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Olivia Cueva with her bio plastic creations displayed at Dream Farm Commons, Jan 2024. 

Bio plastic textile display at Dream Farm Commons, 2024

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Olivia Cueva in Residence

December 20th - January 21st, 2024

 

I spent this month in residency at Dream Farm Commons researching and working with plants that have significance and symbolism in Palestine and, as I discovered, to my own work and cultural identity. From the heart of Berkeley/Oakland, California, situated on the Huichin Territory of the Chochenyo Muwekma Ohlone people, I foraged seasonal plants, establishing a connection with distant landscapes. From this my exhibition, All Land is Holy was born. 

 

All Land is Holy

All Land is Holy is an art exhibition that unfolds against the backdrop of the ongoing genocidal catastrophe in Gaza. My exploration delves into the realms of land rights, indigeneity, and the call for 'land back’ that echoes through the current movement.

 

All Land is Holy extends my ongoing exploration of bio-plastic fashion and textiles, where the alchemy of gelatin and natural dyes converge to breathe life into unique and vibrant wearables, wearables that can decompose safely back into to the earth once they are no longer wanted or needed anymore. 

 

Each exhibited piece is destined for a poetic return to the earth, embracing the inevitable journey of decomposition. The raw materials, sourced from their respective landscapes, will be reverently returned to their origins, closing the loop of creation and dissolution.

 

This exhibition beckons you to contemplate the interconnectedness of place, land, and body, and how we become better stewards of the earth while on occupied stolen land. 

Prickly pear fruit used as dye for bio plastic dyes.

Pomegranate placed on the altar symbolizing diversity in Jewish culture. 

About the Artist: 

Olivia Cueva is an artist and community educator from Berkeley, CA. She makes work that weaves fashion, technology, storytelling, and sustainability. She is currently designing naturally dyed bio plastic fashion and footwear that can decompose safely back into the earth, engaging with what we consume, create, or discard & leave behind. 

 

Her bio textile designs have been featured globally, including The Future Fabric Expo in London and the Institute of Advanced Architecture in Barcelona. Before entering the world of fashion & textile design, she was the Director of the David E. Glover Emerging Technology Center in Oakland, CA where she founded a creative studio for youth. She has over a decade of experience teaching media, technology, and sustainable fashion to youth throughout the U.S. Olivia is a 2023 graduate of Fabricademy at the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain. She received her Masters from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU and her Bachelors in broadcast journalism from Brooklyn College. 


You can see more of her work on instagram: @olivia__cueva and @oliviacueva.co

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Altar 4 Gaza, honoring prickly pear cactus, pomegranate, olive leaves, eucalyptus, lichen, and bay leaf, sitting on top of a traditional Palestinian keffiyeh. 

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Oputina prickly pear cactus has connections across lands from Palestine to Ohlone land. 

Bio Plastic Textile with Gridded Texture 

Bio Plastic Press-on Nails in Pomegranate

Bio Plastic Corset 

Bio Plastic Nail Wheel in moss, lichen, olive leaf, prickly pear, and pomegranate.

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Chia Keffiyeh, chia seed on guaze

They tried to bury us they didn't know we were seeds, chia seed on canvas

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