Thursday, April 1, 2010

Felted roots and delicate blooms

magnolia flower

Since Equinox, my house has been blessed with lovely blooms of all kinds. On Sunday I visited a friend to get a collection of gourds for my students to work with. Having stuffed my car with grain sacks full of gourds, she then gave me a large bunch of forced magnolia branches to add to my collection. I have been enjoying the contrast of craggy, silver twisting sticks tipped with the delicacy of whitish-pink. I love bare branch forms of winter, and branching systems in general, which you might have guessed from my scratchboard drawings, and have been dining in style with magnolia and ranunculus blossoms as my elegant guests. 

felted root systems and elegant blooming guests

love these roots!

Last semester, my student, Elizabeth Redlich, made these wonderful, felted root systems in my mixed-media class, Exploring the Natural World. She gave me a pair of them to use as dreadlock hair extensions for storytelling and performances. They found their way onto the Equinox table altar and, along with the magnolia branches, they complete the branching system theme quite nicely! 

Outside, only a few snow piles still linger, and my first ever spring bulbs are starting to pop up here and there throughout the garden. I've had a show up at the local library for the month of March, it comes down today. Grandmother Winter, a sculpture I made many years ago, will come home and go back to her shelf in the healing room, holding court amongst the various bones, stones and feathers that fill the shelves. She hasn't been out at a show since I made her in 2000 as I rarely have an opportunity to include painting, drawing and sculpture in one venue. 

Grandmother Winter, polymer clay/mixed-media

Grandmother Winter, detail
As the snows melt back into the earth and the bulbs poke up in search of the sunshine, Grandmother Winter wraps her long skirts around her and walks slowly away on her journey to the southern hemisphere. Inside my home, she sits and awaits the time of bare branches and frozen stillness and wonders why there are so few people who relish her deep wisdom and dark mystery and why so many have forgotten that in the midst of the deepest darkness, it is she who births the light. 

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