I make work to express myself and process political, social, and environmental issues. Sometimes I want the work to start a conversation, sometimes to yell into the abyss, and sometimes to laugh at things that probably aren’t very funny. Art is a way for me to feel that I have some agency in a world where my voice and actions feel insignificant. Some, I create, just because it’s fun to make things.
I work with a wide range of media: textiles, printmaking, embroidery, collage, zines, drawing, video, and digital design. From this diverse toolbox, I create zines, tee shirts, and textile pieces like quilts and garments. I have been known to do street art from time to time. This work is in dialogue with other disciplines like social and environmental justice, semiotics, and feminist theory; I draw from each to inform my art and process. Much of my work is meant to live outside in the world, where it can catch the attention of a casual passerby or observer. I continually create these pieces as comments on current events and situations happening in my community and the world.
Some of my new work, however, is more intimate. This current project, Adiós Miami , explores the impact that climate change will have on my home. This series, which blends poetry, textiles, and protective talismans, reveals my internal landscape without asking for action from the viewer. I feel that this series, my most ambitious and cohesive yet, represents my growth inward as an artist. At one time I might have represented this environmental threat with a random wheat-pasted poster, but now, digging deeper, I am weaving together a larger, personal narrative.
So, as one aspect of my art practice continues to grow inward and more reflective, I also want to expand my activist aspect by using art as social action. As important as I believe individual action is, true change is achieved through the work of many. I’m hoping to engage my students and community in creating art that intersects with social and environmental justice outside of the classroom or art gallery. I know that this type of work will require rigorous inquiry, process, and reflection, all areas that I want to deepen in my practice. And as I turn those theories outwards, and connect with others, I’m excited to see what we can achieve through a plurality of voices, ideas, and experiences.
Kimberly Capron Gonzalez, November 2018