On February 2, 2018, the Alfred Art Walk featured a gallery showing by Cristina Córdova at the Alfred University Ceramic Art Museum. This gallery was named “Jungle” and showcased many works of art consisting of themes such as “power” and “nature”. The artist’s inspiration for these works stem from her homeland of Puerto Rico, and the social, political, and environmental issues occurring there.
One display that stood out to me was entitled Del balcón, made in 2017. This piece was created using ceramic materials and steel, with the steel being used for the balcón, or balcony, and ceramics being used for the woman’s body and the plants surrounding her. The woman’s pose is very powerful, and stands out even more while being surrounded by the prickly plants on said balcony. The woman sculpted there appears unfazed by the environment, and in fact, embraces it, letting it surround her essence. This seems attack the destruction of nature occurring in Puerto Rico today, by showing that it is not harmful to their society and one can stand high up, and achieve greatness by cooperating with their environment.
The primary piece on display, for which the gallery is named, is named Jungla, made in 2017. A young woman is seen in a jungle environment, made from glass, and wearing a simplistic tank top and skirt, looking as though it was sewn domestically. It has her standing there, enveloped in the glimmer of the forest-covered glass, beautifully shifting the focus onto her. Similar to Jungla, it demonstrates power outside of a society, and magnificence in the beauty of nature.
As for myself, the socio-environmental themes that Córdova expresses speak to me in such a way that it encourages me to take my own personal issues, particularly ones from my own homeland and experiences, and express it in forms of art. It is something I have been attempting to do for some time, with a recent project based on the bridges of New York, my hometown. Another project of mine is about of a gang member who has committed a murder, akin to the behaviors of those in my own neighborhood. Córdova uses ceramics to give her expressions physical form, and as for myself, I wish to do the same. Be it video or animation, I wish to also show the trials and tribulations of my environment.