This exhibition exploring the idea of "borderlands" was curated by Velvet Da Vinci Gallery and exhibited at the Museo Franz Mayer in Mexico City before traveling to San Francisco (Velvet da Vinci) and Houston, TX (Houston Center for Contemporary Craft).
Of all the images I came across while researching for the exhibition, the most compelling to me were the series of warning maps which had been created by the NGO Humane Borders to show the dangers of crossing the border through the desert on foot. The maps show routes clustered with red dots (each dot representing the location of a death in the desert) overlaid with circles indicating the distance on foot from the border.
The border is such a complicated thing, with so many political angles, moving parts, stories and stakes on both sides, it has always been difficult for me to form any clear opinion of how either side is handling the responsibility of being a neighbor. These maps stood out to me in their sadness but also in their simplicity: these deaths are not a matter of opinion. Each red dot represents a human experience that no one could wish for another regardless of politics.
The brooch is a reference to traditional Victorian mourning jewelry, which often contains a remnant of hair from the loved one lost. In this case, all that remains is a red dot. The small enameled pins are arranged in an abstraction of a cactus flower which grows in the Arizona desert and stands out from the landscape with a brilliant red.
Above: Three Days Walking (Mourning Brooch). steel pins, vitreous enamel, steel, wood. 50 mm x 50mm x 7mm.