Eleven Eleven Sculpture Space

NOT THE KNITTING YOU KNOW

Carien Quiroga

In this exhibit:

 

Two Worlds

Wood, copper wire, aluminum plate. 19" x 35" x 9" (including base)

 

Reclaiming Stakes

Three piece installation; dimensions variable

Wood, metal, glass

 

Back to the Land

Two piece installation; dimensions variable

Wood, metal, glass

 

So, Whose Body Is This Anyway?

Wood, copper wire, aluminum wire, paper, wax

49" x 12"

Artist's statement

I have been surrounded by knitters my entire life. My grandmother, from imposing farming stock, knitted delicate and intricate tablecloths. My dadís spinster aunt who stayed with us until I was 10, crocheted with hooks so small you could barely see them. My mom knitted everything from chunky jerseys to lacy dresses on her knitting machine. It was thus inevitable that I would knit and have done so ever since I can remember.

When I started making sculptures about 7 years ago the transition from yarn to wire and jerseys to sculptural elements seemed natural. The very act of knitting and crocheting ties me to not only the women in my family but to my heritage, upbringing and cultural background. Furthermore, knitting (weaving) on a symbolic level refers to creation and life.

My experiences as a woman form an intrinsic part of my artistic consciousness. As a woman artist my work reflects my ongoing preoccupation with female issues both personally and universally. I use my art as a tool to communicate my concerns for, and alliance with issues regarding women. Reference to the female is achieved through feminine symbolism and the allusion to the female body. My work furthermore strongly relates to the land and its relation to the feminine principle, again on a personal as well as a universal level. Reference to the land is achieved through the use of organic material and materials that come from the earth such as copper and glass. On a conceptual level, the essence of the work is embedded not only in the iconography, allusion to the female and reference to the land but as much, in the choice of materials, the qualities of the material as well as the construction methods used.

Artist's biography

Carien Quiroga was born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1966. After obtaining a BA (Criminology and Psychology) degree from the University of Pretoria, she spent the following 5 years working in a Senior Citizen Care Center. Working in the Occupational Therapy Department her work focused mainly on the recreation, education and stimulation of mentally and physically disabled older adults. While working at the Care Center, Quiroga returned to the University of South Africa, obtaining a BA degree in Fine Arts in 2001.

She has since worked as both a sculptor and art educator. Quiroga's own work, widely exhibited in her native South Africa, deals with the feminine principle and her experiences as a woman. Her work is deeply embedded in South African culture -- socially and politically -- with specific references to issues surrounding women. In 1998 she was awarded the "Best Young Sculptor" in a nationwide competition of cement artists. As an art educator, she has taught extensively both in the school system and privately.

In December 2003, Quiroga relocated to the US. She is currently employed as a Lead Artist for "Arts on the Block," a project of Montgomery Youth Works. "Arts on the Block" is a job training initiative for talented youth using the arts as a medium to teach both arts principles and techniques and workplace skills. Projects to date include commissions for corporate and public artworks and functional pieces, all executed in mosaic, as well as a sculpture project. Quiroga is also currently an Art Instructor at Weisser Glass Studio in Kensington where she teaches classes in Traditional and Alternative Drawing and Sculpture Techniques and Color Theory.

Quiroga made her debut as an artist in the US, taking part in the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities public art exhibition "Pandamania," and is currently working toward several exhibitions.

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