Living with the Land: Maria Berrio in Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp
Girls replace their arms with feathered wings. A women cradles a seething stream in her arms as she would a child. Wildflowers spring from human skin just as they carpet a lush, green mountain valley. Butterflies grow from scalps in place of hair. These are only a few of the fantasies that dot Maria Berrio’s three collages for “Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp,” recently on view at the Contemporary Arts Center.
Berrio is a collector of paper, sourcing it from Japan, Korea, and Mexico. She builds her collages by laying down layers on top of each other and allowing her materials to help dictate the composition. Amid landscapes of colorful cut paper, Berrio's human figures—women and children, the artist rarely portrays men—are painted with watercolor details and often stare out of the composition, confronting viewers head on.
Image: Wildflowers (detail), 2017
© María Berrío