Wk 11 – Artist Interview – Patricia E. Rangel

When I first walked into the Werby gallery, I saw these structures I thought were made of stone. Upon closer inspection, I saw that it was all sand/dirt! That totally blew my mind. Truly, any medium of any kind can be worked into a piece of art. I was suddenly glad that I had decided not to touch the structures. They would have all crumbled down, and what a mess that would have been! There should have been a sign or two warning about that.

The one piece that caught my eye was the first one on the floor. Rangel stated that she gathers materials from various places, and it shows here.

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What’s also interesting is that she composed this piece in a geometric, orderly fashion. Embedded within the structures are pieces of wood that looks like it came from a fence. She must have picked these up when she was visiting a farm, or someplace that implements agricultural practices. I admit this piece was far too abstract for me to make any interpretation about it, and as far as I could tell, there really was no hidden symbolic meaning or anything. I asked her about this, and she replied she didn’t have anything of the sort in mind when she made this. However, she does say in her artist’s statement that dirt has the ability to “present vulnerability, failure, strength, and potential” and to “promote change.” This is true. Dirt is… well, dirty, and it is often associated with things one may find undesirable, but plants and trees can also grow in dirt. She goes on to say, “They (the structures) are composed of dirt I reuse, each time rebuilt into a new form.” There’s already something really deep in that. Overall, I took away from this display something that may not have been what she was going for, but I’m still grateful to her for making me think.

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