Venado Azul De Los Cielos Claros
Collaboration with Carolina Jiménez
The Venado Azul is a mythological creature, a guide, and source of connection for the Wixarika people to their ancestors. For this interpretation of the sacred animal, I was inspired both by the symbolic importance of this figure and the modern context with which this project came to be.
When George approached me to collaborate, I knew that the animal should reflect a sense of regality correspondent to its origins. I knew, also, that just as the Venado Azul is a touchpoint for the Wixarika as a community, our interpretation should reflect more than one single creator—I wanted it to feel like a true collaboration. I envisioned the final state of the deer with textiles adorning its face, but it was clear that it would not feel finished without a framework for them to sit within. Luckily, when I asked George if he would be willing to add his sprig technique to the head, he generously obliged. This allowed me to respond to the shapes of the sprigs and define a language for the textile elements.
Woven on a floor loom, with a two-color warp, these elements became a textile parallel to the sprigs—an accumulation of pieces, jigsaw-ed carefully into place. Just as George creates sprigs that reflect the scales of a fish, or the rough hair on a boar, these “woven sprigs” reflect the deer’s coat, creating a joyful and immersive surface. The piece celebrates the way weaving can create textures unique to itself.
Weaving is a way to connect to—and celebrate—my Mexican heritage. The first time I ever saw weaving being done was when I was a child, in a park in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, my parent’s home state. Having the chance to create my work alongside over a dozen other Mexican artists, I felt as though I was being guided into community—perhaps that was the spirit of the Venado Azul alongside me.