La Suite del Silencio (Suite of Silence)

Text by Timothy Hollis, consultant, art dealer and community activist in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

In “La Suite del Silencio”, Colombian born artist Beatriz Mejia-Krumbein transport us to the lives and perspectives of those who have suffered, to those who have been denied a voice

As artist, teacher and poet, Beatriz Mejia-Krumbein continues her focus on violence and children. She invites us to bear witness to the faces of our lost and broken children and participate in the healing work of building community. Stark figures painted on homespun quilts demand our attention. It is in that confrontation that she shares a moving dialogue between her subjects and the viewer, and in the process, raises questions that reveal our own innocence lost.

El Rostro Acrylic on Fabric Collage 55 x 67 inches 1999

A moving irony on Mejia-Krumbein’s work is the stark contrast between the fear and isolation expressed in the eyes of her subjects and the invitation for us to participate, to see and feel these forgotten characters and to respond.

The title “La Suite Del Silencio” illustrates that while these figures represent a helplessness and resignation, the work sings out about the spirit that overcomes, In Mejia-Krumbein’s vision, the mute shout their silence.

By witnessing and speaking with these quilts, we invite the displaced into our community. Beatriz Mejia-Krumbein charges us to create a personal dialogue with these quilts and welcomes home the displaced parts of ourselves. These children represent the urgency to end their alienation and silence. When we speak to these powerful faces, embracing them into our community, their silence becomes a suite of songs, a room full of musical voices.

BeatrizMejia-Krumbein’s haunting meditations on family, parenthood and child neglect evoke a powerful statement of a society misled. Her images are not to be read literally but create an unsettling narrative, hinted at, of children who are forgotten.  Her commitment to social Issues are long standing including her work on domestic violence and abuse towards women and children.

Meaning in Mejia-Krumbein ‘s work is derived from observation while tapping into the emotional vein of our collective unconscious. The figures that populate these quilts, sometimes subtle, may even personify people in our own lives.


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