Art Exhibit: Flower Carpets/Tapetes Floridos by Danny Custodio | Rodman Hall Art Centre
Flower Carpets/Tapetes Floridos
Curated by Marcie Bronson
At Rodman Hall Art Centre
ON VIEW: November 2, 2019 to March 22, 2020
OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, November 14, 7 pm
ARTIST TALK: Thursday, November 28, 7 pm
Danny Custodio uses photography to explore his familial histories and cultural traditions, reinterpreting them from his position as a second-generation Portuguese-Canadian. For this new body of work, Custodio made and photographed flower carpets like those found on the cobblestone streets of his parents’ birthplace. During annual religious festivals on São Miguel Island, Azores, each family adorns the section of street in front of their house, arranging regional plants and coloured wood chips in designs that are passed down through generations. Using flowers and foliage gathered across the Niagara region, including his suburban St. Catharines neighbourhood and the Walker Botanical Garden at Rodman Hall Art Centre, Custodio continues this custom in his studio, developing his own designs that incorporate his own family’s motifs and traditional Portuguese tile patterns.
Custodio’s lens affords an intimate view of these transient installations, drawing attention to the many individual elements of each flower carpet, and the careful and intensive labour their creation entails. The species in Custodio’s flower carpets are both native to Niagara and introduced, like the hydrangea, a flower emblematic of the Azores. For Custodio, at a remove from his parents’ homeland and Toronto’s Little Portugal, where he was raised, the process is a means of maintaining connection to his community while forging his own place within it.
Danny Custodio gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council.
Image: Danny Custodio, Rose of Sharon, Euonymus, Sumac, 2019, archival pigment print, from the series Flower Carpets/Tapetes Floridos.