Some months ago MamaProud interviewed California artist, Seren Moran. We learned a bit about her background as well as her plans to achieve an MFA and to simply keep working. She has since moved to Brazil and has a new series to introduce.
PANGEA, the term given to the “supercontinent” that existed on this earth over 200 million years ago before breaking apart into the separate continents we have today.
This very large painting is composed of 28 expressionistic portraits of people in my life or the lives of those very close to me, all of whom were born in different countries around the world.
I believe there are more differences between people within one country than the differences of people from one country to the next. We have created the borders that exist today, and even with these borders we are all more connected than we choose to believe.
The countries of the people represented from Left to Right, Top to Bottom are as follows:
Korea, Japan, Argentina, Yemen,
Guatemala, Peru, Eritrea, Chile,
Vietnam, Canada, China, Croatia,
Austria, Turkey, Italy, Czech Republic,
Iran, Finland, The Philippines, Bulgaria,
Brazil, Zambia, Scotland, Rwanda,
Native American, Egypt, Switzerland, Russia.
My inspiration for this painting has been in process for many years. For the past ten years my mother has hosted exchange students from all over the world. I’ve lived with people from Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East. From my experiences both within the US and abroad, I have seen too many people pre-judge one another based on the superficial knowledge of nationality, rather than prizing the differences and appreciating our overwhelming similarities.
We alienate each other based on politics and governmental status, which although has some relevance as to the people of a nation, it really has very little to do with what actual shapes the personality and life of a human being. In every country you will find people kind and unkind, creative and logical, outgoing and reserved, friendly and cold, serious and goofy, hardworking and lazy, understanding and judgmental. And regardless of location or ethnicity, a mother is still a mother.
During my final months before graduation from SDSU, I was living with my Brazilian boyfriend, whom I had met in Italy, and whose visa was soon expiring. International politics made getting and keeping his visa to the United States very complicated, time consuming, frustrating and stressful. And we were soon pressed with the question of where we would be living…Italy, Brazil…. I decided then that I wanted my next series to be about international people and their relationships.
I began by painting the people closest in my life that were born and raised in different countries all over the world. I wanted to help people see the world the way I do, to not be fearful of ethnic differences. So I decided to make this a very large painting, larger than a normal sized wall, giving a global feeling for our shared characteristics.
I found the title PANGEA rather fitting in that it reminds us that in fact we were all once literally connected, and that the boarders we give so much credit to are actually nothing but our own superficial creations. You certainly don’t need to travel the world to have international relationships. The people represented in this piece are both people met abroad as well as friendships made and fostered within the United States.