Today, we are going to reveal you Ala Paredes interview.
This young mother, who recently had a baby, had her life completely changed since she became pregnant. Indeed, this had an impact not only on her, but also on her work, « aside from influencing the subject matter directly, [she] felt the need to construct something with [her] hands as opposed to just painting an image on a flat surface ; piecing together a paper doll reflected the process of completing a human being within [her]. ».
Then, the exhibition Balik Bayan seems to be an excellent opportunity to present this new kind of art while representing « [her] homeland through [her] work ». So Ala decided to present something new, « some articulated paper illustrations or paper puppets ». This is an interesting choice that is « a result of circumstance ». In fact, she is now working small since she « [gave] up [her] art studio [to work] in a smal[ler] studio apartment that [she] share[s] with [her] husband and newborn ». But that doesn’t mean that she has completely changed her way of working. She is known as « a portraitist who makes paintings on a larger scale », so she is going to use this so that « [her] work for this exhibition [will be] a departure from that ».
An other reason of why Paredes is going to present this at Balik Bayan is that she « wanted to be playful ». As a matter of fact, she wants to be closer to the audience, as she thinks that « there is something about an articulated paper illustration that engages the viewer directly, makes them want to touch it, move it, play with it ».
Besides, Ala started to make these original « birth dolls » when she was pregnant so that she could « explore the physicality of the pregnant female body and its ability to expand, change, and accommodate ». At first sight, she explained that « pregnancy is human nature performing at its basest level, a biological function of the physical body », but it is also « one of the most transcendent experiences of the spirit, above and beyond the flesh ».
That is why she « began to make these dolls to come to terms with [her] own feelings of awe, wonder and occasionally, distaste and ambivalence » since « [her] own body [was preparing] itslef for chlidbirth ».
As a consequence, these dolls started to « represent the pregnant body as both heavy, burdensome flesh and a powerful force of nature, a passage through which an ancient and primal force can express itself » …
Don’t forget the exhibition starts next September at Blacktown Art Center, where you will be able to see all the artist’s amazing works, including Ala’s new original work that we just presented to you !