Paula do Prado: Statement
Abya Yala is a Guna word, now commonly used to refer to central and south america in the same way that Turtle Island is used to refer to north america. This woven work is a meditation on reframing place beyond the colonial map and its political borders. Place is both physical and spiritual, outlined by natural formations, mountain ranges, waterways, portals, celestial formations and the life and spirits that inhabit those places. It is unapologetically patchworked from my own memories, ancestral connections and intersecting spiritual practices that coalesce on the lands of the Charrúa Nation where I was born. Abya Yala is my lovesong to what survives deep within the soil and the ancient connections that sustain all our replationships. May it serve as it does for me as a reminder that there are other possibilities, other paradigms and that if we share our stories in all their complexity we might collectively find a way to imagine a place where we can be together.
Working predominantly in tejido (weaving) combining crochet, coiling and beading, Paula do Prado's practice seeks to make the invisible, visible. Her work is anchored in the intersections of her ancestral lineages and surfacing the tensions in reclaiming self/culture as a settler migrant. Her current practice-led research focuses on reclaiming ancestral and spiritual practices, plantcestors and south-south global relationships to weave new narratives.