Arbol de La Vida

The Arbol de la Vida dates back to the ceramic traditions of ancient Olmec culture, and is today among the most well-known objects of Mexican folk art. For over 100 years Metepec, in the state of Mexico, has been known for its distinctive Arbol de la Vida, which explains the origins of life – the biblical story of The Garden of Eden. Made of clay with symbols such as fruit, animals and biblical figures attached to the tree by wire, the Arbol de la Vida embodies narratives ranging from Mexico’s history to individual autobiography.

Cabrera has replaced the traditional tree form with a life-sized replica of a John Deere tractor in clay. This symbol of the agriculture industry is accompanied by equipment such as a hammer, shovel and wheelbarrow, all embellished with the traditional elements of the Arbol de la Vida. The dissipating presence of Mexican craft is at the core of this body of work; the rapid rate of Mexican immigration has forced many young Mexicans and craftsmen to abandon a legacy of craft traditions