Notes

AZUL-COLONIAL-BLUE 

Yuill Family Gallery, AB. May-July 2022

In this exhibition, I study an irregular geometrical form

by using objects made with a semi-industrialized production process. Additionally, I am performing in situ to enter into dialogue with the history of Medalta’s production workers. During the making and performing, I reflect on my relationship to economic forces that have and continue to shape my life. Though I think this struggle is not unique to me. These financial constraints often strangle my studio pursuits and I find myself making other people’s work just to get by. Perhaps the best way to share my struggle as an artist is to act it out in the gallery space in hopes of inspiring change.

I am using porcelain not only due to its particular properties of whiteness, smoothness, and translucency but mainly because porcelain was a popular export product of transpacific trade from China to the Philippines and onto Mexico due to colonialism during the 18th Century.  Potters in Puebla and Mexico City used local low-temperature clays and tin glaze to emulate porcelain, like in many other parts of the world. They developed their own “blue and white” patterns. For me, using porcelain is a way of engaging with this colonial history while reflecting on my present. “Azul colonial” is a particular shade of blue used in many colonial buildings all over Mexico and in the neighborhood I lived in before coming to Canada.  The color scheme is often combined with white walls and red bricks.