Billy Joe Miller created the collaborative piece Writha based on stories of belonging inspired by living and working in Albuquerque’s International District, which has the highest percentage of foreign-born and refugees in the city. Using local natural and found materials evocative of both Albuquerque and the high desert of New Mexico, Miller worked closely with Cameron Krow, International District and local residents. His collaborators include a mix of refugees from Afghanistan and Vietnam, and participants of Japanese, Filipino and Diné heritage. Miller says, “ I met with 15 people (individuals or family members) from Albuquerque's International District for lunch or dinner and listened to their stories of home and belonging. Some of the group went on a collection trip with me and then came back to the gallery to work together on these mixed media works inspired by their stories of home. Wreaths have been placed on thresholds throughout history and have been a symbol of pride, abundance and place for many cultures. Constructed in community and made into artifacts, transformed found objects become representations of home.”
Wreath: mixed media, 14' x 20'
Albuquerque Alter: mixed media, dimensions variable
BLM materials acquired with a permit