Interior Gardens

Art and the Human Condition

by | Dec 1, 2001

Connie Lloveras, Inquietudes, 1997.

As the most recent artist featured in the DRCLAS Latin American and Latino Art Forum, I found that my canvases “Interior Gardens” provoked much dialogue among viewers, whether they were Harvard professors or bilingual schoolchildren. That did not surprise me.

My works are a result of a dialogue that exists between myself and a work of art. At the same time, this dialogue parallels the relationship between the viewer and the art object. My work is the outgrowth of my personal experience as a Cuban-born artist who came to this country in 1960 as a two-year-old and lost my mother not long thereafter. This double loss of fatherland and mothering parent gave me a heightened awareness of the temporality of human existence. It instilled in me a sensitivity to life and created a need to express this sensitivity through an art form.

A spiritual longing to find purpose and meaning led me to create my own personal vocabulary in a visual form, but this deeply personal vision also speaks to the universality of the human condition. Although my art has a statement to make, the viewer ultimately is forced to draw personal connotations from the symbols and establish an individual conversation with the art object.

Since 1981, I have worked on developing a language of ideas and expressing them in an art form that is unique and personal. I work in a variety of mediums and feel that my work is bound by ideas rather than materials. I work in clay as well as canvas and paper, and have most recently moved into the public art arena. I find that each medium feeds the other. There is an immediacy and freshness when working with paint that I try to recreate in my clay works. And there is a richness and surface texture in clay that I try to incorporate into my paintings. The thick and rough materials provide me with more elements with which to express my ideas as shape, edges, and texture become as malleable as color, line, and form. The work interacts between structure, color, and texture, with variations built through layering and scraping.

My ideas, as expressed through these varied art forms, focus on the complexity of human emotions, particularly as experienced by women. My most recent works also derive from my own profound prayer life. Cocoons, nests, seeds, and butterflies draw metaphorically on the human ability to draw inner strength through life’s journey. It speaks of interior gardens waiting to be watered and nurtured in order to come into full bloom. It alludes to the light that comes from within, and reveals an urgency to share a message of peace and unity.

Winter/Spring 2001

Connie Lloveras is a Miami-based Cuban-born artist whose exhibit Interior Gardens was on display in the DRCLAS Latin American and Latino Art Forum until March 2, 2001. The next Art Forum, beginning March 16, features a series of photographs on the African diaspora in Brazil “Axe’ II/The Unbroken Circle: Ethnographs” by Reginal Jackson.

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