Artist: Sheila Garrett Rodriguez
Exhibition: Were We Even Here
Media: Bed, Chair, window screen, yarn, grounded up koshia dye, concrete pieces, and oil paint.
Gallery: Max L. Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist
I had the opportunity to experience the art work , Were We Even Here, by Sheila Garrett Rodriguez who is pursuing a Masters of fine Arts in fiber arts at CSULB. Growing up, Rodriguez would always move to different homes with her family and said that the longest she has ever stayed at one home was 5-6 yrs. Rodriguez said that she has moved 30 times in all her life, she has recently moved near LongBeach two yrs ago to get her MFA. She has 3 daughters with one in college and the other two in middle school. The oldest daughter is going to a college in Hawaii to pursue a degree in multi media.
Rodriguez’s gallery consisted of home pieces from home projects she has done. She posted up the concrete pieces from the homes onto the walls to depict the old homes she lived in. She also had screen windows with flowers weaved onto them with yarn and a for sale sign on the screen windows. The screen window was an actual screen window of one of her old homes she moved into. At the center of her gallery was an old bed frame that her grandmother lent her to display in her art gallery. It was a bed frame that made it through all the house she moved into. On the bed frame was a long piece of maroon yarn that she sowed on and dyed herself. In the other side of the gallery is a video of her creating the dye.
Rodriguez’s art work was all about the idea of the true definition of a home. She leaves the readers with the question: “Is one’s identity while expressed through the home also defined by the home-space?” She leaves observers with this question to make them wonder if their homes are really their way of trying to express themselves or is the place defining who you really are. One art work really brings this question out into display.
It’s an oil painting of a man holding onto barbwires, which are really representations of you holding onto the home and are secretly hurting yourself by holding onto the identity of your home. This painting is based on an idea that you can tell a lot about yourself based on the contents of your home. People tend to in-bead their personalities into their homes.
Synthesis / My Experience
When I went into Rodriguez’s art gallery I didn’t understand what her art was trying to portray. I had to read her summary of her artwork in order to understand it. Growing up i never really moved around, but I did see that sometimes the home you live defines who you are. You imbed yourself into the home you stay at for along time and make it a part of you. Rodriguez’s artwork taught me that you should really move around and explore new areas to see the different environments that people live in. It was great experience that taught the values people imbed on their homes.