Excerpt from Aether Magazine – Issue Three (Fall/Winter 2012)
Aether is a semi-annual e-magazine that aims to engage collectors, artists, and galleries in conversation about the visual arts in our community and beyond, inspired by the diverse art scene in Austin where new ideas and creativity are abundant.
Sandra C. Fernandez participated in the Serie Project’s Artist in Residence XII (2004-2005) and XV (2007-2008) series. Born in Queens, New York, but growing up in Ecuador, she says, “I have sought to explore the meanings of my own personal history. I grapple in my art with my own past, which included abandonment and exile. But I have also sought to go beyond the merely personal. Intimate narratives of pain, loss, and hope are universal.”
Fernández adds, “They are part of the human experience and surface in all eras and cultural geographies. Issues of abandonment, isolation, sexism, political freedom, war, and dislocation have for millennia haunted the human psyche. Through the exploration of different media I have sought to confront these issues and communicate my understanding to anyone experiencing my work.”
by Catherine Zinser
As an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Sandra C. Fernández seizes the opportunity to instill a love of traditional printmaking and book arts into the next generation of artists. Popular culture is hardwired for immediate results; it expects and demands an uninterrupted flow of new gadgets and devices, each designed to make life more streamlined. With one, quick swipe, a deluge of information
is literally at your fingertips. In a good wi-fi zone, Shakespeare, Twin, and Austen materialize with a five second download. But for some, half of the experience of immersing oneself in a story is thumbing the pages and marking the margins. Oh, and the smell! That must aroma that wafts through the heavy, wooden doors of a library is a mixture of paper, wood, leather and dust. What it really is, though, is the smell of ideas, imagination, history, religion, politics and culture; and bibliophiles savor it.
Fernández was bred to love books. In Ecuador, her grandfather purchased and resold libraries and amassed a large collection of 16th through 18th-century tomes. She studied Literature and Sociology in her early college years, and helped her grandfather in her free time. “The tactility of books, the smell of them, it was part of my upbringing.” And introduction into printmaking and book arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offered Fernández the opportunity to fuse a love of paper and the printed word with her newly discovered craft.