A Thousand Beads Create a Picture: Introducing Textile Artist Nereida Patricia

Siham Ali, Creative Boom, July 30, 2021

A graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Patricia takes inspiration from Arpillera tapestries, a form of art originating from Chile. The brightly coloured burlap textiles rose to prominence during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Her work focuses on how racially and gender marginalised groups endure prejudices that in many cases result in harm or even death.

The pieces involve subjects from the queer community and those living and working on the streets, not as an act of memorial but as an "exploration into their quest for survival". Morose allusions exist through her figures' death drops and exposed skeletons. Yet her characters are contrasted by flocks of doves and saturation of sexual strength; a pornographic collage exploring transformation, as well as the ongoing contortion required to survive and navigate harmful postcolonial systems that purposefully omit them from consideration or support.