Sofia Fernandez Echeverri
Sofia Echeverri is a Colombian artist whose work highlights her connections to her culture, communicating what it means to be a Latina in the US; she considers her culture as the biggest source of ideas, one that has given her the opportunity of creating work based on her memories from home. Memories that recreate spaces, objects and textures as abstractions filled with meaning and richness of color. She often approaches topics such as immigration, belonging, race, colonialism, femininity, generational and personal trauma. She finished her BFA with a painting emphasis at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and is currently a MFA candidate in the Painting and Drawing program at the University of Iowa.
Art is the vehicle I have used to communicate my culture and navigate an unknown space with the aim of finding my voice. Being from Bogota, Colombia and traveling to the US in search of better opportunities, has made me come back to what feels familiar inside me to comprehend and adapt myself to my present. I consider my culture and personal experience as the main source of ideas, giving me the opportunity of creating work based on my memories. Although, I am looking to not only represent my own personal memory but a collective memory that symbolizes the experiences of many others, considering topics such as immigration, belonging, race, colonialism, femininity, generational and personal trauma.
I’ve started working with the concept of a mnemonic space, a space or device that assists in remembering something; I’ve experienced my body as this mnemonic space, where sensorial experiences are recreated to assist the mind in the process of remembrance. To represent this mnemonic space in my work I’ve been working with map and maze imagery to represent images of memories that might be clear or blurry in my mind; this imagery was one of my childhood obsessions, it was something I would do to pass the time but also to distract me from my reality. Now, mazes or maps have become the roads, directions and movements towards the veracious things I was escaping before. I aim to explore my body, the imagery and concept of maps and mazes as places where everything that is intense, personal, and collective is explicitly embodied. Body memory can be seen and used as an unconscious or semi-conscious terrain, where not only memories but traumas reside within; traumas that are personal, collective, cultural, and generational that unconsciously affect the way each individual interacts with the world around them. Through this work I acknowledge the way trauma and memory lie within the body, and how they carry with them a complete political, social, and cultural context that affects the way we develop in our realities.