Generations of Care

by Cece Carpio

A colorful and vibrant painting depicting four generations of medium brown skin-toned women and girls caring for each other. A baby (4th generation) in a white gown sits in the lap of her great grandmother (1st generation) who is in a wheelchair wearing a floral printed dress. The great grandmother’s daughter (2nd generation), wearing a white tee shirt, sits behind her combing her hair. Behind her stands her own daughter—the baby’s mother—(3rd generation) braiding her mother’s hair into cornrows. This scene is set on a beach with cascading ocean waves, yellow sand, and tall beachgrass. The blue and white of the sky and ocean water is juxtaposed by a red circle painted at the center of the scene behind the women.

A word from the artist:

This piece is inspired by María Tirado, Cesia Álvarez, and María Sánchez whose stories are featured in this exhibit, and the shared vision of care for elders being filled with ease, love, and dignity, within and as part of the cycles of nature. It also embodies part of my own story in which my mother was abroad taking care of other families while I grew up and being cared for by my great-grandmother who raised four generations of our family. The ritual of hair braiding is an intimate act, a weaving element of passing down traditions of wisdom and care.