Elisa Ortega Montilla


Elisa Ortega Montilla


Elisa Ortega


Santa Barbara

Artist Statement

Growing up in the 1980s in Spain, ten years after my country transitioned from dictatorship to democracy, has marked the way I relate to materials in my art practice. I grew up hearing stories from my grandmother about the Spanish Civil War while she mended hand-me-downs for me from my cousins. What was a result of economic austerity from the Franco years later became an ethical choice for me. My work explores three fundamental parts of who I am: my experience of being a woman and my feminist values; my feelings of acculturation from living in the US while maintaining my Spanish identity; and my opposition to consumerism and commitment to environmental sustainability. My practice uses installations, wood sculptures, and reclaimed and overlooked textiles, addressing themes of memory, transformation, adaptation, and identity through materials that have been discarded, deconstructed, and reconstructed. I mix the found and the made, the new and the old; tradition and experimentation, the mass-produced and the handmade; my Spanish values and my American experience, the present and the past. I’m drawn to the expressive and experiential nature of abstraction because it provides me with a universal language that transcends regions, structures, and categories. Non-binary anthropomorphic volumes, bodily suggestions, sensual movements, and feminine shapes are oblique references to the human condition and a soft invocation of the female body.



elisa_ortmon, “Elisa Ortega Montilla,” Artist Parent Index , accessed July 15, 2024, https://www.artistparentindex.com/items/show/537.

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