Trasplantada/Transplanted: Works by Juana Córdova and Natalia Nakazawa
Trasplantada/Transplanted exhibits the works of two artists engaged with the systems of colonization, migration, and settlement. Juana Córdova and Natalia Nakazawa both use plants as a source of imagery for their artworks, but also uses flora as a metaphor for migrants and colonized people. From this position, the botanical practice of transplantation is deployed to further examine the notion of shifting from one place to another, and the power that initiate or perpetuate this purposeful movement.
Juana Córdova’s work centers on her use of the tumbleweed (Kali Tragus), a plant indigenous to Eurasia and how it became a ubiquitous visual element of the landscape in Western United States, particularly in the arid regions of the Mid and South West. In its lifecycle, the tumbleweed stems weaken and become brittle as it dedicates its energy in producing seeds. In its maturity, the plant dries, breaks from the stem, and easily moved by the wind to disperse its seeds. Córdova uses both the natural movement of the plant and the accidental transportation of the seeds through the exchange of goods to widen the context of migration.
Natalia Nakazawa begins the creative process by gathering materials that conjure memories of her childhood and family life. She uses found fabric and table linens as the ground that supports her image making. Nakazawa uses collage, quilting, cyanotype, dyeing, and embroidery to build up the layers of patterns and texture to make her luscious floral scenes.
These botanical images directly refer to her family’s history of migration and settlement, but also addresses the broad socio-economic-political systems that instigate movement and migration. In addition, Nakazawa uses poetry and text as source materials that provide text and context for her work.