Death is inevitable, it is the one certain thing that everyone will experience at some point in their lives… next to taxes that is. Death isn’t as scary though as the absences it can leave in the lives of those it affects. It’s like a polaroid; a permanent, one of a kind reminder for ourselves that life is as precious as the memories we experience. When we lose the physical aspects and are only left with the memories themselves, people preserve them as best as they can because of their fragility. The fragility of these memories is what this body of work focuses on in relation to the process of grieving and self-reflection.
The materials used for these pieces include: broken mirror shards, paper, plastic cups, wood and cotton balls. The nature of these specific materials are either fragile, flimsy, easily manipulated, or some of, if not all of, the above. When a memory isn’t fully remembered, with faces or details being blurry or even completely removed from our brain, it’s more like broken shards than a fully completed mirror we can reflect upon. As our brains process grief, our memories are affected due to the trauma of said grief. Minds become foggy, and it’s easy to lose a sense of self during the process. Physically building these fragile works of art, piece by piece over hours of time, allows for building a new sense of normal with these memory shards without mom being around.
The work itself is as fragile as the memories wrapped around each individual work. The mantel-shaped altar acts as a storybook, with the distressed look, exposed wood and half-hazardous text acting as the grief and guilt of loss consuming parts of those memories. The furbies represent personal traits from my family, while the sculptural painting itself is its own fragmented memory. The broken mirror portrait acts as an attempt at self reflection through the image she was able to portray for the family. Separately, these works would most likely create their own stand-off stories. When displayed together as intended, they form a shrine, one that is dedicated as an homage to Nilsa Perez, the glue that once held my family together.
About the Artist
Tiara Jessica Perez is an artist currently residing in and working around Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She’s formerly from Bronx, New York, where she was raised most of her life. She will be completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts in May 2020. With a focus in both sculpture and ceramics, she uses her background in drawing and painting to create mixed media art. She has had several works in group shows; such as Rapidity and YCP F2C at the Coni Wolf Galleries, located in Marketview Arts, York, Pennsylvania. Her work has also been seen in the Annual Juried Student Exhibition at York College Galleries. Tiara has been a recipient of the York Heritage Award during her college career.