3 Questions Digital Series

Amber Robles-Gordon

An interview from Art in Embassies 3 Questions Digital Series with Amber Robles-Gordon, who speaks about her creative process and artwork at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Abuja, Nigeria.

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Full Transcript

I think that creating artwork has always been a form of language for me and it’s a form of language that has always stimulated my cells to a certain degree and where and i don’t think it’s just in one part of my body i think it’s it’s been able to move throughout my body um and i think i’m a pretty good communicator but what i communicate through my art i think is um it’s like a life energy and i think it’s more powerful than what i’m able to communicate through my words and that has always moved my spirit this work is called metaphysical planes of life and it is a work that i did in graduate school and during that experience i was also going through a ailment that work was about learning to separate the pain that i was going through um from my reality and so it’s called metaphysical planes of life and it is divided into three planes i’ve always been really interested in spatial planes and in this work i’m i’m looking at spatial planes but i’m also looking at how uh the spine works and then um the top layer is about the spiritual plane of life or existence the middle and the way that it’s set back with the warm tones and the rice paper is about the emotional state of our existence and then the lower is the physical plane of existence

For the majority of my my art experience my career i have always worked with collage or assemblages so i have a built like a plethora of materials when it comes to collaging and um assemblages and they’re all to some extent actually they’re organized by materials um i i’ve got this serious um tupperware situation where you got the clear you know so that you know what’s in uh basically by sight you know what’s in each um each container i have this collector spirit in me kind of inherited through my um my my great grandmother my grandmother and my mother each woman collects uh different types of things for of course a different reason as you’re young you are drawn to a certain um i think certain patterns of things that are um attributed to your character even even early on um and some of those things will fade away but others are definitely finite and they continue to grow um as your character as you grow and i i since i was eight i’ve known i wanted to be an artist and so what that meant for me was that i’ve always had this fascination with using things um that were either gifted to me like the universe gifted something to me um and or that have a one purpose and then i transform them into something else so my collections um began as a child when i used to feel like i was lucky when i would find little things on the street um and then i it as i grew it kind of the the need to collect um elevated and i really knew that i wanted to be an artist early on so these things that were dropped in my path and my presence i knew that they were meant for something else so that collecting spirit came early

in relationship to the the subject matter that my work is usually about it’s one color but also the experience of being a woman so womanhood in general um in addition talking about it through abstraction usually the patriarchy um of this society and how women are um

not treated well not treated as we’re supposed to and it’s it’s amazing to me as i look either on my phone or instagram or the news and seeing layers of how that is being unfolded and challenged throughout the world and it’s absolutely something that i think i was had a heightened sense to early on in my life and i’ve tried to encapsulate it through my work for example when people see my works in relationship to some of the large-scale installations that are definitely about color rhythm um and movement but underneath that there is a narrative the chicken wire itself is about um i see that as a masculine structure in which that it’s hard it’s solid it’s made of a metal which is absolutely needed in our universe but um juxtaposed that i use materials that are and colors that are associated usually associated with femininity and i weave them through this masculine form to talk about the balance um either lacking and or needed in our society so that’s one way but absolutely in relationship to um talking about the African diaspora and and and racism that is also one of the underpinnings of my of my work in general um i know that sometimes that people are drawn to the color they’re drawn to the texture they’re drawn to the materiality you know and i welcome that but i also hope that some dig deeper and are looking for a different level of experience.