“Art is the language I am cultivating; it can be more universally understood and forgiving than whatever may be on my tongue. While I work through various building and surface techniques with clay, creating very different bodies of work, I learn about limits, possibilities, and authenticity. Every way of working reveals a story, and for me, this is the purpose of art. To reflect on history, culture and lived experience, and find the convergence. To tell this story, in whatever method or aesthetic suits each truth. In my early body of work, Unsung Muses, my own experience as a woman became a clear starting point, but it was the stories of other women that took precedence. As I continued to educate myself and become more introspective, I discovered the value in telling personal stories in a way that connects them to the universal. This was the path that led me to create the installations The Whole World is a Stage I and II. Going forward in my studio practice, the vulnerability present in this work will remain at the forefront. In hopes that it will encourage a breakdown of our internal systems of censorship we are taught from birth, an antidote to cultural prescriptions. However, the new series of works return to an earlier aesthetic which utilizes pattern and beauty to create a lighter sense of being.
In the end, the necessity of authentic communication is what drives me to create. That somewhere in between the solitude of studio work and the bustle of the gallery, we might have a moment of connection and understanding that allows us to be a little bit better than we were before.” – Alex Hodge
Maria Theresa Barbist and Elysa D. Batista are both locally based South Florida artists that collaborate as the BABA COLLECTIVE. They originally met at the Bakehouse Art Complex in Wynwood, FL during their individual artist residencies in 2016.
The idea of the BABA COLLECTIVE was born when in discussion of the diversity of artists that were found at the BAC, and other institutions in Miami, they realized the lack of archives providing the ability to access interviews of these individuals. Thus RCS: ROCKING CHAIRS SESSIONS was created. A publicly accessible forum where one could find individual recordings describing the professions, media, and life of South Florida based creatives.
Launching their collaborative endeavor in 2017, the BABA COLLECTIVE seeks to amass a window into the lives and process of SoFla based professionals in the arts.