For Their Absence, 2024

For Their Absence & We Are Quilted Together
On view in Death Rights, a group show curated by Marian Casey
February 24th - March 23rd, 2024

My exhibition, For Their Absence, featured a trio of wooden furniture pieces - my late maternal grandfather’s round table he kept in the backroom of his business, Harlandale Cleaners, and an antique family coat rack and bookshelf found and given to me by my mother.

In Flowers for Dust, my collection of dried flowers from loved ones and my annual day of the dead altar were arranged on grandfather’s table in ten flower pots previously containing a plant I couldn't keep alive or I allowed to die. The installation examines my ability to be a capable caretaker as my grandmother was for her ten children.

Placed on the top of the bookshelf was Memory Impaired, my Alzheimer’s-stricken grandmother Petra's house dress made into a quilt as a way to honor and keep her memory. The shelves below featured my teenage poetry book opened to a poem written for my grandmother after her passing, her molcajete, and a stuffed bear soft sculpture I created from my baby blanket with the same pattern my mother used over thirty years ago to make toy bears for my sisters and I when we were children.

I quilted and hung my partner’s wedding suit on my antique family coat rack. The piece considers a black suit as clothing often used in both marriage and burial rituals. Placed on the coat rack the suit feels lonesome in waiting for the wearer to pick it up and put it on.

For Their Absence was on view in conversation with We Are Quilted Together, an installation of ten quilts made from my personal dress collection hung on a clothesline tied to the original poles from my Grandma Guerra’s former backyard.

Death Rights was a group exhibition presenting creators engaging with death, loss, remembrance, and the afterlife, from political, spiritual, and radical perspectives. Death Rights brings together a breadth of artists to radically reshape and reclaim our relationship to death.  

Learn more about the DEATH RIGHTS on

Photo Credit: Francisco Cortés

© 2024 Angela Guerra Walley