cut from the same cloth

Root Division, San Francisco, CA | June 2016 | Irene Carvajal and Rea de Guzman

Through parallel experiences originating on opposite sides of the world, Bay Area artists Irene Carvajal and Rea de Guzman confront universal themes of diaspora and concepts of femininity stemming from their Costa Rican and Filipina heritage. Their works explore these motifs within societal fabrics draped in hundreds of years of Spanish colonization and patriarchy. Cuisines, customs, languages, and religions intertwine via this historical catalyst. Disparate elements are woven inextricably, spanning space and time.

Like individuals and events that shape societies and civilizations, textiles—consisting of many diverse threads—also come together to form pieces of fabrics and garments. Even when woven together tightly, each thread is easily discernible, its particular qualities affect the whole. Moreover, the more threads there are, the stronger the bond—and the less threads there are, the weaker.

Utilizing textiles as a metaphor for a colonized society, Carvajal and de Guzman explore themes of diaspora, hegemony, gender roles, domesticity, labor, value and their effects on our psyche. Carvajal uses the capacity of multiplicity inherent in printmaking and mold making to further discuss mass production of goods and their global impact. De Guzman creates works highlighting traditional yet non-native fibers, in particular those of the pineapple, to bring focus to hegemonic impositions and their power to assert ideals of beauty and womanhood. Cut from the Same Cloth combines installation, print, and sculpture with a material emphasis on fiber and textiles.