Nile Born is a sculpture made of sand, overlaid on a wooden base and shaped to the scale and contour of the artist’s body. While Nile Born is meant to be installed in a gallery, Mendieta is also known for works in which she directly imprinted her body on the natural landscape and documented this action via photography or film.
The form of the female body in this sculpture is both specific and universal, based on the scale of Mendieta’s body but also serving as a symbol of every woman. As a Cuban American exiled from her home country for most of her life, Mendieta considered making art to be “the way I reestablish the bonds that unite me to the universe. It is a return to the maternal source.”