Crossing borders and negotiating between three perspectives has always been a fundamental aspect of my persona and the basis of my creative process.
Over thirty years ago, when “craft vs. art” was the most divisive issue in the arts, I discovered and established my “authentic artistic voice,” refocused my artistic studies from the paintbrush and pigments to “needle and thread.” Empowered by the voices of my indigenous maternal ancestors, I began to cross the intellectual borders that separated the hand and the mind (craft), from the spirit (fine art).
My work is a reflection of personal border experiences: the interconnectedness of societies, insisting on beauty in struggle, and celebrating the notion of "seeing" this world through my tri-cultural lens. Engaging materials, which reflect a contemporary hyper-modern sensitivity, are interwoven to create large-scale fiber art that is inspired in equal measures by land, politics and Spirit.
The artwork becomes an external validation of ancestral memory and personal quest. Beauty, grace, and flowers soothe the quiet rage that has permeated the Americas for more than five hundred years. Thus, when I weave, sew, or embellish, the anonymous viejitas (hags) seem to express their encouragement and support of my creations.
IMAGE: Consuelo Underwood, One Nation Underground, 2013. Fiber, Fabric, Leather, Threads. 56" x 90".