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heavy is the root of the dawn

In-person

Hosted by Project for Empty Space

Event poster/Featured Image

heavy is the root of the dawn is a body of work that explores the interstitial space of existence, also known as ‘rootlessness.’ The object-based pieces, comprised of large scale assemblage paintings, smaller works on paper, and a large scale embroidery, represents imagined spaces as well as spaces of consumption.

Project for Empty Space Artist in Resident Nadia Liz Estela addresses and unpacks the complexity of these layerings in her solo exhibition heavy is the root of the dawn. A Dominican American, Estela scales from the micro of her own personal experience to the macro of the larger phenomenon of social constructionism, identity, labor, and the ‘immigrant,’ experience.

The entry point for the exhibition manifests in a series of panels and durational performances, which happen at dawn every Friday during the duration of the exhibition, Estela lives this labor and complexity by weaving an infinite tapestry of discarded shirt trails, an act that is informed by Estela’s mother's work as a seamstress in Newark garment factories. The performance is dually meditative and laborious. She says of the piece “ the laborious process that a seamstress endures in creating garments is akin to the same type constructive and arduous process that we go through to weave ourselves together as a whole of many parts.”

In the large panels in the gallery, a myriad of lush fabrics and textures traverse the flat planes, enhancing the segregation of colors from one another. The crimson panel features a visceral spillage of blood-red velvet dipped in wax; a vibrant mesh blooms from the violet panel. The fabric adds texture to what, from a distance, appears to be flat. On closer inspection, however, the panels are far from smooth. These are veritable cartographies, covered in layers of wax and other detritus of a similar palate. In some paintings, small grotesqueries like beetles and cicadas are ensconced forever in a wax coffin.

Nadia Estela’s work pushes you to consider the implications of flattened identities and to explode them into oblivion through meditative contemplation. The show opens to the public on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021, from 2 - 5pm. heavy is the root of the dawn is on view at Project for Empty Space from October 2nd, 2021 through December 20th 2021.

Featured Artists: Nadia Liz Estela


Covid-19 Protocols: Per CDC recommendations, all visitors are required to present proof of vaccination and wear a mask to enter the Project for Empty Space gallery.


FRIDAY:

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The entry point for the exhibition manifests in a series of panels and durational performances, which happen at dawn every Friday during the duration of the exhibition.

SPONSORS

Supported in part by a grant from NJ Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism.

SPONSORS

Supported in part by a grant from NJ Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism.

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