The house that lives within me
floats on the lake and
hides in the mountains
“I was raised in a country made up of the Andes mountains. Since moving to Chicago, I have found myself questioning recurrently the meaning of “belonging” and what I call “home.” I explore the answer in the process of meditating on the landscape that surrounds me and that is within me.”
For someone whose artistic practice is grounded in the landscape, a move to a new country might be especially jarring, but for Mariana Noreña it was an opportunity to attune to a new environment and shift her process – other key aspects of her work. In The Lab, Noreña proposes an “immersion” into her story of belonging, in which Lake Michigan features prominently: “As you stand on the two lands that I now call home, I invite you to be lulled by the sound of the tree that gives shade to my house, to smell the rosemary planted in my garden in Colombia, and feel the undeniable way of adapting and being in constant motion of Lake Michigan.”
Mariana Noreña holds dual bachelor degrees in Design and Fine Arts with an emphasis in Painting and Drawing from La Universidad de Los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia) and a Master of Fine Arts in the Fiber and Material Studies department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). She is a recipient of the Colfuturo Grant as well as the Second Year International Graduate Scholarship at SAIC. Noreña has participated in group exhibitions in Colombia at La Feria del Millon Art Fair, Contemporary Museum of Art of Bogota, and SGR Gallery. In the United States, she has exhibited at venues including the LeRoy Neiman Gallery at Columbia University, New York City, and Gallery 1922 at SAIC, Chicago. Her work is in the collection of the Museo Bolivariano of Contemporary Art.
Artwork: Mariana Noreña. The House That Lives Within Me/ La Casa Que Habita Dentro De Mi (detailed in top banner), 2023. Steel, water from Lake Michigan, wood, soil from Bogotá, soil from Chicago, corn husks, rosemary, recycled paper, basket reed, bent wood, sound, frame.