Christina Ignacio-Deines


Christina Ignacio-Deines

Artist Statement

Why do we connect? What are the foundations on which connection is built? How do we nurture deep connection?

I have been exploring the phenomena and ecology of connection and belonging for more than a decade. My work examines our needs and motivations, the formative effect of culture and life history on identity, and the powerful influence that objects, experiences, and environment have on our well-being and relationships. In practice, I weave connection into the artistic process by bridging ideas and disciplines— applying 2D visual principles in 3D space, for example, and applying fine art, decorative and craft techniques. Scratch-built components may be combined with current, mass-produced materials, particularly in the installations, to ground a work in the present even when its inspiration is found in the past.

In my body of work, I have looked at the ways connection and belonging are expressed in romantic relationships relative to a single identity (1), and in national identity relative to the life cycle of a species (2). I have recast creative partners as a sacred ideal (3), and recreated sites of profound physical and spiritual union (4). I have challenged sexual and political power dynamics among social groups (5), and depicted temptation and sisterhood in sapphic narrative poetry (6), I have crossed cultures to create a fresh aesthetic language for modern marital relationships, fusing French and Inuit fairy and folk tales with arch-rib barns and Gothic churches (7), and the decorative arts of nomadic peoples from Mongolia to the Mojave (8). I have related the emotional experience of love to physical and visual sensations (9). I have translated the process of rehabilitation into a journey of connections between individuals, systems and the broader community (10). I have presented shelter and security as the basis for healthy intimate and parental relationships (11). Recently, I remodelled a mass-produced dollhouse into a one-of-a-kind heirloom, to describe how legacy and maternal identity connects generations of family (12).

While rooted in an ongoing practice of communicating connection and belonging in art by building immersive, experiential installations, my recent work is a deeply engaging progression into more visceral and nuanced emotional territory, and more daring and experimental explorations of materials, scale and collaboration. My work often seeks to translate our darker human struggles into objects and environments of protection, joy, and beauty. Recent shifts in our cultural and political climate, coupled with research and conversations I’ve had with healthcare professionals, mental health professionals, academics, and my own peer group of women, mothers and families, has convinced me that motherhood and maternal identity are important artistic subjects worth exploring, and that my approach is unique and substantive. In an increasingly divided and isolating culture, it is not simply relevant to lay bare the struggle of connection and belonging. It is in fact vital.

1 An Open Love Letter: There is no Japanese word for Identity, 2005; 2 Salmon Run - Comox, 2007; 3 The Writer and His Muse, 2006; 4 Some Like It Hot Pink, 2009 and Love Without Borders, 2011; 5 Queens (After John Singer Sargent), 2009; 6 Forbidden Feast (After Christina Rossetti), 2015; 7 Beauty & The Beast, 2010; 8 East x Southwest, 2014; 9 Sea of Light, 2011; 10 Explore The Map of Courage - Sculpture Series, 2016; 11 Light The Way Home, 2017; 12 Riven’s Dream Lodge, 2018



Christina, “Christina Ignacio-Deines,” Artist Parent Index , accessed July 20, 2024,

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