Art  – 

Juan’s Transcendent Hope

Incorporating textiles is important to my work because these techniques resonate with most of us and therefore have the potential of being an effective tool of communication. I have made embroidered, natural canvas shoes as signifiers of the immigrant human body, the immigrant body that has left a void behind and has become a void itself. Canvas, a utilitarian fabric, is made of a simple, humble weave, representing common immigrants’ traits of strength, perseverance, resilience, and their mighty ability to hold on to hope in the most strenuous circumstances. A transcendent hope that dates to time immemorial, during times of borderless territories. To this date, I have made a total of seven pairs of shoes corresponding to children who have either died in custody or after being detained by federal immigration agencies at the border. Making shoes is a labor-intensive process that resonates with the children’s long, strenuous journey and the essential, undervalued work immigrants often do in this nation. It is also important to note that these children are descendants of the same natives that migrated to these lands, of the western hemisphere, from north to south, for millennia before its colonization. These shoes are made to honor the memory and to celebrate the persevering spirit of immigrant children. They are made to bring attention to the necessity of providing humanitarian relief with dignity and respect to asylum seekers. The same humanitarian relief that was given by the natives to the colonists of this nation who faithfully came to these lands seeking a place of refuge and a safe place to call home.