strands of fabric. Some of the fabric strands hung all the way the floor, some merely crossed the canvas. The main show piece had displayed ghostly white homes, with cobwebs strung from the houses to the floor. This exhibit involved photography, painting and fabric all combined.
The statement being made in these pieces are deep. Many of use have deep ties to our homes. No matter its condition, location or lack of home. We all have something that symbolizes a home, which brings with it both good or bad memories. Rodriguez’s was inspired to make the pieces, from her childhood experience of moving from home to home. On a literal level we see abandoned homes, fading into the dust and dirt of the world. The earth is over grown and over taking these structures. Many of these paintings were overgrown with vines or weed like vegetation. On a more mental level these vines represent our roots and our ties to our homes. Whether we like it our not, our roots come from our home. We hold ties to our homes, often intermingled and tied every which way. These paintings show in depth ideas about our homes and the affect they have on us.
This exhibit was impressive but also closely related to my passion for photographing abandonment. After traveling through the south multiple times and seeing the poverty, I’ve become obsessed with capturing the abandonment and dilapidation. At the bottom I’ve posted some of my most recent photos I’ve captured. The ideas I took away from this exhibit come at a coincidental time as I get ready to return home over spring one last time, to move out of my child hood home permanently. Rodriguez mixed three kinds of art to create many thought provoking pieces. Her exhibit leaves us thinking about our home, our roots and our ties. Sometimes this is very heart worming and sometimes its very hard and emotional.