COVID 19 has touched everyone in one way or another. Invading our lives and shifting us towards new, unimaginable courses. We’ve all been adjusting and dealing with it differently. I’ve been blessed with taking courses, in Lima and the States, and have expanded my circle of contacts and interests. During one of these classes, I was fortunate to meet Patricia Alor.
Patricia, a prolific artist from and based in Lima, Peru posted the following image in our WhatsApp chat group. I was struck by the image. “La Madre Patria” running around the streets of Lima calling out for help: “auxilio, ambulancia, ayuda!” (Help, ambulance, someone help!). At the bottom of the page appears: “We are alone” and Coronavirus.
“Día 94, Crónica 15: Estamos solos
Hoy hace un mes mi familia y yo vivimos una situación difícil. La impotencia y frustración (que nos caló profundamente) de no poder conseguir ayuda y tratar de salvar una vida nos dejó muy en claro que en este tiempo de Pandemia nos encontramos solos. Esta crónica es un hecho real, una escena que narra angustia, un recuerdo que nos hace vulnerables día con día.”
Day 94, Story #15: We are Alone
“Today, a month ago, my family and I were in a difficult situation. The profound frustration and impotency that we felt after failing to find help to save a life in our neighborhood, confirmed the fact that we are alone during this pandemic.” This is a real story, a scene of anguish, that reminds us of our vulnerability day after day.
I wanted to know more about her story.
While Alor was studying at Bellas Artes, she was searching for her personal mission, voice. She was struck by the historic image of a woman building the Peruvian Nation. What happened to her? She was stoic, sacrificial, virtuous and she vanished.
Influenced by the historical style of Guaman Poma de Ayala, Patricia birthed her “Madre Patria,” mother country, during her thesis project at the National School of Art, Escuela Bellas Artes. You can find her “Madre Patria” weaving in and out of her work, year after year, rebuilding the Peruvian Republic and the role of women in Peru.
The “Madre Patria” walks the streets rebuilding Lima, and during COVID she was running for help. On a Sunday, a neighbor, was in dire need of attention. No one was available. Searching for an ambulance, health center or someone who could help, the anger and frustration bubbled and overflowed. Feeling helpless, she dedicated this piece to her neighbor who succumbed to our new nemesis.
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Crónica 16 Fin de la cuarentena 107 días / sigue el estado de emergencia 1 día Nombre de la obra: Distanciamiento Social Nombre de la artista: Patricia Alor Pretell Técnica: dibujo Medidas: 50 x 40 Año: 2020 . . . #CHRONICLE #ARTISTA #Draw #PENCIL #PAPER #LAVATELASMANOS #SupportArtists #ArtistSupportPledge #HOYMEQUEDOENCASA #YOMEQUEDOENCASA #QUÉDATEENCADA #PANDEMIA #CORONAVIRUS #JUNTOSLAHACEMOS #CUARENTENA #FINDELACUARENTENA #STAYHOME #ARTE #ART #ARTIST #PERUVIANART #ArtLima #MODOBICENTENARIO #BICENTENARIOPERÚ #PERUVIANARTIST #contemporaryart #wednesday #mercoledi #mercredi 4:00 pm
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Alor identifies with her Madre Patria. Her name originating from the Latin padre, she plays with the abbreviation of her name Patri and adds the first letter of her last name: PatriA. She gathers strength and courage fighting for a Peru more expansive than the gol of soccer or the buzz of Peruvian cuisine. During this challenging time of COVID-19 in Peru, I asked Patricia if she felt the government was supporting artists. She wishes that the government would create accessible and comprehensible competitions to help all genres of Peruvian artists: new and mature. She doesn’t feel that the government has been able to help the most vulnerable artists of Peru.
Alor notes that, “There are many independent artists in Peru that aren’t on any national register. Why doesn’t the ministry create a model that could allow all artists to join.” Is it another issue of formalization in Peru?
As Alor’s “Madre Patria” roams the streets of Lima, she represents a personal mission for her. Peru’s bicentennial looms a year away and there are certain elements and personalities that built the Peruvian Nation that have been forgotten. Alor has resurrected her “Madre” and gives her a glorious new life to revalue her and give her a new place in history. Also, to remind Peruvians who they are and for whom they are Peruvians.