Betty A. Davis
Betty A. Davis | UX Designer & Researcher
A_Fuerza Mayor The Tsunami.jpg

Creative: Traditional Drawing

Drawings by Betty A. Davis created with pastels, charcoal and graphite on paper

Drawing in traditional media

I am fascinated with the idea of home, mostly with  the powerful connection and symbiotic relation that we have with that space. The four walls that contain us, and where ultimately, we imprint our essence. Our strong need for shelter's physical presence and the desire for it when it is no longer there.

It was until I left home that I realized the strong need and feelings for it. My work is based on my own displacement story, moving from Mexico to the US to seek a better life and not being able to settle down and attach to a piece of land of my own in order to grow roots. This issue has strongly influenced my perspective towards life, my art and my way of living: always ready to migrate.

The bird houses are like a self- portrait and at the time I made them, a product of my daily interactions with the homeless.At that time, I was new in the Bay Area with practically nothing and getting around on my bicycle and the route 66 bus. It was because of this that I had the opportunity to ride along with the people who lived under the Corie Ct. bridge in San Jose.

One evening while on the bus I heard a homeless man say, “this homeless shit is for birds” and that truly inspired me; an explosion of word connections came to happen. I felt sad for the man but I felt linked to him at the same time. “I feel ya” I thought.

Conceptually I suggest that we are not different from the nomadic people from thousands of years ago. Our recent generations are always transitioning from place to place, crossing borders (not only the southern US-Mexico border but borders all over the world.) Always in movement because a job, school, family; we transition willingly or unwillingly as Globalization and natural phenomena bump us from place to place.

Natural phenomena is a recurring theme in this body of work. I want to document the recent natural catastrophes or “Fuerzas Mayores” that have been happening constantly, as well as the changes in the seasons and my inability to predict weather these days. I believe these events have a meaning and will be of relevance in the future.

I looked up the word “Tornado” in the thesaurus and what came up was “ Divine act”; an omnipotent, supreme event that is far beyond our earthly and mortal capabilities; something superb and uncontrollable. A “Causa de Fuerza Mayor” is used in Spanish to define a circumstance that acts as a barrier that no one by their own means can overcome, he or she was powerless over the circumstances. A tornado or death itself would be an example. My work depicts my coming to consciousness of the lack of control over life and my powerlessness towards pretty much, everything that is outside of me.

I will keep moving as I pass through life. I exist and that is plenty.