Doris Nogueira-Rogers on the inspiration and serendipity of 'Many Moons'
The Philadelphia-based Brazilian artist Doris Nogueira-Rogers talked to AL DÍA about her new exhibit “Muitas Luas" (“Many Moons” in Portuguese) which opened Nov. 6 at Brandywine Workshop and Archives, and which she sees an evolution of the work that she’s been doing throughout her life.
The 63-year-old mixed media artist has lived in the City of Brotherly Love since 1978. Ever since she has continued to be inspired by the exuberant nature of Brazil while her neo abstract designs aim to raise awareness about the destruction of the tropical forests in her native country.
During a six month residence at the Brandywine, the recipient of the Joyce de Guatemala fellowship — established to support local Latina artists in memory of the Philadelphia area sculptor who died in 2000 — produced an edition of about 50 prints, mixed media works on paper and a large piece of fabric art.
Nogueira-Rogers talked about the inspiration for her work, serendipity, the women in her family, her experience working at the Brandywine, and she also had a word for other Latina artists. Here’s what she had to say.
About the inspiration for her work:
“My work has always been focused in nature and my concern for the environment, especially the destruction of the forest in Brazil, which breaks my heart, and not just the Amazon, but also the Mata Atlântica (Atlantic Forest) which is in the East Coast of Brazil, goes through Río — where I’m from — and comes all the way down to the South. Within the last 30 years, I’ve seen see the eucalyptus forest vanishing with the overcrowding of development without regulations.”
About her current exhibit ‘Many Moons’:
“The shape of the moon has always been present in my work but this time there was natural evolution, and it just grew more and more. It started with the blue moon in July. That gave me the idea of making a blue moon and I ended up making 12. Then there was the blood moon in September. It all came together using the moon as a metaphor for life cycles and womanhood. I did a piece with a pink moon, and reading about the mythology of the moon, I found out that according to the Native Americans in the Southwest, the pink moon is the April moon, and I happen to be born in April. It was serendipity. The coincidences and the things that were happening naturally throughout the process were very interesting to me. That’s why I call this exhibit ‘Many moons.’”
About the women in her family:
“This exhibit took me back to my grandmother and the women in my family who shaped me. I always use lace-like designs which take me back to the traditions of crochet and embroidery that are very big in my family. I have a fabric piece with a little leaf, that my great aunt and my mother helped me embroider, which was then stenciled and incorporated to the larger piece, so there’s even their physical presence in the exhibit. In a way, it’s a celebration and honoring of the women in my family.”
About the fellowship:
“This fellowship was a dream come true. It’s a wonderful opportunity for women and Latina artists to be in great place. I really encourage them to apply. You don’t have to be a printmaker. It’s an opportunity to experiment with a new medium and to do it in an amazing environment that is also very free. You are not there because you are expected to do something. You do it in your own time. I really hope that other women artists, young and mid-career, come to the talk where I’ll be sharing my experience and apply.”
About being part of the permanent collection at the Brandywine:
“Once you have a series of prints produced at the Brandywine, half of it becomes part of the their permanent collection, while you get to keep half. Besides being able to sell your own prints, Brandywine donates part of their collection to many museums, so you even have an opportunity of having your print in the permanent collection of a major museum.”