4 responses to “Mexico: the importance of Latin and being a “grown up” artist- week 2 of 7

  1. I think the ‘Junko’ is actually a species of Juncus,
    The Aqua Calliente band in SE california and also the Cahuilla all used Juncus, split then dried to make baskets. There’s lots of them in the Palm Springs Art Museum and also the band museum. These bands extended into Mexico, so perhaps you’ll find examples of baskets made with them historically if you ask around?

    Here’s your Tule,
    Thought you might like the idea of it being used to stuff vests or used as candles!

    • hey Penny! you know I was thinking of you as I wrote this post!! funnily, the image of the Tyhpa from the links you posted show what is called Junko here and in Spain and the Junkas image on wiki is what is called Tule by the locals here in Mexico- so the confusion on species identification seems to be an international thing! the other Canadians with me call what I call bulrush, cat tail and vice versa- so the id misname is likely more of a “what you grew up with thing” then a national misnaming…still confusing.

  2. Sharon, the maze is truly gorgeous. I too am really struck by the idea of the seeds of dead and dying flowers in this context; the idea that from darkness, life flows new. That ageless recapitulation of the cycle. When I was doing research on birds’ nests for my most recent body of work I was utterly captivated by the work of both weaver birds and bower birds … and the processes you have captured here (the maze of offerings and connections, and the process of gathering and eventually working/weaving the Tule/Junko/Bulrish/Cat Tail takes me back to those bird-made sculptures and installations. There’s an amazing line from a poem entitled “Nest” by Louise Gluck that to me captures the essence of these projects, and perhaps all that you are doing: she writes:
    It took what there was:
    the available material. Spirit
    wasn’t enough

    … but I think the spirit you’re capturing here is more than enough – it is ample. And really remarkable.

    • many thanks Sydney, and funnily enough- it looks like the shelter work is going to morph into a nest piece as a part of a collaboration with Carlos, a butoh dancer here in Pachuca I am working with- more on this as it develops! I will show him your gorgeous nest drawings as inspiration

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