Cecilia Paredes: The Two Twilights

Essay by Elizabeth Ferrer

Publisher: Ruiz-Healy Art

ISBN: 978-1-03-485613-9

Dimensions: 10.5 x 8.5 in

Pages: 24

Paredes’s photo performance works often center around the concept of home and relocation, stemming from her move to the United States from Costa Rica in 2004. The Two Twilights draws further inspiration from the periods of quarantine and isolation experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic. 


During the initial lockdown of Spring of 2020, Paredes experimented with using found materials, beginning with an old piece of linen and a pair of curtains. From this experimentation was bom the inspiration for her tapestries, made from discarded and intentionally aged materials. The Two Twilights features three of these tapestries made from silk and cotton on felt. These woven tapestries display themes of destruction and rebuilding. As an artist whose main inspiration comes from traveling and an interest in other cultures, this is a shift from her classic photo performance pieces and a labor of love born out of the pandemic.

The style of these tapestries is juxtaposed in The Two Twilights with five large-format photo performance works in which she camouflages her body behind intricate textile backgrounds, working together to create a visual language of its own. In “Of Wings and Thorns” Paredes states, “the wings represent escaping, and getting out of what we are currently experiencing and the thorns are a metaphor for the difficult situation that we are living in. I am centered in the middle of the photo, under a bird’s eye view, surrounded by birds and thorns.” Magnolia Stories touches on the idea of the unreachable paradise, and the need to create your own paradise. Cecilia shares, “The hands in this photo intertwine, almost like a vine, reflects the idea of vanitas. These works show a beautiful banquet and garden, with people enjoying themselves, yet always contain a motif depicting death. This serves as a reminder that we are just passing." The inspiration of these works is rooted in the literature of epic poetry but displays themes that translate well to the modern-day and effortlessly transport viewers around the world, without leaving one’s home.