A visual artist for more than thirty-five years, Lena Bartula’s recent conceptual works include installation, mixed media and collaborative community projects. Believing that artists have a responsibility to the times in which they live, she uses art as a voice with which to speak of beauty, truth, spirit, joy, pain, justice,everything that this human life entails. Many of her works are commentaries on and homage inspirations from other cultures, folk heroes, political structures or religious traditions. Having lived in Mexico since 2004, and traveled through Latin and Central America off and on for several years more, Bartula is deeply influenced and inspired by the huipil, an indigenous blouse in the Meso-american tradition.
Her huipils are metaphorical garments that both reveal and conceal women’s stories. Created from materials such as recycled bags and papers, oilcloth, corn husks, flower petals, etc., each is a story of ‘woman’ whether human, myth, deity, nature element or the collective feminine.
Bartula has exhibited in museums and galleries around the world, in 36 solo and more than 40 group exhibtions. Her works are found in collections in France, Italy, U.S., Mexico, Guatemala, U.K., Australia and Canada.
Bartula also includes writing among her passions. Her poems, essays and short stories have appeared in Nimrod International Journal, Dry Ground: Writing the Desert Southwest and Foreign Ground: Travelers’ Tales, San Miguel Authors’ Sala Anthology, Zingology and Dream Network Journal. She is currently working on a book of her art and poetry, in a collaborative process with a women’s collective, Taller Leñateros, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Since 2004, Bartula makes her home in Mexico, and currently in San Miguel de Allende.