Anabelí Díaz (Sweden) was born in 1975 in Mexico City; she studied ceramics in Sweden where she has lived since the 1990s. Mexican ceramics have always been a source of inspiration to her. She was raised hearing myths about creatures that inhabit the woods, shamanism, curses and the evil eye. She strives to show that every human being is a universe of his own through her large scale figures.
“It’s about human liberation. My relationship with the pottery has developed throughout the years. I have gone from the pottery wheel and utilitarian ceramics to hand building large sculptures.
In these times we are currently living, women need to discover their male sides, just as males need to discover their female sides. I believe that inside every woman there is a big woman with a great composture and that fat woman is always latent, patiently waiting for the opportunity to come out into the open, gather forces and take a stand. The great majority of women, either consciously or unconsciously, play a survival role in our everyday life, and we need to conceal our strength, our wrath, and our desire. Only in some subcultures and closed circles of female communities we have been able to embrace our courage. It’s not about becoming men, but rather conquering our male freedom.
Growing up with three brothers and a single mother who spent most of her time at work, I identified myself with my brothers, and actually it was not until I was eight years old when I fully realized that I was a girl and not a boy. As a child I also grew up with my grandmother in the country side of Veracruz, where there was no electricity and no roads. I was raised with the myths of the creatures that inhabit the woods, shamanism, curses and the evil eye. When I work with sculpture today I take nourishment from those memories of my childhood. I strive to show that every human being is a universe of his own.
Something quite peculiar happens to me each time I create a large woman with my bare hands. It is as if I get rid of insecurity and the need to hide or make myself smaller than I am. Here, bear witness of my own greatness standing side by side with my smallness. I have inspired from those twenty thousand years old fertility goddesses that archaeologists have wrongly named Venus. To me These old female statuettes, represents the origin of creativity and our connection to magic.
One could easily imagine that the enormous effort and all the complications involved in the making of a large-scale sculpture would frighten me, and hence I would devote myself to miniatures from now on. However, that is not the case. The process from coiling to burning big things suits me perfectly. It is liberating for body and soul. My Venuses will become symbolic fetishes in my search for freedom as a human being. Being an artist, a woman, and an immigrant demands liberating myself from phenomena and patterns that need to be challenged.”
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