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Mothering, I

EVA ROCHA

“In my childhood, I used to create images on the ground with lint from used thread or hair or even plant fibers pulled from a leaf as I sat observing the women -and my mother- on the land. In September of 2020, I lost my mother in the midst of the pandemic. I had to mother my daughter amidst my grief...I created many works related to the theme of mother and child but many were very heavy and painful. In Mothering, I, I share a few of [these] images.”

Eva Rocha2020

We’re pleased to announce the opening of Mothering, I, with recent work by multi-media artist Eva Rocha. The show, which opens Friday, January 8 with an all-day reception from 10 am – 5 pm, includes Rocha’s most recent series of thread drawings on canvas. This is the Richmond-based artist’s second solo exhibition at Reynolds Gallery.

Tactile yet ephemeral, Rocha’s threaded works present contemporary concepts of the human figure rooted in memory and ritual. Fluidly draping black thread over ungessoed canvas, she organically draws the figure. In this exhibition, she presents a series of compositions reflecting the mother and child relationship, specifically referencing the bond with both her daughter and late mother. Rocha’s depictions of the body vary from piece to piece, engaging a dynamic emotive quality from nurturing to apprehensive to serene, and always vulnerable. This vulnerability is heightened by the stark contrast between dark lines of Rocha’s thread and her use of raw, beige canvas, which evokes a primal nature in its fleshy hues. There also exists a notion of duality and connectivity both compositionally and metaphorically. With thread, Rocha merges the line of a daughter’s head with the curve of a mother’s hip, while on their face, the mother and child have only one eye each, as if not fully seeing unless they are together.

Eva Rocha currently lives in Virginia. Her work at large combines elements of performance, sculpture, set design, and video installation and it was shown at the following museums and years: Taubman Museum (2021-2022; 2017); Museum of Contemporary Art MOCA-VA (2020-2021; 2019; 2016); William King Museum (2019-2020; 2016); Valentine Museum (2018-2017); Black History Museum (2017); Virginia Museum of Fine Arts sculpture garden (2015; 2014; 2013); Museo Brasileiro de Escultura MUBE (2013); Art Museum of Americas AMA (2013).