artist spotlight
Romina Gonzales

share your creative practice:
in conversation with Romina Gonzales

What does it mean to you to join the North Lands Creative network and be part of building a community for glass?


I feel truly grateful and honored— I’ve had a long time admiration for North Lands Creative. My involvement is recent and I’m looking forward to meeting the community and sharing mutually nourishing ideas!


Tell us about your work. What influences translate into your art practice?


My work pursues personal and collective healing by finding applications of ancestral knowledge and practices into the needs of our contemporary existence. I’m interested in the transfer and transformation of energy. My influences come from spirituality, science and the dissonant narratives that uphold society.


Has this changed the way you approach your work?


Yes, my desire to create for sole means of self expression has vanished. I question everything I do— from my personal life to the materials I use and conceptual content of my work. Scientific/historical/cultural/folk research has become as important as material experimentation.


What initially captured your imagination about glass?


I knew that glass was magical and that working with it was a possibility through visiting my great grandma Marina as a very young child. Her house was full of mesmerizing glass pieces made by my Italian great grandfather at the glass factory they owned in Lima, Peru. 


What’s the significance of the handmade to you?


The hand made is special because it captures nature. Absolute consistency is impossible— everything made by hand is a particular moment in time and circumstance. The aura it carries cannot be replicated. It personifies a flow state and celebrates the act of being present.


What was your route to becoming an artist?


It started by learning how to “make thing” as a sculpture undergraduate student in Lima, Peru, and then by moving to NYC to change my perspective and finish my studies. Working within the arts & design industry for the past 11 years sustained me as I continued gaining skills and conducting self-inquiries.

5 Foreparent_detail_2019_Romina Gonzales

What is your chosen medium and what are your techniques?


My chosen medium is any material that works with the idea or narrative of the statement I seek to make. I use materials’ natural behaviors and fictional situations to illustrate epiphanies. Mediums range from chocolate to sulfur, flour, molten glass, discarded furniture, fire, light, written and spoken word, performance. 


How would you describe your work and where do you think it fits within the sphere of contemporary glass?


I’ve been re-appropriating or re-contextualizing traditional processes with the intention of finding alternative aesthetic possibilities. My work fits within the sphere of contemporary glass through performance and by prioritizing process over result. My work in glass exists as physical documentation, as a print of an action or moment.


Tell us a bit about your process and what environment you like to work in?


My process begins with a gesture. I work intuitively and then separate myself from the work to process the work. Creating and analyzing are two different processes. I find completion sometimes months or years later, often unexpectedly or through intense introspection. Time to mature is part of the process.


Who do you look up to when it comes to aesthetics?


I look up to those who create their own principles without drawing content from contemporary trends. To those who make out of the rawness of their interior without being concerned about how their aesthetics will be understood or perceived.


What currently inspires you and which other artists do you admire and why?


The possibility of healing oneself and our surroundings currently inspires me. Some artists that I can currently think of that inspire me are Ann Hamilton and Olafur Eliasson. The immersive and spiritual nature of their work generates a comforting sense of oneness.


How are you experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic in your country? To what extent has your everyday life as an artist changed in lockdown?


The initial lockdown here in the U.S. allowed me focus on figuring out what is really important to me. The past year then became a journey of making the adjustments. The government’s current restrictions have pushed me to expand a studio practice independent of any institutions and invest in myself.

Romina Gonzales

Romina Gonzales’ interdisciplinary practice facilitates the expansion of consciousness from a post-colonial lens. Portraying gestures through material responses, she works towards awareness, mindfulness and healing by questioning givens and offering alternative perspectives.