Like much of my work, "Her Burden," is based in Maya mythology. This particular image of mother and child comes from an illustration from a prehispanic Maya codex, accompanied by glyphs translated as, "her burden."
The woman wears an interpretation of contemporary Guatemalan Highland indigenous dress; the skeletal remains of her child strapped to her back. Ribs protrude from the infant's peraje. Socketless (dislodged) eyeballs and symbolic representations of blood (Maya) circle its head. A bowl of red seeds, known as coral seeds, also correspond to blood symbolism and are used in divination, or the "counting of days," by Maya spiritual practitioners.
This work immediately confronts the viewer with death - in this case the death of a child - and the implications of the female's "burden" in the birth and loss of this life - her loss. Many in our society are removed from and uncomfortable with these subjects.
While art is always open to interpretation, as the artist, I mean to put forth my own socio-political message embedded in this work which centers on two universal themes:
1) a woman's role within her society - her responsibilty and power over the beginning, maintenance, and end of life - the survival of self and offspring along with the hardships and suffering that this responsibilty entails in many parts of the world.
2) the death/sacrifice of the innocents as a result of warfare, poverty (lack of access to food and healthcare), and infanticide.
Wӓy (I'll Grind Your Bones to Make My Bread)
And Now It Still Murmurs... the First Words
Nunca Jamas (Viento Fuerte)
Visitation (Vision Among Ruins)
Arboleda (Green Cathedral)
Las Tres Hermanas
La Tatuana (Libre Como el Pensamiento)
View From My Window
Zaidee's Plum Tree (study)
Las Tres Hermanas II
La Calaca Risueña a la Maruca
La Calaca Verde
Bosque de Verapaz
Scorched Earth (Tierra Arrasada)
Ri Qakik'el (Our Blood)