Artists Mara del Carmen Mendoza Méndez and Jacobo Angeles Ojeda of the Jacobo and Maria Angeles Jacobo maria angeles Workshop pay homage to the fantastical creatures of their Oaxacan childhoods in their work Guardians. The husband-and-wife team creates fantastical creatures out of the soft copal wood that are inspired by Mesoamerican spirituality and Mexican folk art, such as the sculptures known as alebrijes. They dress the birds, butterflies, and beasts in vivid patterns and Zapotec symbols and refer to the otherworldly figures as Tonas and Nahuales. The creators describe their protective works.
Guardians are courageous beings that protect their tribe. These mythical figures from the story “Nomads” hold their heads high by taking on the duty of providing for, defending, and transporting everyone. The tale of (Theirs) takes place in a dystopian future where science is combined with ancestor cosmologies. It is one of resistance, persecution, and migration.