Six questions for
Oxiea Villamonte

Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Oxiea Villamonte.

Artist Oxiea Villamonte
Lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

How do you describe your own art practice?

My art practice is very personal. My life and my art are not separate, they exist as one. The relationship that I share with my mother has always fascinated and inspired me. As it is very special, we share a very close bond. I have also always been fascinated by life itself. I don’t believe in coincidences; I believe that everything happens for a reason.

I love strange encounters; I love meeting someone for a brief or long moment and sharing a story or a gaze.

In the first book that I made titled: Next of Kin I worked with my mother’s archive and my own and combined them. As we have such a close relationship and I see so much of her in me I wanted to share this bond, our similarities and differences. In the book there are notes from my grandmother, my mother’s mother. My mother and her mother also shared a very close bond.

Which question or theme is central in your work?

My mother’s story of resilience.

People are a central theme in my work. I love strange encounters that are sometimes brief or more long term. I love sharing stories and documenting the world around me.

Generational trauma and intergenerational connections fascinate me. Last year I travelled through America by Amtrak for ten months returning to places and people from my parent’s past. My mother and father chose to raise me in Amsterdam, The Netherlands as they believed it was a better place to raise a child. I wanted to go back to their roots, to their childhood and to try and understand where they came from and why they chose to leave.

My themes are rooted in my mother, my upbringing and the people that I encounter throughout my life.

I have a lot of questions.

What was your first experience with art?

My childhood.

My mother raised me in an unconventional, artistic way. She travelled all around the world with me while she was pregnant and from the moment I was born. Some of these travels I remember only through photographs and stories passed on. However, I believe they made a very strong impression on who I am and what drives me. Traveling is an art form. You can travel with very little means and by travelling you widen your gaze.

My mother also surrounded me by people who were authentically themselves in a very artistic and free environment.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

My mother.

What do you need in order to create your work?

To create I need my camera, film and a good pair of walking shoes.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

Maria Feenstra, who happens to be a very good friend of mine. Last week I went to see her master graduation audio-installation: DIT IS ANDERS.

Maria did not surprise me. I knew that her project was going to be very strong, she inspired me. I find it hard to put into words how much her audio-installation moved me. I hope that you the reader will be able to hear it one day. I would not be surprised if you will.

“In DIT IS ANDERS three voices come together: a woman, a warden and an interviewer. A conversation about what it means to lose someone, being a parent and a having a loved one in jail. An attempt to build a space for what is being pushed away.”

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