A Look Into The Embroidered World Of Juana Gomez

Sometimes when I am labored by life, I imagine myself looking at it through the eyes of the other — a friend, a foe, a past, an artist, an icon.

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Most days a simple glance through social media does the trick; influencers heavily using their personal brands to give us snippets of their shared lives, and just like that I am inspired, stimulated, within seconds after seeing a post or a photo.

But art, art is an entirely different matter. It demands more, where seconds turn into hours and inspiration turns into lengthy questions of ‘how’ and ‘why’. Perhaps it is to overcompensate for not having any artistic talent that I labor over the details, as if it will give my hands the grace to create something worthy.

But I digress.

Art commands me more so on days when life is not panning out how I want it to. It is escapist, it is selfish. And today I am lost in the world of Chilean artist, Juana Gomez.

In her recent collection Constructal, Gomez embroiders tree-like patterns into faded self-portraits and photographs to create unique art pieces.

Heavily influenced by Professor Adrian Bejan’s constructal law of physics, Gomez presents flow and interconnectedness through lines and patterns inspired by streets, arteries, manuals, old textbooks, and even outer space, superimposing it into the human anatomy — different elements and realms merged into one piece of art.

More than the science and the art involved, she also delves on how heritage plays a role in her process:

We do not only inherit the color of our eyes. We inherit a rich history. My grandmother taught me how to embroider, and now I work with that inheritance, I repeat patterns so as not to forget, I embroider to continue these memory lines that must not be lost” — Juana Gomez, interview with The Creators Project


Looking at her works I am reminded of Robin Wall Kimmerer, a botanist 99% of the time, but one that wields the pen with such poetic eloquence she has also been rendered a de facto poet and philosopher.

In her quest for scientific study came the sudden clarity for attentiveness to life at all scales. Much like Gomez’s art, Kimmerer also touches upon interconnectedness this time between man and nature:

A Cheyenne elder of my acquaintance once told me that the best way to find something is not to go looking for it. This is a hard concept for a scientist. But he said to watch out of the corner of your eye, open to possibility, and what you seek will be revealed. The revelation of suddenly seeing what I was blind to only moments before is a sublime experience for me. I can revisit those moments and still feel the surge of expansion. The boundaries between my world and the world of another being get pushed back with sudden clarity an experience both humbling and joyful.
[…]
Mosses and other small beings issue an invitation to dwell for a time right at the limits of ordinary perception. All it requires of us is attentiveness. Look in a certain way and a whole new world can be revealed.
See more of Juana Gomez’s art here.
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