Linda Arreola

My interest has been in honoring the simple, the common, and the ordinary. Enriched with meaning and symbolism, everyday objects are replete with qualities we tend to overlook. I believe that when things are at their most elemental, they reveal to us their essence. Energy, poetry, glory and mystery, are innate to all things (natural and man-made). Rocks, branches, sand, as well as what I call their urban counterparts such as paintbrush, broom, chair, or washboard, have been great sources for inspiration. Symbolizing beauty and poetry in material form they are the humble icons of a grand spirit.

Formally trained in sculpture and architecture, order and three-dimensionality have become integral qualities of my work. It has led to the use of the grid as a foundation in which I develop my paintings. It symbolizes the unseen network for which energy or spirit is transmitted and suggests an imagined 3-D interconnection between all things. It creates order, defines space and allows for chaos.

As a result of working with a grid, I approach my paintings as “constructions,” giving them a three-dimensional quality through the application of materials. Using unmixed color I layer my paint rather than mix or blend. The use of color and simple geometric form are inherent influences of my Indigenous-Hispanic ancestry. Color, elements of language (words, letters, numbers), and object are combined in juxtapositions and repetitions to create new meanings through symbolism and metaphor. By revisiting and honoring the common in our everyday world I hope to make sacred that which is ordinary and to further explore the symbols of a universal language within this multi-cultural world. Such a language would be able to pose the fundamental questions of every society…questions about who we are, where we come from and where we are going.

I believe there is a connection between the domestic and the sublime, the commonplace and the spiritual, and the material and the soul. This has been the nature of my work.