Berta Deleon Bader - Artist Statement
This body of work is describing my garden throughout the year. I am showing the life cycle of the plants that feed my family. Growing a garden is about nurturing. The gardener nurtures the plants, and the plants give back to the gardener. I am experiencing this with my mother. She gave me life and cared for me, and now I am the caregiver to her.
In the summer of 2017, my husband and I moved my mom into our home, and I became her full-time caregiver. She has dementia, is blind, and bed bound. I am grateful for being able to care for her. However, being a full-time caregiver is emotionally and physically overwhelming. My time in the garden brings me moments of joy and respite.
In addition to gardening, I find respite through painting. I value the process of painting and the way the paint layers are built over time. Even the waiting that is part of the process is important to me.
In this work, I am communicating with the viewer the perspective of a caregiver. The emotional feelings associated with caregiving of waiting, working, problem-solving, moments of happiness and emotional pain are very real.