María Andreína Escalona: Where the light shines through

Materials: handmade paper with repurposed 100 % cotton bedsheets, duvet filling, Christmas lights.
Year: 2021

“Dear diary: Sometimes I forget that my weakest moments are also my strongest. That is where the light shines through.”

“Where the light shines through” is a project with a hidden message. A message only revealed with light.

In the form of a confessional bedsheet, this project serves as an outlet for the artist to talk about the importance of mental health and of being honest with oneself. Beds and bedsheets are easily recognized as spaces of rest and dreams, but for María, lately, it has been a dwelling place for episodes of depression and hardship. A place where a broken heart goes to cry, where a nervous body tries to calm down, where a broken spirit screams, or where a tired mind tries unsuccessfully to rest. This thin, weak part of herself can only be appreciated, like a watermark, with a certain light.

The only material used for the project (in addition to the lights) is an old duvet that has accompanied María for many years in moments of sadness, anxiety, and isolation. With the goal of commemorating all the things they lived together and hopefully make herself feel warmer, the artist recreates the duvet itself by making paper with the fabric. The watermark text embedded in each sheet is repeated in the front and back of the new duvet and can only be read with a light inside it. Words of encouragement and empowerment that, hopefully, will help the light shine through.