Click on the photo to see more
A visual artist for more than thirty-five years, Lena Bartula moved from Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2004 to Mexico, where she lives and works full time in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato. Her repertoire includes painting, installation, printmaking, constructions, book arts and mixed media. Her art often combines imagery and pattern, textured layers, and words or letters in English or Spanish, inspired by her own poetry or that of other writers. The huipil, an indigenous blouse in the Mesoamerican tradition, called her attention to the ‘why’ of writing one’s personal and collective history in symbols. Out of this was born a series of contemporary huipils, a tribute to women whose voices and visions have historically been silenced or suppressed. As a conceptual artist, she creates most of her work from an original idea, and after much deliberation and research, chooses her materials and techniques accordingly. The relationship of words, like text and textile, are instrumental in formulating ideas, and although technically she is neither weaver nor papermaker, these traditional crafts play a major role in her work on this series. Sewing has become a method of ‘weaving together’ ideas, and Bartula has been known to stitch disparate materials such as leaves, maps, plastic and cornhusks.
She considers art-making as a way to speak of beauty, truth, spirit, joy, pain, justice, everything that this human life entails. Her works are shown in museums and galleries, in her San Miguel studio/gallery, and are found in collections in France, Italy, U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada and Mexico.