BASKETRY, CEMENT, BOTANICAL DYES, SCULPTURE, INSTALLATION
MATERIAL AS MEANING / FRONTERIZA
Sarita Westrup is an artist living and working in Penland, North Carolina. Her personal textile and sculptural works are inspired by her home in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Sarita is also co-founder of TIERRA FIRME a project-based collaborative effort that speaks to their identity as women born and raised on the border of the US & Mexico. She received her MFA in Fibers from the University of North Texas in 2016. Her work has been exhibited widely including recent exhibitions at the Latino Cultural Center, form and concept, and Kirk Hopper Gallery. She currently works at the Penland School of Craft as the textile studio coordinator.
Healing practices and devotional iconography are a prominent part of my home on the Texas Mexico Border and are an inspiration to my bicultural aesthetics. My most recent water portal works act as offerings or markers to migrants lost in the US Mexico desert Borderlands. As a visual artist working in fibers, I employ the use of mixed media and woven techniques that complicate the vessel’s function to hold water. These vessels fail to provide nourishment and wellness to its migrant community similar to our political climate here in the US. The woven forms are symbolic of arches and portals between the two countries. In addition, the woven forms convey the act of holding and connecting either side of the border to one another in hopes for a unified future.