Dora Lisa Rosenbaum
Concrete, fabric, plastic, metal
Over the past three years, Dora Lisa Rosenbaum has been working on a project designed to use the transformative power of art and craft to reach women in the Monterey Bay, CA, area who are insufficiently housed, both to help them in their lives and to bring more attention to their too often ignored needs and struggles. Rosenbaum, and three colleagues, developed a curriculum and delivered a series of art workshops created specifically for local women without shelter. In response to her journey with the women, Rosenbaum developed a body of work, a call to action to inspire a community-based response to the ever-growing, yet solvable, homelessness crisis in California.
The cast concrete Burdens presented in her work samples, are some of the pieces in this body of work. While working with the women, Rosenbaum was struck not only by the importance of their material belongings but also by the burden these become. There is a heaviness and hardness to every aspect of these women’s lives. Their days have a constant circular motion, of walking and waiting, just to be repeated again the next day. The concrete bags she created visualize the literal heaviness of their belongings on their bodies, as well as symbolize the weight imposed by this way of life on their minds and health. In addition, there are many parallels between the labor involved in working with concrete, the fatigue that sets in, and the repetitive nature of the craft, and these women’s daily existence.
Dora Lisa Rosenbaum, Burdens (shoulder bag, orange tote bag), 2020. Image courtesy of the artist
Purchase this artwork and others from the Call & Response exhibition online at MCD’s Artists Marketplace.