Monday, April 19, 2010

Out of the forest and into the gallery, to grandmother's house we go....

I mentioned in an earlier post that I just had a show at the local library. It was an interesting show for me as I so rarely have all the various mediums in which I work in one exhibition. Galleries that are interested in my watercolors are typically not interested in my sculptures- somehow they seem to come from different worlds. They all emerge from the mythic realm of my psyche, but the watercolors seem to be able to shape-shift into work that transcends the label a little more, or some such thing. The sculptures, on the other hand, come right out of the land and my relationship with it as a living, breathing being. They feel revealing and quite personal and are a little more vulnerable than my landscapes. Here's an excerpt from my artist statement about them: 

"Raw and unrefined, these sculptures feel close to the bone of who I am and make visual
the spiritual presence and power I feel in all things. The images come to me from deep within, spirit beings of trees and ancestors and shapefiters. They are made of stoneware, polymer clay or self-hardening clay, branches, roots, feathers, bones and anything I can stick together with an interesting form. The few here were made over the course of fifteen years and represent the recurring theme of Grandmother Spirits and Tree Spirits."

The landscapes, in this case watercolors ( I do also work in oils, haven't shared too many of those yet as lately I've been focusing mainly on watercolors and the scratchbord tree drawings) were described by a friend of mine as "mythic landscape". For me, this is quite accurate. They might not seem like "mythic landscapes" in some respects, but there are deep, hidden stories in the paintings, just as there are in the land. I know that the thread that binds all my work together is story. I tell stories of the land and trees and spirits when I paint, draw and sculpt. I tell other stories when I sing and lead rituals and still others while doing storytelling performances. It was an important moment a few years ago when I all of a sudden made that connection and could trace the thread of story throughout ALL of my work. It helped me to feel the multi-textured tapestry I am weaving in its fullness and to wrap it around me with more clarity of purpose. 

"Tree Spirit"

Two tree drawings

So I leave you with that tonight... a little peek at my recent show, a little wander through the visual stories that shape my life and my work. 

Old Man Tree

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