I will collaborate with twenty five Brazilian families in Everett, MA to create fifty mugs made from terracotta clay. Each family will pinch clay for two individual mugs. Each family will pinch two rectangular slabs of terracotta while answering a set of interview questions intended to tease out stories of the Brazilian immigrant experience in the greater Boston area, specifically how these families navigate the complexities of belonging to different nations, cultures and communities simultaneously.
Participants are encouraged to reflect on the texture of life “in-between” as they come together in artistic expression. Once bisqued, the mugs will be put display at Dewey Square (or space to be determined) where volunteers will invite the public to apply red iron oxide to the bisqued mugs, revealing the details pinched into the clay by the Brazilian families mentioned above. Participating members of the public will place the mugs, now treated with red iron oxide, on display in a “pop up” exhibit, literally building an exhibition by participating in the activity, and discovering a written story of the Brazilian family that made l each mug.
Finally, participants will be invited to an opening reception of an exhibition celebrating the story of the fully fired mugs and their Brazilian makers’ reflections on identity, belonging and nostalgia. At the reception, the participating Brazilian families will take home one of the two mugs they pinched, while the 25 mugs left will be offered to attendees.