MY RASQUACHE ART process begins with my entering the borderlands of creating. Nepantla: someplace in between here and the other side, where I surrender to the process, listen to my guides, and let the story lead me as I audition materials for the greatest impact. I move through life seeing details of things, each with its own patterns, textures, and colors that make up the whole of something. Because I experience life in this way, my artwork can be a juxtaposition of messages, layered in patterns, textures, and colors. It doesn’t really matter what the materials are; the art might take the form of a mixed-media fiber art piece using fabric, thread, or beads. Sometimes it may be a mixed-media painting using paper, paint, and markings. This is how I begin my visual storytelling.
My artwork often reflects who I am, using cultural imagery through the lens of animism, gods, goddesses, and creation stories to portray social justice issues in the context of a modern colonized world.
I focus on traditional Indigenous metaphors, symbols, and colors to draw in viewers. These images of my heritage are contrasted with textural layers, which may be beads, buttons, painting, drawing, photos, hand embroidery, and even found objects, that further illuminate the stories of the work. These seductive surfaces draw the viewers in to examine not only the materials I have selected but the subject matter as well.
This seduction draws their attention and pushes the viewer to contemplate and perhaps motivate some kind of external or internal action. I’m looking for people to step out of boxes and try on new ways of thinking and being—for people not only to see the world through a lens of intersectionality but to see further into an interconnectedness with nature and each other based in love and grounded in kindness. A kind of healing.
By using a traditional soft textile base, I invite the viewer to consider this traditional form of “women’s work” as a venue for challenging subject matter, which may consist of social and political reflections of our times.
I see my work as both gift and obligation. As artists before me have done, I must document the times in which I live. In this way, I am able to preserve, promote, and shine light on stories often left in the margins of mainstream media. To walk in a good way with myself, in the Indigenous way, as a ChicanIndia is to fulfill this responsibility.
I’m Sabrina Zarco, a Tejana who has lived and worked throughout the South and Southwest. I am currently living along the border in Mexico. I am autistic, femme, queer. I am ChicanIndia, part of the Indigenous diaspora of colonized people for generations.
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Thank you. Gracias. Tlazocamati.