El suéter rojo
artist-designed mechanism, steel, dried red corn
48 x 15 x 15 in.
After asking my grandmother at what age she learned to knit, it was then that I found out this memory was tied with grief of her late father. She began as a young child, learning how to knit a red sweater for herself. However, she never finished the sweater due to sadness after finding out her father was murdered in the corn fields of Zacatecas, Mexico.
My work is composed of kinetic sculptures that enact repetitive choreography to display a narrative or memory. My work is my own form of storytelling, a way of replaying my memories or narratives passed on to me that have enriched me. These memories and narratives have been brought to me by the women in my life. My interests lie in how these women have nourished me with their words of endearment, actions of love, and their exchange of oral storytelling. The use of motion as a method of retelling these narratives is a way of replacing past ideologies that have misrepresented these women. The final sculpture is a labor of love in which to challenge viewers to evaluate how each woman in their lives has impacted their growth.
The form and specific materials within my work are centered around my Mexican roots. I work with region-specific woods, implement corn as a metaphor for nourishment, and apply metal and sewing techniques to achieve the form in my work. I utilize characteristics of movement as the vehicle in which the viewer can identify with the narrative. Motion and storytelling have always interested me; motion for its ability to activate objects by showing expression and storytelling because it is a way of exchanging knowledge through past experiences. I create sculptures that transmit both the wonder of motion and stories in a personal way. By combining organic memory with physical-mechanical components, there is a space created in between to connect the cerebral with reality.
© Rosalinda Cabrera