Saturday, April 23, 2011

Artist Statement

Passages & Interludes

Writer and ecologist Terry Tempest Williams wrote in her book Refuge,“If the natural world was assigned spiritual value, then those days spent in wildness were sacred.” This is how I spent my childhood. I did not grow up in a church-going household; there was no religion of which to speak; our attachment to the land was our attachment to each other. In my house there was a spirituality of space and place.

Cultural geographer and scholar Yi-Fu Tuan defines space as something we move through, understanding its breadth and depth through our sensory perception. We do not understand the scale with only our eyes, but how it feels to the touch and how it sounds. A place, on the other hand, is defined as a space imbued with value.

I did not understand it growing up, but nature and the out of doors became my sanctuary. Communing with rocks and birds, plants and wind taught me about death and life, the sound of silence and the balance between needing each other and needing space.

Poets like Wordsworth and Thoreau crept into my reading list. Upon discovering English Romantic artists like Constable, I looked to the sky and found my spirituality reflected in the ether. Ever shifting, each moment became precious, never the same as the one before or the next one to come. This awareness and the attention called to it have become significant to my work. Going on silent meditation retreat provided a foundation and grounding to understand the devotion and discipline it takes to live a balanced life in our hectic world.

Passages & Interludes is the depiction of being. Moving through the world, we use each of our senses to understand space and how we fit into and upon the earth. The journey of life is full of emotional ups and downs and personal experience. The interludes become necessary for the occasional pause - a moment of reflection and contemplation.

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