I glue hundreds and hundred of beads made of clay and crystal on the pieces I create. One by one, the beads are delicately placed on the object with a toothpick. Slowly, very slowly the beads form the colored surfaces that form a part of the personality of each piece.
Yep, it takes way too much time. Why am I doing this? I am creating slow art.
The technique, I learned it as a child, watching the Wixáritari people creating their artwork.
The Wixáritari people, is one of the last prehispanic cultures in Latin America that still practice the beliefs and traditions of their ancestors. The Wixáritari have lived in the deepest parts of the Sierra Madres Occidental in northwest Mexico for thousands of years.
Because of their worldview and beliefs, the Wixáritari have a very respectful attitude and relationship with nature. This holistic approach to nature is the base of their community and is, therefore, explicitly represented on their art.
Wixáritari use crystal beads to cover ritualistic and secular objects. They glue the beads drawing symbols that transmit their beliefs and traditions.
I have decided to also glue beads in my pieces for two reasons:
- As a way of honoring my country’s ancient cultures and worldvisions
- As a way of a personal reflection that everything in life is built out of many small details, just like hundreds of beads glued on a surface
Slow art such as gluing hundreds of beads reminds me that happiness is the sum of many factors, moments, colors, sounds, people and things. By slowly gluing beads I have come to appreciate the routine and the repetition. Moreover, it has made me realize how complex life and nature are and how it takes more than a brushstroke to create something, just anything that holds a substance and quality.