Artist: Sheila Garrett Rodriguez
Exhibition: Were We Even Here
Media: Mixed Media, Video Documentation
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
Website: click here
About the Artist
Sheila Rodriquez is a Graduate Student at California State University of Long Beach working towards her Masters of Fine Arts degree in the School of Art Fibers Program. She grew up in the United States but her ancestors were from Mexico. Growing up she had embroidery and crocheting in the household but outside of the home they had to act as “american” as possible. She has always felt like she was pulled towards her Mexican Heritage. Her artwork is inspired by her heritage and she uses materials from gutted homes because we has lives in many different houses through her life and she wonders if some of her remains in some of these homes.
Walking into the gallery there is a bed frame in middle of the room, one of the main pieces of a home. As you continue to walk around the gallery you notice that the items used are almost all things that would be a part of a home. Sheila used materials like window screens, her grandmothers rocking chair, metal screens and wallpaper. She used embroidery floss and yarn to create designs on all of these materials making it personalized.
Sheila wanted to have her work show you just how important your home-space is to you. When a family moves into a home they personalize it so that it is comfortable for their family. No two homes are the same. Home are decorated with pictures, furniture, and all the functional things such as dressers, washing machines and beds but it makes that home different from another. It may show a family’s values or their cultures. Sheila wanted the audience that viewed her work to be left with the question “Is one’s identity while expressed through the home also defined by the home-space?”. Home-space being the private space within the home not just the physical building
Although Sheila only had a few moments to speak to us about her gallery, reading the exhibition information that she had posted. I had never really thought of how much a home changes from family to family because i have lived in the same house my entire life. It really puts a perspective onto just how different everyone in this world is.