I believe the difference between being an artist and not being an artist depends on whether we pay attention on things that we pass every day or not pay attention. It is amazing how artists pick up their materials on things we see all the time. I have never thought of someone making an art piece with dirt that we see everywhere. This week’s art piece I found interesting is Revival and Grandpa says anything will grow in this dirt by Patricia E. Rangel.
When I first entered the gallery of Rangel’s, there was a chunk of dirt waiting for me. It looked like a geographical feature of some place, but I did not know what it was representing. I thought it might have been made up of a very hard material, but when I read the explanation of the work, I realized it was made up of dirt. Dirt! For me, dirt was not something that could stay stable. However, Rangel’s Revival stayed very stable without any dirt falling. The shape of Revival was the parameters of Central Valley where it is an agricultural location. The dirt for this piece was from various locations mixed and compacted.
Next to Revival, there was Grandpa says anything will grow in this dirt. This was made up of dirt too but cement was added. The dirt for this piece was from El Rancho Bosque, where her grandfather’s ranch is at. Rangel said this dirt reminds her home and gives the feeling of staying at home. I asked her if it wasn’t hard to extract all this dirt from the original place, and she said although it was hard, separating components could create a new foundation to build on for her art.
I enjoyed her idea of using dirt because it symbolized one’s home. Home is where we can always feel safe and comfortable when we think about it. There may be other kind of house that we live in, but the feeling of family and home can never be replaced. There is no place better than home.