Today, we welcome another one of our six 2021 NOT REAL ART Grant for Artists winners, the one and only Carmen Mardónez, hailing from Chile. Carmen is a fiber artist living in Los Angeles, California, whose work explores an imagery of rebellion and freedom through natural landscapes saturated with lights and colors. She employs a characteristically wild freestyle embroidery method combined with other traditional knitting techniques to create sculptural works using materials ranging from canvas to discarded objects and surfaces, such as lemon bags, old t-shirts, and more recently, castoff bed sheets and pillows. In this episode, you’ll learn about the work that Carmen has done with incarcerated women in Chile and how she was impacted by those experiences. She also shares what she loves about her home country, what it was like growing up in an ‘artsy’ family in Santiago, and her decision to be a stay-at-home mom while also pursuing a career as a professional artist. We also touch on Carmen’s approach to self-care, why she has chosen to reject her Catholic roots, and what her plans are for the future. Tune in today to learn more about 2021 NOT REAL ART Grant winner, Carmen Mardónez!
Key Points From This Episode:
• Learn about the social justice work Carmen has done with incarcerated women in Chile.
• How this work changed Carmen’s perspective on the political and socioeconomic conditions in her home country.
• Why she feels grateful that she had the opportunity to have these eye-opening experiences.
• What Carmen loves about Chile, including how it is changing for the better.
• Hear about her upbringing in the urban center of Santiago with her eight siblings.
• Find out why Carmen says that she comes from a very ‘artsy’ family.
• How becoming a mother fueled Carmen’s rebellion against conservative laws regarding women’s reproductive health.
• Her decision to be a stay-at-home mom while also pursuing a career as a professional artist.
• The importance of prioritizing your mental health as an artist and a mother.
• Carmen describes her practice, particularly how she seeks to address textile waste.
• The tactility that comes with beginning to work in a more sculptural manner.
• Carmen reflects on being a prolific artist, describing her embroidery technique in more detail.
• Her approach to self-care; keep working, have lots of plants, and spend time on the beach.
• Find out why Carmen has chosen to reject her Catholic roots.
• Learn about the recent group show that Carmen was included in at Art Share L.A.
• Carmen shares some of her plans for the future and how they have been affected by COVID.
For more info, visit: https://notrealart.com/carmen-mardonez
“My practice and my work is a way that I can feel freedom. I can be working without being worried about all the things that you are worried [about] when you are a parent. It’s really cathartic.” — Carmen Mardónez [0:39:19]