Art Grandmothers is the term we use to describe older women makers who continue to influence us. An Art Grandmother could be famous in the arts or personally influential; we feel it is important to recognize and honor people who came before us, and the conscious or subconscious ways in which ancestors ideas find their way into what we make.
We are looking at the work of Sonia Gomes, born in 1948 and living and working in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. We came across Gomes' work at the Rubell Family Collection in Miami, Florida at the exhibition named New Shamans. Upon walking into the gallery exclusively dedicated to Gomes' work, we were immediately struck by a sense of familiarity, identification and excitement at the stuffed, sutured and stitched shapes protruding from walls and ceiling.
Caetanopolis, the artist's hometown is known as the locus of the first textile factory in late 19th century Brazil. Women and slaves contributed to an extensive part of the workforce. The influence of Afro-Brazilian religious ceremony and textile tradition is clearly evident in Gomes large-scale fabric
A detail of Tantas Estorias (So Many Stories) 2015 is shown here, revealing the ability of fiber to be an archive of memory, vacillating between figuration and the abstract.