"Art can impact the social context of family dislocations and can serve as a powerful tool in encouraging an open national dialogue about Zero Tolerance in our country"
So (sew) America Cares is a participatory social art project with a commitment to raise awareness about the lives of the children separated from their parents at the border. All the faces stitched together strengthen the very fabric of our own society.
In 2018 a Zero Tolerance immigration policy was announced, requiring that all families who cross the border shall not only be separated but also charged in federal court with the misdemeanor crime of illegal entry.
This Project’s mission is to advocate for these children and to extend an invitation to anyone who would like to participate. Thread by thread, fiber by fiber, a participating community will increase its understanding of the circumstances of these children who never asked to be illegal aliens. The project consists of 10 different faces that will be repeated 100 times each to add 1000 faces. The faces had been laser etched on raw canvas to allow the participant to use any kind of thread, yarn, wool, fabric, paint etc. So (sew) America Cares has a plan: to "sew" them back, to never allow these children to be lost again, to create a quilt of 1000 faces representing a portion of these children.
We cannot allow these traumatized children to disappear and in time, be forgotten.People are encouraged to stitch, sew, knit, knot, crochet, embroider, or braid these drawings so as to symbolically recover these children’s faces and lives again.
So (sew) America Cares is an international call for people to participate and raise awareness as to the consequences of this immigration policy and its devastating effect on children. As citizen, artist, mother and a child that suffered being separated from my family for eight years, I am concerned about the hundreds of separated children across our country.
TEXTURE OF GRIEF
The Texture of Grief
The history of textiles is inextricable from the story of humanity, a storied and ultimately functional craft that, with the advent of the Industrial Revolution and feminist fiber art movements of the mid-20th century, has become emblematic of not just the innovative qualities of the human animal, but of textile’s innate communicative quality. That is to say, the fabric of each individual’s life is woven, sewn, embroidered, with cultural markers, ideas, and stories, bleeding into the realms of art, national identity, and clothing. Textile work encompasses multitudes of patterns, colors, techniques, and identities across the globe, a living, breathing record of centuries of change. The history of textiles, to a large degree, is also inextricable from the feminine realm, transforming over the years into a “domestic” craft through which women could find their place in whichever society they found themselves. Enter Cuban, Miami-based fiber artist Aurora Molina.
Molina’s body of work is rich—with intention, color, and experience. Her pieces exact a sociopolitical criticism that is ingrained in the very threads she uses, be they physical or intellectual. She has confronted the commodification of beauty and objectification of youth, intertwining aging with gradual invisibility in the internet age ; she’s sewn together studies of “unfettered individualism” in the contexts of immigration, family, politics; she’s created odes to resilience, redirected culpability, and reminded audiences that fiber art isn’t simply a place for women to occupy themselves. Fiber art, in fact, can communicate jarring criticism and rebellion in the same manner it relates an individual’s identity. Her playful color palette and observant soft sculptures are just as traditional as they are ruthless, defying norms at every corner of life via method and concept.
“I think it is extremely important that artists become the commentators of our time... I make political satire with the help of thread. I think it is crucial today when fiber art is playing a new role in art history. Thread is not only being used as embellishment but as a statement; a political consequence of women not longer sitting in circles, embroidering flowers.”
Given the turbulent refreshing deconstruction of “tradition” in the last year, Molina has adapted in her own, uncannily timely way, swapping sewing machines and embroidery for hand weaving, and in turn putting
her vulnerability and humanity on display and asking the same of the audience. Her February exhibition at The CAMP Gallery, The Texture of Grief, sees the artist moving away from her characteristic figurative style and embracing the abstraction of emotion and time. Collectively, the works are grounded in tension, be it visual or spiritual, embodied by the act of weaving.
With each movement, these pieces become sites for transformation. Each fiber moves in tandem with Molina’s essence, sprouting from inborn tension and anxiety about the past, memory, and isolation, evolving from negativity to a place of resolve; the yarn acts as a stand- in for time, the act of weaving as a confronting of it. The result is a series that bares witness to an artist’s fears, intrusive thoughts, and vulnerabilities, and sees her triumph. As Molina would put it: “‘Don’t think’, ‘distract yourself’, ‘think of something else’—these are feelings and emotions that allow us to converge from a superficial dimension to a deeper emotional process, allowed by the constant rhythm of weaving two distinct sets of yarns (positive thought and negative thought) interlaced. The weft made of positive and negative thoughts [create] a woven surface where the tension of the weaving becomes its own language, and you have to learn how to decipher in relationship to your own experience.”