Originating from Colombia, ceramicist Diana Farfán made a home for herself and her complex sculptures in Greenville.
With a passion for political, social, and environmental issues, her artwork touches on everything from tension among political parties and immigration journeys to animal rights and planet protection.
Farfán’s language of choice transcends the spoken or written word — visual art.
“I feel that I have more skills and ability to speak through my hands, through the material, through the color and shapes,” she says. “So art just became my vocabulary.”
Communicating complex ideas and forming narratives around controversial topics comes easily for her through art. “It’s a beautiful, peaceful effort,” she says.
Although some art is intended to simply bring beauty, Farfán believes her work is more challenging to viewers. “Sometimes art isn’t comfortable and sometimes art isn’t easy for everyone,” she says.
Her current series called “The Conversation Starters” blends functional and expressive art to create salt and pepper shaker sets. “Each theme has something to do with the meaning that is important for me through my work, which is politics, social issues, environmental issues, human issues,” Farfán says.
Becoming a U.S. citizen in 2012, Farfán was intrigued by the complex political system of the nation. So naturally, she used art to help her interpret the world around her.
Noticing the tension between political parties, she uses the symbolic elephant and donkey in much of her work. In “The Conversation Starters,” the two animals make up pairs of unique, detailed shakers called “The Peacemakers.”
“Because this is a set, I try to make them have a conversation between them,” she says. Other themes of the series include “The Animal Lovers,” “The Planet Saviors,” “The Healers,” and “The Cultural Bearers” — each touching on important issues to Farfán.
“I just want to create these questions about what we as humans are doing to the planet and how are we taking care of our resources,” she says.
In addition to creating art full-time, Farfán works with organizations to raise awareness about art, animals, and environmental protection. She teaches workshops and visits schools to teach art as a tool for understanding the world.
She also works with Palmetto Luna to provide equal opportunities for Hispanic/Latino artists and create diversity within the art scene. “I try to be loyal to my principles,” she says.
Farfán’s work can be seen and purchased at dianafarfan.com.