gathered / scattered

Luba Zygarewicz – New Orleans USA



I began making these “dwellings” during a storm season a few years ago as I contemplated on the frailty of our sense of place and belonging. More and more people are being eradicated from their homes due to fires, natural disasters, pollution, land erosion, gentrification, and social issues. Here in South Louisiana, each year we brace ourselves as we face another unsettling “storm season”.

The pandemic brought yet another form of displacement. As our lives folded onto themselves, we were scattered onto individual forms of “shelter in place”-the irony of feeling lost while being shut-in. We lost our sense of place, community, and belonging.

For this rendition of 100 Dwellings, called “gathered/scattered” I used my kitchen table as the design template. It is the place where we gather, it is a symbol of wholeness. During the pandemic, empty seats, chronicled the ebb and flow of kids moving in and then moving out.

The teabags are tersely suspended with pins to highlight impermanence and movement to form a 5-foot circle. There are references to storms, floods, abandonment, resurgence, family events, as well as dreams and yearnings. Each teabag serves as a visual marker of time. As individuals dwellings find homes, new ones emerge maintaining an ever-changing set of 100 Dwellings.

Drinking tea has always been a way for me to feel grounded, each cup imbued with possibilities.


mixed media on teabags 


LUBA ZYGAREWICZ was born in Chile, grew up in Bolivia, and moved to San Francisco at the age of 15. She received her BA in Visual Arts from Loyola University, New Orleans, and her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Zygarewicz gravitates to creating pieces that, in time, accumulate to a larger whole, working with materials such as hair, lint, twigs, cotton, and tea. Her work comments on the transience of time and landscape and elevates the seemingly banal through immersive, place-based installations and sculptures.

She has exhibited nationally and internationally including ‘OPEN Space’, Venice, Italy; Ogden Museum of Southern Art; City of Santa Rosa Public Art Program, CA; Mexican Cultural Institute of New Orleans; and the Contemporary Arts Center. She has created public and community-based artworks in conjunction with LUNAFete; EPHEMERA at Laffite Greenway; ‘Projeto Andorinha-the HOPE project, Messejana, Portugal; and March Against Poverty, Lake Providence, LA.

Zygarewicz is a culture-bearer, educator, and mother of four based in New Orleans. She is a recent recipient of a grant from Walter Anderson Museum of Art and has been awarded residencies at The Hambidge Center and StudioWorks at Tides Institute and Museum of Art (2021).