Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Reverence & Reverie Artist Statement

From my current exhibit, in the event that you are unable to view the works in person. See previous post for more info. Blessings and peace on this second day of Autumn.

“The love of Beauty is a reverent love for the miracle of nature and for the all-pervasive marks of divinity to be found in it; nature reveals to us in common things ‘the parable of deep things, the analogies of divinity.’”
— Umberto Eco, History of Beauty

Over the last eight years my work has evolved to reflect my deepening contemplative experience of the world around me. During the days following the events of 9/11, I felt a profound sense of oneness with all beings and had a vision after the Day of Remembrance that became the painting shown here, 911: love is the answer. A year later, during a training with Buddhist and environmentalist Joanna Macy, I had a mystical experience that was a spiritual homecoming to my interconnectedness in the web of life. These encounters with the numinous are at the heart of my work and these paintings. My intention is to create a visual scripture that communicates our innate interdependence in the web of creation regardless of our religious or spiritual path.

My recent graduate studies in the spiritual traditions of the world have given me a broader understanding of the shared symbolism that weaves itself throughout the sacred texts of our religious traditions, along with those of earth-honoring traditions. Drawing from a vast reservoir of sacred literature, I create a symbolic language that is both personal and universal to inform the narrative of my paintings. The mandala, which I began working with in 2003, has long been a vehicle for contemplation and healing in many Eastern and indigenous traditions as well in the Christian tradition, most notably by the 12th c. Abbess Hildegard von Bingen. The mandala, like the medicine wheel, provides a framework for me to weave together both religious themes and images associated with the four seasons, the four elements (earth, fire, air, and water), and the four cardinal directions as a way of connecting the viewer to the sacred that is available to us in the everyday. This reverence for the earth—or Pachamama as she is known in South America—was reinforced again for me during a pilgrimage to Peru in 2006 where I was introduced to the ancient spiritual teachings of the Andes, which inspired three paintings in this show. It has been said that in order to counter the ecological crisis we need an aesthetic revolution. My work is a contribution to this endeavor.

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