Brenda Perry-Herrera (b. Juarez, Mexico, 1978) is an artist who emigrated from Mexico at the age of three and grew up in the U.S.-Mexican border region of west Texas. Her work often explores themes of social and ecological relevance. In multiple projects, the artist has undertaken the roles of researcher, airplane pilot, programmer, scientist, educator, and mother. Perry-Herrera holds a Bachelor of Art degree from Columbia College, a Master of Art degree in Art Education from University of Texas El Paso, and a Master of Fine Art from School of Visual Arts. She has exhibited nationally and internationally at institutions such as BRIC, McKinney Avenue Contemporary, New York Hall of Science, El Paso Museum of Art, and Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juárez. She has also been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, such as En Foco Photography Fellowship Award. Her work has been acquired by various private and public collections. The artist now lives and works in the DC area with her family.
She investigated the lumber sold in her local hardware store and tracked it to a timber-felling site outside of Houston, Texas. From her research originated the idea of perceiving contemporary events in retrospect. Her work provokes the inquiry of imagining a world where trees are only a memory in a time when natural and man-made disasters deplete bucolic environments. She often uses cyanotype, an obsolete photographic process that relies on the light of the sun, to reproduce the various images that she collected from her timber-felling research. Adding to the preciousness of the trees, she preserves the cyanotype images in resin.
Her last show a Praxis, Omnipresence, was a meditation of Perry-Herrera’s co-creation with nature in this time of climate change. Her large-scale cyanotypes preserved in resin feature trees through the altered seasons. She presents the disappearing seasons of autumn and spring as synonymous to death and birth and equally as precious by seducing the viewer with their delicate, myopic, porcelain-like impressions. Winter, as consistently extending its season, is depicted as a long and farsighted landscape, and seeing the forest for the trees. Summer encounters violent storms that cause many young trees to fall before their time. Here, the artist prints the dying tree’s leaves to immortalize their present state. Perry-Herrera also investigated the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide interexchange between humans and trees. Since trees provide us our oxygen rich air, that ultimately sustains human life, the artist links that fundamental and symbiotic connection back to our origin of consciousness. In collaboration with sound artist, Kotorbay, carefully curated recordings permeate the gallery space via small abstract pieces that are seen, and heard, to breathe. The abstract artworks were created during the artist’s meditation sittings in the sun.