Little Gold Birds


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A Study on Fragility

By Caridad Botella

At some point in her career, the Antioqueñan artist Ana Isabel Díez (nominated for the VIII Luis Caballero Award) took her artistic practice beyond the study of nature across the landscape and into the realm of similarities.  This time, which takes place in 2010, when she held the “Interior Landscape” exhibition in the Centro Colombo – Americano in Bogotá, it meant the search for analogies between the feminine nature and the nature of their landscapes, and – above all – of the fragility and the challenges that both natures face.  Díez found all kinds of landscapes in the images of her own hysteroscopy, which led her to make the collection of works that would be shown in that exhibition.  From this finding, the artist has developed her work around the idea of the fragile, represented in abuse against women – as aggression against the female nature – seen from different angles and voices, elaborating conceptual representations that speak of a universal problem but that do not forget the personal stories.

Within this plastic investigation denouncing violent realities against women – at different levels, both physical as well as psychological and against any woman in the world – the exhibition Little Gold Birds approaches the topic from the idea of systematic aggression in organizations that traffic women; the networks and economic benefits that this human commerce generates; the consequences that it has for the construction or destruction of the identity of women, victims of abuse.  Díez has created a metaphorical image rooted in birds of gold, as a colloquialism that refers to the dream and promise that is built, that is “painted” as a deception and under false pretenses, to take someone to begin actions that will never have the expected results.  These three ideas – that of human trafficking and its networks of operation, the deformation of identity and the deception and promise that exploit the human dream of a better life – transit in the background of Díez’s works.  Each technique used in the exhibition also reflects the background that Díez wants to reach, thus achieving coherence between form and discourse.  On the one hand, the torn bills and interwoven fragments speak to us of a manipulation and an interlacing of economies spun in our society.  On the other hand, the passports constructed with pencil drawings speak to us of an apparently official identity, but which is essentially fabricated and capable of being erased.  Finally, the porcelain birds embody the metaphor of the exhibition, taking the part for the whole:  the birds – the endangered species – look golden and desirable on the surface, but are fragile like the material from which they are made.


Passport, from the series little gold birds
Color pencils and transfer on paper with gold leaf . 24x26 cms. 2016


About My Work
By Ana Isabel Díez

With my work Little Gold Birds, I once again address the issue of mistreatment of women, drawing parallels with nature from the feminine aspect.  Not in vain do we talk of her as “Mother Nature.”

We talk about Little Gold Birds to refer to brilliant, attractive promises that are almost never fulfilled; illusions that invite one to take flight but – ultimately – restrict freedom.  This is what happens with the third most–lucrative illicit business after drugs and arms trafficking:  human trafficking, of which 98% are women.

Millions of women are tricked and abducted to travel to other countries (mainly in Asia and Europe) where they are enslaved, prostituted, battered:  They are misled by Little Gold Birds.

Paradoxically, Colombia – the richest country in bird species, many of which are endangered – also plays an important role in human trafficking, being the origin, transit and destination of this business.

With the works presented in this exhibition, I have wanted to signify the intricate, lucrative networks that are woven in this business:  how women are approached and captured with wiles and, above all, how brutally they are deprived of their freedom, forced to assume different identities to completely fade away.

Se trata de personas
mix media, cut out bills. 24x26 cms. 2013 - 2016

Artist Book

Palabras de migrantes
leather wallet, handmade paper, gold leaf, cushion 25x25cms. 2016