Paintings > Plantcestors

Pecans from Diana’s family’s land, Mesquite pods, Pericón, oil paint, resin on panel
30” x 24”

Diana Lopez:
“Arboles de Nueces was where I grew up, each house was nuzzled with trees to calm the heat during the summer. I remember spending hours picking nueces right as the seasons changed. We stored them in 5 gallon buckets and when we traveled to Mexico we would share with my family. It brings tears to my eyes to remember those days and not be able to be in that place anymore. The houses and trees where we grew up were bulldozed to become unaffordable housing. My parents brought buckets of pecans with them. My family has been storing them and growing them for a future where we can once again live under the arboles.

During pregnancy I am generally connected with my dreams. However, with my second child (mid 2021) I experienced a series of traumatic events, including the loss my grandparents. The experiences continued to resurface during the day and in my subconscious - during the time that I should rest. I wasn’t eating for days, couldn’t sleep and was in a state of paranoia, afraid to drive or leave my home, in addition to the Covid -19 pandemic. My Partera, Doula, and Dad reaffirmed my connection to my ancestors through dreams, an important connection I lost during this time. Towards the third trimester I would hear my name called, and the pull to work through these pieces that were putting me and the child at risk. In one particular dream I was taken back to a ranch I am comfortable in, but have never been to. We are walking through a field an abuela who I have not met in life shares how the pericon and mesquite pods will help me prepare for birth.

These experiences rooted in plants strengthen my connection to my past and guidance for our future. As an environmental justice organizer, it is my reaffirmation to bring these spaces of connection and protection back into our community.”