Amalia Galdona Broche describes herself as, “Living in a cultural in-between.” Born in Cuba, she has lived in the United States for the last 10 years. Now 25, her time in America frames the “coming-of-age” period that is often the most formative time in the identity of an artist.
“I am interested in the relationship between nature and nurture and how our surroundings shape character and identity,” she explains. “Through the process of collecting, tearing, breaking, joining, weaving, knotting and assembling, I mimic my journey through life, constantly adapting to the experiences, places and people around me.”
“I use the cyanotype photo process to capture and present, in an abstracted manner, the way in which our environment imprints onto our identity. Currently, I explore figures through form, material, and surface treatment. The assemblage of woven structures with or created with discarded textiles creates a rich surface texture that is sometimes further altered through photo processes. By referencing the syncretizing of religious and cultural beliefs, as well as Spanish and Afro-Cuban culture in my work, I deal with the intricacies of the building and development of my own character as a product of colonization and appropriation.”
Broche’s use of the word syncretize in her statement is key. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as the ‘Attempt to amalgamate or reconcile (differing things, especially religious beliefs, cultural elements, or schools of thought),’ and the resulting tension in the work is palpable. The forms that are suggestive of human figures are colorful and vital, imbued with life and energy yet also not as open as they might be, their full identity occluded among the layers of material (“The Scream”). The more abstract constructions build atmosphere and context with the same air of muffled expression, curtains capturing a festive quality but also allowing some degree of barricade .
It may not be wrong to see a commentary of the American propensity for cultural approbation at work here, yet Broche’s statement also reinforces her own accountability in this exploration of identity.
“I find this creative process to be a meditative dance of making and building, using art and craft and their history to continue a conversation about otherness, feminism, and the global south.”
2019 Of Problems and Some Other Knots, Locker 666, Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, GA
2018 Nurtured Nature, Glass Gallery, Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
2017 The Art of Structure, Still Point Arts, Virtual Gallery
Hometown: Santa Clara, Cuba
Education: MFA candidate, University of Kentucky, 2021
BFA, with a concentration in Sculpture, Jacksonville University, 2016; BA, with a concentration in Art History, Jacksonville University, 2016, Departmental Honors in Art, Minor: Business Administration
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.